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Tolerance, Acceptance and the Inclusive Compulsion

May 21, 2014

Our postmodern world has elevated and redefined Tolerance to the level now more closely resembling Acceptance. In addition to “bedroom” preferences, the liberal elite expect all members of civilized societies today to “Tolerate” (Accept) all kinds of family structures, gender identities, even the public use of “mild” drugs like marijuana.

We are encouraged to “Tolerate” (Accept) all religions and/or the complete rejection of religion, no matter the nature of their teaching and effects on society, irrespective of their historical underpinning or lack thereof. No judgments or debates of any kind are allowed on these categories of thought and behavior, and the legal protections for them have been expanded far beyond God’s created differentiations of people (race, color, gender) to include an enormous spectrum of human choice and deviation.

It seems that collectively our society has developed an “Inclusive Compulsion” driving us to redefine our social norms to make our “tent large enough” to hold every behavior imaginable.

As appealing as Inclusivity may seem, it is not a goal sufficient to undermine the foundations of society itself!

In generations past, collectively our society frowned on sinful behaviors and life decisions, creating a linkage between individual choices and natural consequences in the lives of those who made them. These judgments were a part of the fabric of life, particularly within families and in smaller communities.

It is no surprise that as this linkage has been systematically destroyed, we have seen an extreme decline in the stability of our families and our society. Sinners today of all flavors know that anyone who treats them differently because of their sin will be guilted and cajoled, and be made themselves into “the one with the problem”, and the sinner consoled as a victim.

There is a place for Tolerance in our world, but we should be restoring it to its appropriate boundaries…

Past evils do justify some rules for Tolerance among the human diversity created by God

No one wants to see a return of any social system which reduces or removes the rights of members of a group singled out for mistreatment or abuse (e.g. the slave trade, the Nazi program against Jews). Although I would like to hope no such system could ever arise again, history is instructive that legal protections to keep our society from even leaning in that direction are prudent.

If we were not sinners, we might contemplate a society in which everyone would treat everyone else with complete fairness; sadly that is a hypothetical we will never experience. Here as in other areas, I believe we do need the state to impose appropriate lines of justice to keep our sinful temptations in check…

We SHOULD protect from discrimination membership in a group created as human diversity by God, but NOT sinful choices which go against the Word of God and the order of His creation.

Biblical passages are sometimes used to push for expanded Tolerance

Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone… — John 8:7b

Have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. — 1 Peter 3:8-9

…and perhaps the most-referenced verse of all in support of Tolerance:

Judge not, that you be not judged. — Matthew 7:1

This verse is often lifted out of its context by those who want to show it as a prohibition on judgments of any kind. In its full context we see that Christ is cautioning against judging with a double-standard, not prohibiting judgments altogether:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? — Matthew 7:1-3

Christians are also called to be a light to the world seeking His righteousness

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world… — Phil.2:14-15

We are not called to tolerate/accept every belief and behavior that man may contemplate, but to be lights to the world. In fact, showing people their own sin in the light of God’s law is the way Christ showed people their need for a Savior.

Being a light in the world means exposing darkness

Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — Eph 5:7-8

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. — 2 John 10-11

As Christians we need to stand against the tide of culture and realize that to “Tolerate” (Accept) sin is equivalent to leaving others in the darkness with no warning that they are standing against God and risking their own souls. This is the completion of the circle: from the verses above about standing against evil, to the commands cited earlier to love and bless others and to judge them fairly. We obey these commands from God only when we refuse to Tolerate sin as “acceptable”, but instead call sinners to repentance in Christ.

This should be done in love and gentleness, humbly in realization that we would still be enslaved by sin ourselves, were it not for the undeserved gift of God’s grace. For those of us who have been saved, how can we not obey His commands, and thereby stand against the Inclusive Compulsion which is inflating Tolerance to Acceptance in the world today? How can we not tell the world the truth that there is only one way…?

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. — John 14:6

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From → Bible, Politics

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