The Danger of Tolerance and Its Cohort | Part One
by Dr. William F. Harrell
*This post was taken from Dr. Harrell’s website and is used by permission
In my first little essay on tolerance and its affect on the church of today, I was dealing primarily with the nature of tolerance as an internal problem for the church. Indeed, it is rotting us away from the inside and stealing our influence as a Godly people in the world. The difference in an earlier day when moral and spiritual purity was seen as a necessity and in the day in which we live when we tolerate just about anything in our midst was the basic topic.
Now, I want to move beyond the internal church problem and address the situation as it confronts us in society beyond the church walls. Tolerance is joined by another frame of mind which goes hand and hand with it as they skip down the halls of moral confusion and destruction. That frame of mind that is so friendly and necessary to tolerance is its cohort: diversity. The fact is that these two things are best friends. Diversity finds its strength is the willingness of one to be tolerant. The modern day church has become so tolerant and diverse that it is losing its ability to define what Godly living is suppose to include. The politically correct frame of mind has jumped the barrier and now not only defines the parameters of proper conduct in politics and social life, but it is also defining the way the church should think and react to things God has already spoken on. And, if she doesn’t conform herself to today’s way of politically correct thinking, she is deemed irrelevant, out of date and just plain old mean.
When God speaks on a subject, He only has to say something once to make it true forever. The reason for this is that He never changes His mind when He makes a declaration on a certain issue. When the church decides to be tolerant and exhibit diversity on something God has already spoken about, then they are saying that they are willing to operate outside the Word of God on an issue. They are comfortable deciding what action should be taken in order to make things fit a human reaction to a Divine statement. The church needs to be extremely careful at this point. No matter how much we may desire to help those locked into sin, we will never do so by adjusting our response to the sin so that we don’t offend those people. Too many denominations and churches today are more concerned with fitting into the politically correct system than they are about offending God. No matter how many denominational governing bodies decide that a compromising position should be taken, they have not changed what God has said on the issue. He is suppose to understand how things have changed and how we have to live in this environment. He should also understand that we give up our ability to converse with and help those caught in certain sins unless we adjust our own thoughts about it and deal with it in a more appropriate and acceptable way. So, the church puts itself into the box of trying to help someone with certain sinful problems but not really accurately identifying the problematic situations. When God’s people reinterpret, explain away and generally ignore God’s decree on a subject in order to get out of the tight spot of dealing with it, then they are casting themselves adrift in a sea of muck. They are adjusting themselves in order to try to be accepted and win but they are sealing their own doom thinking all the time that they are proving themselves to be great leaders.
God spoke definitively about homosexuality. He spoke definitively about adultery and killing and drunkenness and lying along with a multitude of other human proclivities. And now here come the twins of destruction down the road; tolerance and diversity. We learn to be diverse because we become tolerant. And, with human reasoning, diversity can take you anywhere with your eyes wide open thinking all along that you have found a way to co-exist with sin and please God at the same time. Sorry…can’t happen.