Tolerance is such a twisted concept, I truly hate that word, for several reasons. Now, before you get angry and stop reading, I urge you to read on because you may be quite surprised.
First, let’s set the stage. I’m a Christian. I love Jesus. When I share scripture, and the gospel, and who Jesus is to me, why He came, how He loves, and why He died, it’s not because I’m being “intolerant.” That’s the backwards twistedness of it all. Intolerance has been paired and assumed to be synonymous with hatred. But that is NOT at all why I share the gospel. What it boils down to is this. I, just like you, have people in my life that I love dearly. And, I know without a doubt that I have a home, for all eternity in heaven. Eternity is a long time to spend without your loved ones. I want those I love and care about to be in heaven with me. So, I share the gospel. That’s why. It’s not because I’m full of hate and judgment and intolerance. If I hated someone, why on earth would I want them with me in heaven? If I truly hated them, I wouldn’t care if they spent eternity in hell or not, right? If I hated them, I would not share the gospel.
I share the gospel because I care, and I’m being quite selfish actually. Selfish in that I want those I love to also have what I have. A love that surpasses all loves, peace that overcomes all life’s adversities, and a future for all eternity with a Heavenly Father who loves them.
So… for me, tolerance is a very, very sad state. I don’t like being tolerant. Because what that means is that I’m supposed to keep my beliefs to myself, and accept the fact that someone I love will not be in heaven with me. And not only that, this Someone I love will continue through this life not knowing true joy, not knowing happiness and fulfillment that is beyond words, not knowing what it feels like to never be afraid of your future. To come to that resolve, and BE tolerant, well, it’s very sad and painful actually. I’ve cried over many of these Someones. Grieved actually.
Secondly, is that I don’t understand where the line of tolerance should be, and I don’t think most others understand it either. Those who say “tolerate other’s beliefs” would probably NOT do so when another person’s beliefs make it ok to “marry” and rape a 4 year old, or murder someone… They would scream that it’s wrong, yet, when you start speaking of ALL sin in general (including the above rape and murder) and Jesus, and the cross, and forgiveness, and salvation, it’s met with “you need to be tolerant.” So, basically it’s ok to discuss the wrongness of sin (rape, murder and more,) even going so far as passing judgment and a prison sentence, as long as I don’t bring up Jesus? It’s ok to condemn some sins and put people in jail for them, but not offer them the solution in Christ? That’s not tolerance, that’s just being anti-Christ and– shocker–intolerant.
Third, there’s also the First Amendment– Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
You might say at this… “Come on Susie, we’re not talking about changing laws here.” And you’re right. I’m not trying to change any laws either, but what I am doing is exercising my rights. And, I have the right to my rights, right?
In the SAME amendment we are to allow free exercise of religion AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH. I’m exercising my right to practice MY RELIGION which teaches us to share the gospel and salvation, and this includes the process of speaking to a person. I’m not being intolerant. I’m just exercising my First Amendment rights on a person that I love and care about because I want for them the best life now, and for eternity.
He gave us free will, He gave us choice. We can reject, or accept, and our lives now, and forever will depend on that choice. If you’re curious on how to get to heaven, write me.