CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

It’s Time To Get Intolerant

Dec 28, 2014

We expect secular humanists and others like them to celebrate the idea of tolerance as the greatest good, but sadly many believers have also hopped on to this foolish bandwagon. It is as if the greatest virtue is now tolerance and the greatest vice is intolerance.

Well, it is time for some straight thinking here. In fact, it’s time to get biblical as well. Just today I read the words of Jesus in which he praised intolerance. Yep, you heard me right. In his words to the Church in Thyatira he praised their ‘faith, service and perseverance,’ but he went on to harshly rebuke them:

“Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2:20). These believers were tolerating something which they should have been very intolerant about.

tolerance 1The truth is, God cannot and will not tolerate anything that is evil, and neither should we. There are plenty of other biblical texts one could appeal to in this regard. Let me mention just a few more. In Habakkuk 1:13 we read this about Yahweh: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.”

A holy and righteous God can have nothing to do with sin and evil. He certainly does not tolerate it. And neither should we embrace anything and everything. Some things we must actually resist. As Paul put it in Romans 12:9: “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

Yes, we are to hate certain things, just as God hates certain things. We are never to tolerate sin, but are to actively oppose it, certainly in our own lives, but in society at large as well. If we do not oppose evil, and remain tolerant of evil, then we are asking for trouble. As Dennis Prager has remarked, “If we continue to teach about tolerance and intolerance instead of good and evil, we will end up with tolerance of evil.”

Biblical Christianity has always been intolerant in the right sense of the word. For example, the story of Christian mission has been one of intolerance: hating evil practices that harm people, and being intolerant of idolatrous and deadly customs and practices. Missionaries in India for example opposed the evil social practice of suttee.

In today’s amoral mindset, such wholesale condemnation of this custom would be seen as “intolerant”. Well, I can tell you that there are plenty of Indian women today who are very grateful indeed for such intolerance. As Mark Steyn has said:

Once upon a time we knew what to do. A British district officer, coming upon a scene of suttee, was told by the locals that in Hindu culture it was the custom to cremate a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre. He replied that in British culture it was the custom to hang chaps who did that sort of thing. There are many great things about India – curry, pyjamas, sitars, software engineers – but suttee was not one of them. What a pity we’re no longer capable of being ‘judgmental’ and ‘discriminating’.

Add to that, ‘intolerant’. And all these qualities go together. We are in fact to judge, to discern, and on many occasions, be intolerant. But all these elements of a healthy and properly functioning society are in short supply nowadays. John Hawkins has just written a piece on our unhealthy and dangerous obsession with tolerance. His concluding paragraphs are worth sharing here:

Tolerance doesn’t have to be a synonym for stupid, but it is for too many people – and the further down the rabbit hole you go, the worse it gets. Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech, had once written a school report about wanting to “repeat Columbine” and was removed from class for being dangerous, but nobody took any action until it was too late. Ismaaiyl Brinsley actually boasted on social media that he intended to kill police officers before he murdered two NYPD officers. Nidal Hassan was openly calling himself a “soldier of Allah” and reaching out to Al-Qaeda before he murdered 13 soldiers at Fort Hood.
Know why nothing was done in any of those cases? Because Americans are obsessed with tolerance. We turn a blind eye to every ignorant, foolish, obnoxious and unhealthy behavior you can imagine all in the name of tolerance.
Americans would rather be falsely smeared as racist, have their religion insulted, have their children’s minds poisoned with garbage and see their country go down the tubes than be thought of as intolerant. We’ve become so tolerant that we’re destroying ourselves. We’ve got people openly siding against our country in wars. We’re defending traitors who publicly release our national security secrets. Protesters are walking down the street with police protection while they chant for dead cops.
How about a little less tolerance and a little more common sense? How about we start being less worried about being “fair” to people behaving badly and a little more worried about those being hurt by those behaving badly? You may have heard someone say, “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” Well, in a time when tolerance has come to mean that you have to embrace lawlessness, encourage cop killers and celebrate degeneracy, then it’s time to accept that tolerance isn’t a suicide pact either.

Yes exactly right. For too long we have been too tolerant – especially of all the wrong things. We are in desperate need of a good, healthy dose of intolerance. It was G. K. Chesterton who once said that “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”

When you don’t give a rip about anything, then you can be as tolerant as you like. But the moment you start to care about something or someone – be it your property, your wife, your children, or your neighbourhood – then you find yourself very quickly becoming intolerant: intolerant of anything or anyone which would harm or endanger that which you love.

My favourite line about “tolerance” is still that of the late great English writer and theological lay person, Dorothy Sayers. She put it this way:

In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.

