Against Tolerance…

Those of you who have children online, children who follow blogs — do you know what they are reading? The internet and social networking make it much more difficult to know our children’s “friends” and the people who are influencing their thinking. People “come into” our homes through the internet that we may never “meet”. And just because a blog is written by someone who claims to be a Christian doesn’t guarantee that its content is edifying.

I would like to share a post that our daughter, Susannah, wrote for young ladies on her own blog. In it, she is addressing the promotion of  “tolerance” — in other words, the lack of real commitment to (and belief in) the Truth — that she has seen in some of the blogs that Christian girls are reading (and writing). I think she makes some very good points, both for our daughters and for all the rest of us. There is only one source of Truth, and we should never be embarrassed to share that truth.

So, here’s Susannah! 🙂


Against Tolerance

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” John 14:6

We’ve picked up one of the lies that has warped our world–that there’s a truth for you and a truth for me. Everyone finds their own truth. Jesus Christ for me, and whatever feels right for you. It’s all good, it’s all truth, it’s all the same. The definition of loving our neighbor has come to mean celebrating everything that they believe without question, and it’s considered impolite to disagree with someone else’s beliefs.

Not all tolerance is bad. It’s great for secondary issues like taste in music and favorite superheroes, but not for Jesus Christ.

When did we stop believing Jesus? When did we stop standing up and telling the truth about the one true Hope for the lost world? When did we start apologizing for our God? When did we start admiring lost unbelievers for their rejection of the Savior of our souls?

If we are Christians, then we believe in Christ. If we believe in Christ, we believe that he is the only possible truth. Jesus never says “I am a truth. But there are others, so if you feel led to follow those, go ahead.” We’re in his army, or we’re not–and if we’re not in his army, we’re fighting against him. There is no middle ground.

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance,
and if true, of infinite importance,
the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

– C.S. Lewis

Despite our culture’s smug and peaceful-sounding claims, there is absolute truth, and if we think logically, it’s undeniable.

“If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazi less true,
there must be something—some real morality—for them to be true about.”

– C. S. Lewis

Why is it wrong for someone to murder another person? What if the criminal explained that murdering someone was right for him? The concept of no absolute truth just doesn’t work.

So why? Why are we standing in the face of blasphemous statements like “there are lots of options, and I didn’t choose the one involving Jesus” and responding with “I chose the Jesus option, but you should follow your heart.” This is straight-up denying Christ.

“He who does not hate the false does not love the true;
and he to whom it is all the same whether it be God’s word or man’s,
is himself unrenewed at heart.”

― Charles Spurgeon

We were in Chipotle (♥) the day after I saw the amazingness that is The Avengers, and I clutched my sister as we stood in line. “All these people! They haven’t seen it yet!” I want everyone to see it and experience it and love it and let it blow their minds like it did mine.

This is just the tiniest, barely-comparable beginning of what we should feel like about Jesus. We should look at these people–especially the ones who we have any kind of relationship with!–and think “it’s horrible that they don’t know this glorious thing that is Jesus’ salvation!” Kind of like me posting and raving and clutching people and spazzing about this movie I’m in love with, we should just overflow with the joy that is Jesus. Not only did he rock my world, he saved me from eternal damnation!

How much more important is Jesus than all the other things we spend so much time and energy pursuing/discussing/getting excited about? We might all say “Jesus is number one in my life!” but do we act like it?

And besides, Jesus shouldn’t be “number one”. He should be everything, permeating and ruling and every piece of our lives. How can we shut up about him if he is our everything?

There’s a wrong way to tell people the truth. Just because it’s true doesn’t mean we should beat them over the head with it. But people tend to use “it’s not very loving to judge others” as an argument that we Christians should shut up when we try to talk about Jesus at all.

All of us–the ones who stay quiet and commend others for finding their own truth, and the ones who give the truth in the wrong way–I think we’ve forgotten what love is.

“Yes, a multitude of sins are indeed covered by love,
but that doesn’t mean that they are just ignored or tolerated.
No, love seeks the good of the sinner enough to rescue them
from their sin by confrontation or admonition.
In the Church of Christ, we have a clear unequivocal command
to love others enough to boldly appeal to them to leave their sin.”
Doug Heck

Loving does not mean “live and let live”. A doctor doesn’t find out that someone is sick, and, not wanting to be offensive or make them feel bad, keep it to himself. The doctor tells them the hard truth, in a honest and gentle way, and then shows them what they can do to treat it. There is a cure!

If we truly love others, we want the best for them. When you love someone, you want the best for them. Loving means reaching out, involving them, doing life with them, not just lobbing the truth at them like hand grenades. Loving someone does not mean avoiding confrontation for the sake of “peace”.

“Love is not affectionate feeling,
but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good
as far as it can be obtained.”

– C. S. Lewis

We don’t speak truth to people because we have it all figured out–we want to tell them about the amazing and undeserved grace that Jesus has given. It’s not about us — it’s about him. If we have our heads on straight about this, we won’t make mistakes in our attitude toward people.

We’re all sinners, so when we speak the truth in love to others, it shouldn’t be because they offended us, hurt our feelings, made us look bad. It should be because we can’t hear that twisted thinking from a lost soul, ignore it, and just keep walking. We speak up because we love them.

Let’s do this. Let’s be honest, uncompromising, committed, wildly in love with Jesus Christ. Let’s truly love people by speaking up. Only God can change their hearts, but we’re responsible to give them the truth.

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