THE CASE AGAINST TOLERANCE
by Galen Gregg
Tolerance: The capacity for respecting the opinions and behavior of others; allowing for deviation from a specified value.
Our society has attempted to force upon the intellectual processes of its people the idea that tolerance is a virtue to be desired and esteemed above all others. This message of tolerance has attempted to paint anyone who disagrees with a varied lifestyle or opinion as a knee-jerk, right wing, fascist reactionary who has a low IQ and needs therapy. Unfortunately, this train of thought has been blindly accepted, without scrutiny, by most of the populace. It has become popular to use phrases such as “I accept you as you are” and “You do it your way, I’ll do it mine and that’s all right.” This kind of statement implies that there is no absolute, that anything goes.
As with all “spirits of the world” and “worldly trends” the force of tolerance thought has its effect upon the church. There exists a school of thought, in the church, that condemns any amount of disagreement as intolerance. I am concerned that children of God who have strong convictions are being intimidated by this tolerance doctrine.
The favorite message of the tolerance doctrine is unity. It is often implied that anything which destroys unity is bad. Allow me to point out that unity is not something that can be achieved in and of itself. Unity must be the result of some common ground or belief which can and will bind two or more people together. If there is no common ground there can be no unity. As an example, the carnal mind is enmity against God. There can be no unity between God and the carnal as there is no common ground.
I have acquaintances who smoke, drink, cheat, and lie, I am friendly to them, talk with them, and sometimes do business with them, but I do not tolerate their lifestyle and I am not in unity with them. I believe that this is correct and right. I have friends who believe in the Trinity, baptize in the titles, and watch television. I am friendly to them, talk with them, and sometimes do business with them, but I have no toleration for their doctrine and have no unity with them. I believe this is correct and right.
Tolerance is necessary to some degree. I do not believe that a person should be bigoted or closeminded. I believe that a man should be willing to listen and communicate, but I do not believe he should be a catch-all, believe-all, accept-all garbage can for every wind of doctrine that blows its ungodly garbage in his direction.
An attitude of tolerance is suspect in that it allows for deviation from a specified value. I cannot, I will not, tolerate a doctrine of Balaam that marries the church to every worldly fashion and entertainment that is placed before our society, it is a deviation from God’s specified value. Eternity is too long, life too short, and my soul and family too precious for me to afford myself the “virtue” of tolerance.
Noah did not tolerate sin and preached righteousness to his generation. Was he wrong? John the Baptist pointed his finger in the face of the king and told him he wasn’t right. He did not tolerate wrong. Did he have a bad spirit? Elijah literally killed those who preached false doctrine. Was he just having a temper problem? Did he have emotions that needed healing?
Let us not be mean, unkind, or unloving. Let us not be vindictive, hateful, or malicious. I do not advocate a spirit or attitude of hatred, but let us hear men who will stand for the right. Let us hear men who will stand for their convictions with fire in their belly. Let us hear men who will preach against sin and false doctrine.
If that is intolerant, let it be.
Tolerance is the last remaining virtue of a man with no convictions and due to its inherent qualities becomes suspect.