And sadly, that does not just describe most people in the world today, but plenty of folks sitting in our church pews as well. How many Christians just don’t care about anything but themselves? The apathy, indifference and lack of love among so many Christians brings us right back to the words of Jesus in Rev. 2:20.

Away with all this damnable tolerance. I say, three cheers for intolerance.

www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/736142/posts
townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2014/12/27/how-much-should-we-tolerate-n1936093

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16 Responses to It’s Time To Get Intolerant

  • Thanks Bill. This article is a classic. The truth takes precedence over tolerance. Tolerance is another word for cowardice.

  • My I recommend Michael O’Obrien’s comprehensive article on tolerance, in which he says,

    “How long will it take for our people to understand that when humanist sentiments replace moral absolutes, it is not long before very idealistic people begin to invade human families in the name of the family, and destroy human lives in the name of humanity? This is the idealist’s greatest temptation, the temptation by which nations and cultures so often fall. The wielder of power is deluded into thinking he can remold reality into a less unkind condition. If he succeeds in convincing his people of the delusion and posits for them an enemy of the collective good, then unspeakable evils can be released in society. Those who share a mass-delusion rarely recognize it as such, and can pursue the most heinous acts in a spirit of self-righteousness.

    Previous to this he describes the unreal situation in which we now live, where there are no outward signs of jackbooting totalitarianism, but only something we breath in through the atmosphere. The enemy has taken control of our most inner beings. This is far more terrifying than having to fight a clear flesh and blood enemy because we have no control over it.

    “Somewhere…….. there is a decisive transfer of power and responsibility. When this happens on a massive scale something is seriously amiss. There may not be brown-shirts and jackboots marching in the streets. No public book-burnings. No grotesque executions. In some cases there may even be no visible dictator, only a system or a social philosophy which permeates and controls everything. Indeed, the world may appear to be perfectly normal….”

    http://www.studiobrien.com/the-new-totalitarianism-qhate-crimeq-and-same-sex-qmarriageq/

    David Skinner UK

  • Excellent piece Bill. It was one of the devil’s disciples Herbert Marcuse, onetime lecturer at Brandeis University, who advocated “tolerant intolerance” to silence any challengers of his neo-Marxist/neo-Freudianism. It has worked. But like all hypocrisy it will eventually be exposed for what it is. Just another form of enslavement.

  • Two communities that always “demand” tolerance are two that have also been the most intolerant: homosexuals & Muslims. They confuse tolerance for acceptance, and once that happens, then they proceed onto what they truly want; eradication of all other viewpoints.

  • Thanks, Bill! We have truly underestimated the problems that engulf us. As Paul writes: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

    Some time ago I heard a supposedly true story of a Hungarian man who had been a political prisoner for some 55 years (from 1945 to 2000) in a Soviet prison. When he was released he could hardly walk. In a wheelchair he was wheeled out by doctors who were going to help him regain his health. As he was leaving he asked for something he had not seen for his in the entire time in prison: a mirror. So they soon found a mirror and handed it to him. He took it and gazed at his face intently for a few brief seconds, and then quickly pushed the mirror aside and sobbed bitterly. For the last time the man had seen his face was when he was a young virile strong man of 20, with all the energy of mind that went with this. Now he was a frail old man who could hardly stand up by himself. Seeing himself was too painful. A very sad story. But the point of it when told, was to ask, “What would a real mirror say about you and me. What would it say about our condition in the light of God. Could we really handle seeing ourselves – what we are really like? And what would it say about the condition of our soul?

    No doubt many have of us have slipped into an indifference and apathy and the tolerance you speak of, gradually and sadly we don’t even know it. Even if told – do we care – I mean, really care? If we do it is for a few minutes or an hour or two at the most. Sadder still, by our own lifestyles others watch and do likewise.

    The only answer, as the Bible urges, is letting God have our full and total allegiance. “Repent and believe in Him”, as Christ said.Then He can start doing a work on renewing our minds – His way and according to His good and perfect will. The world would surely experience a change – a renewal, as it has experienced though His followers throughout history.

  • There is tolerance for everything nowadays except for Christianity and Christians.

  • I’m not (fortunately) well informed about the occult but wasn’t it a Satanic precept that ‘ it is forbidden to forbid.’ Seen against that backdrop and the new demand for ‘tolerance’ the Apostle Paul’s reminder that we fight not against worldly notions rather against prinicipalities and powers.

    Interestingly when you confront the tolerance thumpers about their stance that they ‘don’t tolerate intolerance’ the irony and folly of such a line escapes them.

