Godly Tolerance and Intolerance / Ungodly Tolerance and Intolerance

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“The views among the pagan ‘prohibiting’ the exercise of a certain kind of religion. According to the prevailing views, no mode of religion could be tolerated which would maintain that “all” the gods that were worshipped were false. Religion was supposed to be identified with the best interests of the state, and was recognized by the laws, and protected by the laws. To deny the claim, therefore, of any and of all the gods that were worshipped; to maintain that all were false alike; to call on men to forsake their idols, and to embrace a new religion – all this was regarded as an attack on the state. This was the attitude which Christianity assumed toward the religions of the Roman empire, and it was this which led to the fiery persecutions which prevailed there. While Rome could consistently tolerate any form of idolatry that would recognize the religion established by the state, it could not tolerate a system which maintained that “all” idolatry was wrong. It would allow another god to be placed in the Pantheon, but it could not recognize a system which woud remove every god from that temple. Christianity, then, made war on the system of idolatry that prevailed in the Roman empire in two respects: in proclaiming a “purer” religion, denouncing all the corruptions which idolatry had engendered, and which it countenanced; and in denying altogether that the gods which were worshipped were true gods – thus arraying itself against the laws, the priesthood, the venerable institutions, and all the passions and prejudices of the people. (Emphasis added)

– Albert Barnes

 

Revelation 2:2 “I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can’t tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false.

Revelation 2:20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate your woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

 

“Post-modernism’s veneration of tolerance is its most obvious feature. But the version of ‘tolerance‘ peddled by post-modernists is actually a twisted and dangerous corruption of true virtue. Incidentally, tolerance is never mentioned in the Bible as a virtue, except in the sense of patience, forbearance, and longsuffering (cf. Ephesians 4:2) In fact, the contemporary notion of tolerance is a pathetically feeble concept compared to the love Scripture commands Christians to show even to their enemies. Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you’ (Luke 6:27-28; cf. vv. 29-36). When our grandparents spoke of tolerance as a virtue, they had something like that in mind. The word used to mean respecting people and treating them kindly even when we believe they are wrong. But the post-modern notion of tolerance means we must never regard anyone else’s opinions as ‘wrong.’ Biblical tolerance is for people; post-modern tolerance is for ideas. Accepting every belief as equally valid is hardly a real virtue, but it is about the kind of only “virtue” post-modernism knows anything about… Predictably, the beatification of post-modern tolerance has had a disastrous effect on real virtue in our society. In this age of tolerance, what was once forbidden is now encouraged…One major exception to that rule stands out starkly: it is OK for post-modernists to be intolerant of those who claim they know the truth — particularly biblical Christians.” (Emphasis added)

– John MacArthur

 

“A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads ‘Thou shalt not disagree;’ and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins ‘Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything.’ It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences. The blessing of God is promised to the peacemaker, but the religious negotiator has better watch his step. Darkness and light can never be brought together by talk. Some things are not negotiable.” (Emphasis added)

– A. W. Tozer

 

“We should no more tolerate false doctrine that we would tolerate sin.” (Emphasis added)

– J. C. Ryle

 

“New Evangelicalism is characterized by a repudiation of separation, by a love for positivism and by a repudiation of the more negative aspects of biblical Christianity, by a judge-not philosophy, by a dislike of doctrinal controversy, by exalting love and unity above doctrine, by a desire for intellectual respectability, by pride of scholarship, by an attitude of anti-fundamentalism, by the division of biblical truth into categories of important and not important, by a general mood of softness and tolerance, of a desire for a less strict Christianity, and of a weariness with theological fighting” (Emphasis added)

– David Cloud

 

“But this is the position of the people of God—the Bible is the most intolerant book in all the world and the most intolerant teacher that ever addressed Himself to an audience was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Now Jesus Christ demonstrated the vast difference between being charitable and being tolerant. Christ was so charitable that in His great heart, He was willing to weep over sinners; He took in all the people of the world and was willing to die for those who hated Him.

But even with that kind of love and charity, Jesus was so intolerant that He taught, ‘If you are not on my side, then you are against me; if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.’ He did not leave any middle ground to accommodate the neutral folks who preach tolerance. Christ leaves no middle ground, no place in between.

Tolerance easily becomes a matter of cowardice if spiritual principles are involved and if the Bible is ignored. Suppose we take the position of tolerance and compromise on the issue of salvation. ‘Everyone come to Christ and be saved, if you want to; but if you do not want to be saved, maybe there is some other way that we can find for you. We want you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ if you will, but if you do not want to, then we will try to find a possibility that God will have some other way for you.’

So tolerance is a spreading disease that is eating away at the absolutes of divine revelation and the unchanging truths of the Bible. But tolerance must not be tolerated by the true Christian, even when it costs them misunderstanding or alienation from friends, family, and this world.” (Emphasis Added)

– A. W. Tozer

 

“Some … are so timid that when truth is revealed they find it difficult to accept and wind up tolerating error or ignorance for fear of offending someone.” (Emphasis added)

– Evangelist Chuck Cofty

 

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

I reckon besides just fear, many of those who tolerate false doctrine are people who have lack of biblical concern, being in a state of indifference or apathy and even leniency. Those who have tolerance towards false or unsound doctrine, really have a lack of or no biblical convictions.

Yet even worse than just toleration, we see those unifying with those preaching and promoting unsound doctrine all around us today.

Rather than tolerating and unifying with sin and error, we should separate from it! Those that are promoting errors of false doctrine, we should mark them and avoid them and not receive them in our homes, nor bid them God speed.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

2 John 1:9-11 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 

“I am convinced that a committed Christian will show a zealous concern for the cause of Christ. He or she will live daily with a set of spiritual convictions taken from the Bible. He or she will be one of the toughest to move—along with a God-given humility—in his or her stand for Christ. Why, then, have Christian ministers so largely departed from exhortations to love righteousness with a great, overwhelming love, and to hate iniquity with a deep, compelling revulsion?

People remark how favored the church is in this country. It does not have to face persecution and rejection. If the truth were known, our freedom from persecution is because we have taken the easy, the popular way. If we would love righteousness until it became an overpowering passion, if we would renounce everything that is evil, our day of popularity and pleasantness would quickly end. The world would soon turn on us.

We are too nice! We are too tolerant! We are too anxious to be popular! We are too quick to make excuses for sin in its many forms! If I could stir Christians around me to love God and hate sin, even to the point of being a bit of a nuisance, I would rejoice. If some Christian were to call me for counsel saying he or she is being persecuted for Jesus’ sake, I would say with feeling, ‘Thank God!'” (Emphasis added)

– A. W. TOZER

 

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

 

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