What are the limits of tolerance for a Christian?


What are the limits of tolerance for a Christian?

What are the limts of tolerance for Christians?

What are the limits of tolerance for a Christian?

In today’s society one of the abusive words describing Christians is intolerance . Today people assume that tolerance means “to accept all views as true.” Christians, who do not accept all views as true, are accused of intolerance. Tolerance is often confused with a relativistic refusal to criticize another point of view or to make a value judgment. However, from a historical and logical point of view, tolerance is a strong disagreement and even disapproval. There are many points of view that we might tolerate, but that we think they are obviously wrong or harmful to people.

For example, I can tolerate a smoker who understands that it is his conscious choice to smoke, but who at the same time protects his fellows from the effects of passive smoking by smoking only in special places. On the other hand, I can not tolerate a smoker who, knowing about the same adverse effects on others, intentionally smokes at the wheel of a public transport or near a playground for children.

Another example would be when the intimate life of different groups of people is publicly presented as a norm and, moreover, forced into an educational system. A Christian will tolerate / accept the personal choice of the man in question even if he disagrees with it, will pray for that person, and try to have a constructive dialogue with the hope of a change of attitude. But a Christian will not tolerate when immorality is presented as a virtue, is promoted in the media as a new trend or, worse, is presented as a norm in the educational system.

“ In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Tolerance is also sometimes confused with respect, but the two attitudes are distinct. I could respect a political rebel, even if I do not tolerate his behavior and I can also tolerate people I do not respect at all. Even if we live in a society with different values, opinions and beliefs, the culture of our countries is constantly changing and people’s values change with it.

For Christians, moral and spiritual values are defined by the Holy Scriptures. Unfortunately, the moral and spiritual values of the Christian world have been negatively influenced by secular relativism. In the name of tolerance, Christians have come to compromise the moral and spiritual values that they must live and promote in life.

”Walk as children of light trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5: 9-17)(NASB)

Tolerance is something that intimidates us. The secularism and pluralism in our cultures took what is most sacred in our lives and, with the help of the law, transported into the world’s public life. Everything related to sensation, feeling, and shame is being removed from cultures more and more. But there doesn’t exist a culture without shame. Thus, secularism strikes strongly at Christians, destroying their social and moral life.These forces tell us ”You can believe anything, as long as you do not offend anyone.  If we express our opinion, we become handcuffed and slaves to those who impose their opinions on the rest of the society.

Tolerance gives us the idea that we have a choice, but in our reality it is not. Tolerance in our society is dictated by certain groups that tell us what we have to tolerate and how we have to tolerate and when we have to tolerate.

Tolerance, for Christians, must be based on the character of God, His role as Creator and the redemption of God provides in Jesus Christ. They all bear the image of God. For Christians this image is uniquely developed through the new creation of Jesus Christ. The gift of inner freedom before God must be completed by external liberties that increase the potential of others before God. On the other hand, Christians should not compromise the clear truths of Scripture in the desire to accept or include any kind of behavior contrary to moral and spiritual values.

Translated by Elizaveta Bîrlădeanu