Tolerance

“Tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society. When you have an immoral society that has blatantly, proudly, violated all of the commandments of God, there is one last virtue they insist upon: tolerance for their immorality.”

  1. James Kennedy (Evangelist USA)

There are a few words that sum up the sins of our generation. Pride is one; tolerance is another. When did tolerance become a virtue? Why has there been such a loud cry for tolerance from the activists of our day? Why are Christians, particularly, being challenged to be tolerant?

Tolerance is never recommended or encouraged in the whole Bible. It is the hallmark of a morally liberal society that wants to sin with impunity. It is especially in the domain of sexual sins, but applies to all sin.

God does not tolerate those who worship or follow other gods and creeds. “I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals.” Deut.5:9  There is no room for us to tolerate behaviour, worship or teaching which does not have the God of the Bible at its core. This is why morality has become a significant battleground. The God of Christians is holy and without spot or blemish. How can he tolerate sin of any kind?  He clearly says, “I will never tolerate evil.” Psalm 101:3

Starting where it really matters, with ourselves, we must admit that there are times when we tolerate little (or big) sins in our own lives. We excuse it with “that’s just me’, ‘that’s my DNA’, ‘my mother was like that’ or ‘everyone does it at some time’.  This attitude, as we examine ourselves, makes it harder for us to look objectively at the sin of the world around us.

The second priority for us is not to tolerate sin in the church. “Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality.” Rev. 2:20a  Confronting sin in the church is fraught with difficulties. The burden lays heavy on the elders and leaders. But it is the responsibility of all believers to look out for each other. Even if we do this from a perspective of love and care, just as a parent would for their child, we get a niggling feeling that we should not be judging others. But if we have things in the right order we have already examined ourselves. And our intention is not to condemn but to save. “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:20

It is at this point that we can embrace the world around us and in love for them reveal that God does not tolerate wickedness neither in us or them but he is well able to save everyone who comes to Him, to forgive us all and transform us into his likeness. Our mission is to be that lighthouse which burns brighter by the day and penetrates the crevices of darkness around us.

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