#faithbites #faithjourney intolerance
Yesterday in a heated debate, I, along with my friends, was called intolerant. That being tolerant means accepting all beliefs and all opinions. I wanted to dive a bit deeper into what intolerance means and how we, as children of God, should behave?
Intolerance is defined as “unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviors that differ from one’s own.” This definition is pretty clear. What I didn’t know before is that it doesn’t matter what their belief is, if you don’t accept it you are being intolerant. That could apply to anything: religion, sex, politics, child-rearing, anything. So am I intolerant? I would, by that definition, be intolerant of views that I think are disparaging towards people or don’t allow everyone to live equally. I pray for forgiveness daily that I am not living up to the standards of Christ.
We know what the definition says, but what does the Bible say?
Tolerance and intolerance are tricky. The Bible warns us to be ware of false prophets. We are also told that those who don’t bring the teaching of Christ to us, not to let them into our house as we may take part in his wicked works. At the same time, the bible tells us that he who is without sins throws the first stone.
We don’t want to be judgey. We also want to be strong in our beliefs. What Jesus tells us, is that we need to love one another as we would love ourselves. So we are told to love and be kind but also not to accept views that are not Christian and are wicked. This is such a challenge.
I don’t have the answers on how to handle this. When all else fails, I go back to loving God, loving people, and treating them how I would want to be treated.
You can show love and not accept all teachings. You can be tolerant of people and not agree with their beliefs. Just try to love and be loved.
Father God, help your people. We use the word tolerance as we have to accept everything, even if something is wrong. We use the word intolerance to mean we don’t accept someone. It’s such a balancing act to love people as you want us to love especially when they are hard to love. They may believe, act, or profess information that is faculty incorrect, morally repugnant, and spiritually ambiguous. Help us to love that person no matter what. Give us the tools to teach, love, and grow together. Let us stay strong in our beliefs and in your word. In your name, Amen.