Tolerance Is a Two-Way Street

By Dale V. Nobbman


Tolerance! What a nice, sweet sounding word. It also happens to be a favorite buzz word of today’s news media, entertainment industry, left leaning politicians, gay activists, and other liberal people and organizations—as a means to advance their favorite buzz term: “political correctness” upon our American society and culture (which is already suffering from a compounding case of moral decay). 

Those same people say we must all be tolerant of others. This is a favorite buzz phrase promoted by all those listed above, and is primarily directed at people of good moral character, especially Christians, who believe in putting into practice the biblical principles found in the Bible, the Word of God, which is God’s instruction manual for us on how to live a Christian life pleasing to God Almighty and His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Yes, tolerance is a good thing and we should all practice tolerance and try to live in peace with others whose beliefs differ from our own.  However, for Christians, we can only be tolerant of others beliefs and actions to the point where they do not compromise Christian doctrinal principles found in the Bible.

If practicing tolerance reaches the point where it threatens to counter what is morally right in the sight of God, according to His Truth found in His Word as recorded in the Holy Bible, then a Christian must draw the line and take a stand to defend Christian principles. Christians dare not compromise the Word of God, for it is eternally better for Christians to be divided from non-Christians by truth, rather than united with them in error, because being politically correct is biblically wrong. 

I looked up the word “tolerance” in an online dictionary and the following is what I found to be a description of tolerance when used in the context of personal interaction with other people.

1.  The state or quality of being tolerant.

2.  The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.

3.  A fair and permissive attitude toward those whose race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own.

4.  A fair and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.

5.  A disposition to allow freedom of choice and behavior.

6.  Willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others.

7.  Broad-mindedness.  An inclination to tolerate or overlook opposing or shocking opinions or behavior. 

After reading and comprehending the above definitions of tolerance, it can only be concluded by reasonable people that tolerance needs to be treated as a two-way street.  Therefore, the same people, such as openly gay people, who are always demanding others to be tolerant of their beliefs and actions, need to reciprocate and practice tolerance towards the beliefs and actions of other people, such as Christians. 

“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).

If a bakery owner in Colorado declines to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, based on his firmly held Christian beliefs, then the gay couple should be tolerant of the small business owner’s beliefs and simply find someone else willing to make their cake, without stirring up trouble by turning a minor impasse into a national discrimination case.

Unfortunately though, homosexuals have a long history and reputation of causing trouble dating all the way back to biblical times, so I guess we should not be surprised by their actions today in not treating tolerance as a two-way street, with tolerance needing to be extended both ways by two opposing individuals or groups.  

“Homosexuals corrupt the Word of God by changing His truth to a lie” (Romans 1:25). 

“Homosexuals are filled with all unrighteousness…wickedness… and maliciousness” (Romans 1:29).

“Homosexuals are haters of God…proud…boasters…inventors of evil things…unmerciful…implacable…and without understanding” (Romans 1:30).

Recently, a professional basketball player became a media darling by announcing he is gay. The same player also said he is a Christian, because he appreciates the tolerant teachings of Jesus Christ in the Bible. This statement seemed a little strange to me, because I did not recall Jesus teaching anything about “tolerance” in the Bible, let alone unlimited tolerance of sinful sexual behavior, but just in case I had overlooked Scripture passages regarding tolerance, I turned to my Bible in order to double check myself.

I opened my 2,000 page New American Standard Translation Ryrie Study Bible and I couldn’t find the word “tolerance” anywhere in my Bible.  The closest similar word was “forbearance” found in Ephesians 4:2. However that verse speaks about how people living “godly” lives should exhibit forbearance with one another to keep the spirit of unity of through the bond of peace.  Therefore, the intended meaning of this verse does not call for Christians to extend unlimited tolerance toward gay people wanting to be legally married, because gay couples are not living godly lives, but rather are pursuing a lifestyle that is contrary to the Word of God. 

I still wanted to give the word tolerance a fair chance in being a biblical word, so next I turned to my 1,000 page Bible Concordance, which includes the Hebrew and Greek “original” meanings of our English words, but the word “tolerance” was still nowhere to be found as a word used in any biblical text.

So, based on the above findings, just how did this gay basketball player find Jesus teaching about tolerance in the Bible, when the word was never used or quoted by Jesus in neither, the Old or New Testament Bible Scripture? 

Perhaps the gay athlete was confused by the fact that Jesus does teach us to love one another, to be compassionate with one another, and to forgive each other. 

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

But in doing so, Jesus never instructs or expects us to be tolerant of compromising God’s Truth found in the Word of God.  The Bible actually instructs Christians to take a stand against evil.

“Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will be standing firm” (Ephesians 6:13).

Christians indeed have a personal responsibility to actively defend biblical truth from being distorted by those attempting to call ‘good bad and bad good.’

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter”  (Isaiah 5:20).

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on solid rock” (Matthew 7:24). 

For as the hymn says, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

I would remind all gay people who try to defend their sinful sexual lifestyle that whenever Jesus interacted with sinners, which he did quite often, he did not condone their sin— but he exhorted them to “go and sin no more.” 

The problem today is that gays and all other people who practice immoral sexual behavior seem to have no desire to confess their sins and ask God to forgive them, but rather they desire to continue wallowing in their ever-increasing-frequency of sexual sins, and actually love to flaunt their sin in the media and courts in an attempt to gain societal popularity and legal approval of their sinful behavior.

Jesus said to the adulterous woman, “Go and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11).

I’m really not surprised that the liberal crowd would latch onto the word “tolerance,” not found in the Bible—as their poster word—as a means of distorting biblical truth and attacking Christian principles. The reason I’m not surprised is because today there seems to be an awful lot of distorting of the truth as found in the Bible. But Christians are not blindsided by this fact because the Bible has warned us about an increasing amount of false teachers and teachings—as well as apostasy in these last days before the Rapture is to take place, and then the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation.

My prayer today is for the natural man.  The term “natural man” refers to all people including homosexuals, who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and do not have the mind of Christ in them through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Without the mind of Christ, spiritual matters make no sense to the natural man.

“The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit”  (1 Corinthians 2:14).

I pray many people will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior today, so they too will understand God‘s Truth recorded for us in the Bible!