  • Tolerance is an engineering term which used to mean that one made allowances within certain fixed limits. But now tolerance has come to mean relativity. There are no absolute, objective limits against which to judge something, apart from relativity to the collective will. But of course the collective will is manipulated by the political elite who will not tolerate those who still insist on judging something against universal, absolute and objective measurement. The only way the elite can persuade us to embrace absolute freedom and abandon making any kind of judgement, is through through tyranny and the guillotine – figuratively speaking. We have returned to the France of 1789, as the French themselves have discovered.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CZmSyOsLwg&feature=youtu.be

    David Skinner UK

  • David, thanks for vid link. Found it very revealing. In Australia main stream media only gave a passing comment of the French pro-family crowds protesting (most reports said 100-200,000). There was no images showing the disproportion heavy handiness by police against the peaceful protesters.

  • Hi Bill

    Keeping with your theme from the letters to the churches in Revelation – the description used for the church of Laodicean would seem to be perfect for those people who have been caught into the cult of tolerance.

    15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

    Chris

  • Relativism and moral relativism have been the atmosphere for the 2 main attackers of western society and the judeo/christian world to grow and fester – islam and the homosexual movment. You couldn’t get 2 more opposite agendas (on the surface) but they both rely on the relativism of the west being the philosophical bedrock rather than the absolutes of the past established on christian truth. They have seeped through the gaping holes in the bedrock of western society once it’s abandoned God in general. As Aristotle implied – tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society – and i see it clearly in this western world now, through it’s parent – relativism.

  • This morning I read several of your articles, and by the time I got to this one I was literally in tears. The messages that you bring in your writings are the things that The Spirit of God has place within me to give to my small congregation, and oftentimes it’s received with skepticism and rolling eyes. I grew up in a church that laid a solid spiritual foundation for me and as a Pastor of a church I desire to do the same, but attempting to preach and teach truth in our current spiritual environment is quite a challenge. A small time preacher who is bi-vocational going up against many of the teachings that permeate Christian radio and television is not easy. I know that some of my congregants will go home and watch the t.v. preachers and compare what I am teaching to their teaching….it is difficult. But as it pertains to this article dealing with tolerance, I have been preaching intolerance for a long time, because I see how corrosive that it is spiritually. We have become so tolerant of sin until there is sin, open and being paraded around in many churches. Openly gay clergy, Women preachers who are flaunting their body parts, the lack of repentance and the lack of gospel preaching. It’s sad. Thanks for this article. You have my prayers, as I know that your spreading of the truth through this medium will put you in the cross hairs for satanic attack. Keep on keeping on my Brother.

  • Bill, remember that secular humanists only believe in tolerance regarding the things they consider important, valid, right, etc. They believe in total intolerance concerning those things they don’t value, and are totally intolerant when anyone has a view opposite to their own

  • For my money tolerance and intolerance are actually two sides of the same coin.

    Tolerance: I may disagree with you. I may vocally come out against what you do or say. I may lobby against your ideas and plans. But I will tolerate you and your existence.

    Intolerance: All of the above but you’ve pushed me too far and now I’m gonna pound your skull in and throw you in the river.

    My definitions are hyperbole but valid. But the left has convinced the world that any disagreement is intolerance and thus hate speech. These politically correct / tolerance people are pushing their sin upon the world with such ferocity that the coin is going to get flipped one day soon.

    And that is the fault of the “church”. While those steeped in their sin will fight tooth and nail for their “rights” the good folk, Christian and non-Christian give ground a little just to keep the peace and harmony, never realizing that evil never stops pushing ahead. Always it seems that a breaking point has to be reached before evil is finally confronted and attacked.

    How many times do we have to quote Edmund Burke!
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    Today he might have said
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to be tolerant.” Meaning today’s idea of tolerant.

  • Aaron Highe touches on something important in defining “tolerance”, but I feel that it’s also important to note that the very definition of the word “tolerance” seems to have changed.

    He provides the classic definition:
    “Tolerance: I may disagree with you. I may vocally come out against what you do or say. I may lobby against your ideas and plans. But I will tolerate you and your existence.”

    The new definition could be stated as such:
    “Tolerance: I may be permitted to disagree with you. However, I must acknowledge not only that all views are equally valid, but that all views must be equally celebrated.”

    I dare say, could this not be the very definition of evil?

  • A friend shared your done with church article on FB and I totally agree! I am so glad that we are not the only ones seeing a drop in attendance. In truth, we are among the “DONE” ourselves. It is getting harder to sit in a service when you don’t feel the Holy Spirit and most of the services are all about self-serving disguised as Bible Based preaching/teaching. Thank you so much. I am sharing your page with others and will continue to stay on top what is being done and said here.

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