Tolerance, Charity, Compassion, Forbearance Part 4

VII. Tolerance may be virtuous or not virtuous. It must be qualified by distinctions of good and evil. A. Consider these wise axioms: 1. “If we continue to teach about tolerance and intolerance instead of good and evil, Tolerance, Charity, Compassion, Forbearance 4-23-23 Page 5 we will end up with tolerance of evil.” (Dennis Prager) 2. “You will be ruled by what you tolerate... If you tolerate corruption, you will be ruled by corruption. If you tolerate perversion, you will eventually be ruled by perversion.” (Artur Pawlowski) 3. “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” (G. K. Chesterton) 4. “Where objective truth is despised, tolerance will become the chief virtue and principled dogmatism the chief vice.” (PWB) B. The church at Ephesus was praised for its intolerance of evil. REV 2:2, 6. 1. Christian discernment requires loving whom and what God loves. Examples: PSA 11:7; 37:28; 87:2; 146:8; JER 9:24. 2. Christian discernment also requires hating whom and what God hates. Examples: PRO 6:16-19; PSA 5:5; 10:3; 11:5; 139:21-22 c/w 2CH 19:2; 1CO 16:22. 3. The churches at Pergamos and Thyatira were reproved for excessive open- mindedness and inclusivity. REV 2:14-16, 20. 4. Corinth wrongly tolerated incest, heresy, carnal strife, etc. 1CO 5:1-2; 3:3; 11:19; 2CO 11:4, 19-20. 5. Churches that are too lax, too open-minded, too tolerant and “seeker-friendly” are likely to end up with the wrong kind of seekers. MAT 12:43. C. When any society perverts the definitions of good and evil (ISA 5:20), it of necessity ends up tolerating evil and not tolerating anyone who objects to the perverse standard. Truth matters, but it will for them be a different “truth.” ISA 59:14-15; 3JO 1:8-11. D. Consider the false motto of tolerance of the neopagan religion of Wicca: “An it harm none, do what ye will.” This is a broad and dangerous liberty. 1. This is similar to the concept of “victimless crimes or indulgences” such as prostitution, self-mutilation, drug usage, etc. The idea is that as long as there is no harm suffered by another, liberty to do it should be assumed. 2. Mind that this would morally justify suicide, assisted suicide, fornication, adultery, bestiality, necrophilia, etc. 3. This also depends on one’s definitions of “harm” and “none.” a. If “none” refers only to humans, what age? b. If the pre-born are not human, then aborting them is not immoral. c. If it is assumed that Kinsey-style experimentation on children is not harmful, then doing so would be acceptable. d. If any person or class of persons are deemed unhuman, then doing harm to them is no real harm and may even serve “the greater good.” e. One may even convince himself that a harm to self against nature is not a harm at all but actually a good thing. f. One may be persuaded that self-harm has no negative effect on anyone else: that putting others at risk who are obliged to render aid to a self-harmer is inconsequential. 4. Against this philosophy is the Biblical truth that: a. life and personhood begin at conception. ISA 7:14 c/w MAT 1:23. b. life is the grant of God and only to be taken according to His rules. GEN 2:7; ACT 17:28; MAT 19:18. c. the body of man is for God’s glory, not for defilement. 1CO 6:9, 18-20. d. children are God’s heritage and to be protected from ungodly force. PSA 127:3 c/w LUK 17:1-2. e. sexual connection is only for husband and wife (male and female). GEN 2:24 c/w 1CO 6:16. Tolerance, Charity, Compassion, Forbearance 4-23-23 Page 6 f. nature, though an imperfect teacher, nevertheless has obvious instruction and warnings which should not be carelessly defied. ROM 1:26-27, 31. g. it is not natural to hate one’s own flesh. EPH 5:29; PRO 11:17; COL 2:23. h. Jesus Christ has ever been harmless (HEB 7:26) and therefore His examples of rebuke, reproof, exposure of evil and error, truth over feelings, physical chastening (JOH 2:15), etc. are not genuine harm to anyone. i. the answer to every trial, turmoil or impulse of humans is Jesus Christ Who is the perfect man, Who knows what is in man and what is best for him, Who provides for life and abundant life and Who is the solution for sinners. EPH 4:13; COL 2:10; HEB 2:18; JOH 10:10; 14:6; 1TI 1:15.

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