The most highly valued virtues in our culture were once honesty, bravery, hard work, and compassion. Today the most highly valued virtue is ‘tolerance.’ If you doubt this, ask your child what they believe is the most important teaching of Jesus. I was shocked a few years ago when the response of my son was, “Do not judge others”.
Only God can accurately judge a person’s heart and we are commanded to forgive others but… we are also told to hold each other accountable. How can we hold each other accountable without judging actions against some absolute standard? Even when Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery his parting words were, “Go and sin no more.”
A prime example of the removal of any absolute standard for moral judgement is the acceptance of homosexuality. The Bible clearly teaches that men and women were created separately for the purpose of forming a permanent union in order to complete each other. The Bible also clearly and repeatedly states that homosexuality is a sinful perversion of God’s creation. However, in recent years, both the authority of the Bible and the acknowledgement of creation has been rejected by our society. Therefore, upon what basis can anyone argue that there is anything wrong with homosexuality? Once a source of absolute truth outside of ourselves (such as the Bible) is rejected, there is no logical basis upon which to condemn any activity as immoral. In other words, unless you are willing to defend the Bible as absolute truth (and there is plenty of good objective evidence upon which to do so), you have already lost the battle. You are merely stating your opinion as to what is morally acceptable. Why should your opinion be more valid than someone else’s opinion?
As soon as we stop reasoning from a foundation which acknowledges an absolute source of right and wrong (and our entire legal system was founded on this principle), it is only a matter of time before we are forced to accept whatever norm society decides is acceptable. Because we are no longer basing right and wrong on the absolute truth of the Bible, it will not be long before every organization from the Boy Scouts to churches are forced to accept homosexuals as leaders. After all, how dare such organizations be allowed to be intolerant.
Part of the problem is that the working definition of tolerance has been distorted. No longer are beliefs to be judged in terms of right or wrong, true or false. Today the world insists that all opinions are to be respected as equally valid. Unfortunately the rule holds true only insofar as the world’s beliefs are concerned. Take for instance the stance on evolution. Evolutionists insist that their view of how things came about is the ONLY correct answer but they do not consider themselves ‘intolerant.’ However, any Christian who insists that their view of origins is the correct are labeled as intolerant. Biblical tolerance is acknowledging the dignity of all people because they have been created in the image of God. Biblical tolerance is not persecuting another person just because they are wrong in beliefs or actions. But this does not mean that there will not be consequences to their actions. True love, compassion, and tolerance confronts someone who is destroying their lives with sin and helps teach the truth to someone who is basing their beliefs on a lie.
If you doubt that the definition of tolerance has shifted, try telling your co-workers that homosexuality is a sin, abortion is the execution of an innocent human being, or creation is the best explanation for our origin. You will be labeled intolerant so fast it will make your head spin. It doesn’t matter that this is clearly what the Word of God states. It doesn’t matter that the scientific evidence supports that homosexuality is an unhealthy life-style, abortion is the killing of another human being, and creation is the best explanation for our existence. Since opinions must all be given equal validity in the name of tolerance, stating that someone else’s opinion is wrong makes you intolerant. This is the unstoppable result of rejecting the Bible as an absolute source of truth.