Many years ago, when living in Colorado, I began to see a couple of bumper stickers on the backs of vehicles quite a bit. The two bumper stickers had either the word “TOLERANCE” or “COEXIST” on them. But the “TOLERANCE” sticker seemed to take on more meaning.
If you’ve seen these bumper stickers, you may recall that each of the letters used in the stickers were replaced by symbols—the Christian cross for “T,” the Wiccan pentacle substituted for the “O,” the Islam crescent moon for “C,” and so on.
Over the years, I have heard the term tolerance used a lot. In fact, today it is extolled as one of the most important virtues a person can have!
And—in the process over the years—this word tolerance has changed its meaning altogether!
When I was growing up, being tolerant meant putting up with a slow salesclerk, restraining the desire to speak up when small children were being loud at a restaurant, or holding one’s tongue when a person made a harmless but wrong comment.
But today—in the public schools, universities and even in the workplace—the word tolerance means something quite different!
Today it means “not passing judgment” on the divergent beliefs in religion, differing views of morality, and even in defining sexual roles and marriage!
You see, a generation ago “being tolerant” never meant condoning immoral behavior. “Being tolerant” never meant letting harmful beliefs go unchallenged. And “being tolerant” never meant permitting another person’s dangerous lifestyle to influence, much less be taught, to our own children!
But it does today!
Today’s teaching says that “tolerance”—the celebrating of diverse beliefs about morality, religion and defining “right” and “wrong”—is, in the minds of many, one of the most valuable qualities a person can possess!
So, do you really believe that?
Today the term tolerance is another word for “moral relativism”—the belief that ethical standards, morality and positions of right or wrong are culturally based and, therefore, subject to a person’s individual choice.
In other words, we can all decide what is right for ourselves. You decide what’s right for you! And I’ll decide what’s right for me!
When we consider current events around the world in places like North Korea, North Africa and the Middle East, one has to ask, “How’s this ‘tolerance’ thing working for us on planet earth today?”
The fact is, recent history shows us that the clash of diverse cultures, religions and moral teachings has actually made the world a much more dangerous place to live!
There is no doubt that “tolerance” or “forbearance” are principles that, when applied correctly, God would want us to reflect between one another as human beings. However, tolerating (and even condoning) dozens of versions of “right and wrong” is a pretty crazy notion!
The 21st-century “virtue” of tolerance and its application have done little more than simply add to the confusion and conflict we have on earth today.
It is interesting to note that all of what I have commented on—man’s redefining of religion, morality and right and wrong—describe the chaotic world that God predicted would exist at the time of the end.
But don’t believe me. Read it for yourself in the pages of your Bible.
You’ll then soon realize that it is God Himself who has actually been extremely “tolerant” of what mankind has been doing down here on earth for a long, long time. And while God doesn't like what He sees, His “allowing” mankind the freedom of choice leading to the mess man has made of things—is actually a part of His plan!
For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Doug Horchak.