The dangers of intolerance
As we continue the ‘Seven Dangers’ series, the dangers of intolerance is what our spotlight settles on currently. We have covered five other dangers namely, the dangers of idleness, unforgiveness, idolatry, ignorance, and that of ingratitude. As stated in the first of the series, indulging in one may lead a believer into the other as most of them are inter-twined, and they act as stumbling blocks in the lives of believers because much attention is not paid to them.
Intolerance could be defined simply as the unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviours that differ from one’s own. In other words it is the refusal to tolerate or respect opinions or beliefs contrary to one’s own.
Intolerance is the direct opposite of tolerance. Tolerance is never mentioned in the Bible as a virtue, except in the sense of patience, forbearance, and longsuffering (Ephesians 4:2). When we speak of tolerance, what comes to mind these days is quite different from what the bible instructs. In the scripture what tolerance means is respecting people (including their ideologies and behaviours) and treating them kindly even when we believe they are wrong (Luke 6:27-36). We are instructed to show kindness and mercy because these traits are Godly and they glorify the name of our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16); but it is funny to note that the world encourages people to tolerate all sorts of behaviours and ideologies except biblical truth. Don’t you just wonder why authentic Christian doctrines are ferociously attacked or played down? People just do not want to hear the gospel truth.
There is so much wickedness and malice in the world today that people show little mercy or toleration of the wrongs done them by others; yet these same people expect leniency when they err. We are living in dangerous times and we are strongly encouraged through scriptures to make the best use of time and understand what the will of God is concerning us (Eph. 5:15-17). The attitude of being intolerant did not just come up at once, it gradually snuck up on believers through increased interactions with the world at the expense of the word. Christians began to react to situations like non-believers and instead of considering what the will of God was concerning an issue, they just simply took the position that best suited them or the people surrounding them. Slowly and steadily, instead of exhibiting kindness, Christians began to show wickedness; and instead of compassion, they exhibited malice; the list is endless.
One of the most amazing twists of this age is the deception that we all must be tolerant of each other’s beliefs, ideologies and behaviours. This deception has brought us to where we now find ourselves; a situation where the church is being forced to act against the tenets of God and please humanity, all in the name of tolerance. Christians are being forced to condone homosexuality, corruption, divorce, Abortion, infidelity and other ugly acts because we found ourselves yoked together with unbelievers. We must tread with utmost caution if we must defeat this terrible trend.
This is my parting shot, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”- Gal. 6:7-10