The Tolerance Of The Intolerable

By Not Known

The age of “You do, because I say so!” is over at home, at work, in school, in the social sphere, and in the political arena as well.  Norms are being questioned and challenged by new waves of assumptions and perspectives. Traditions, both good and bad ones, are continually undergoing shake-ups and reshaping.  While all these may produce some good in revitalising our societies, the age of relativism continues to produce values and practices that are conflicting and confusing.  E.g. sexuality, gender role, bio-ethics.
There are various observable ways that people have responded to these developments: (1) Fight or flight; (2) Compromise or accommodate.  The latter are often hailed and adopted by many so as to protect themselves and to avoid trouble with the former.  Dangerously, some civil societies and political groups driven by their ulterior agendas have taken hostage of the wider communities.  How?  By instilling fears in their minds and stirring up dissatisfactions in their hearts.  The tolerance by the “silent” majority of the intolerable by the “vocal” minority is increasingly a societal pattern, for better or for worse.
Interestingly, the Bible instructs Christian people not to tolerate that which ought not to be tolerated.  “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” (1 John 2:15)  There are various reasons that Christians are called to practise “the intolerance of the intolerable”.  What are the intolerable? Why are we not to tolerate them?
Firstly, do not tolerate worldly values that promote the idolatry of self, rather than the love of God (1 John 2:16).  Materialism (i.e. what I have, can have, or wish to have but cannot have) and meritocracy (i.e. what I have, I can or could have achieved) are ongoing challenges to our devotion and dependence on God.  We need to re-define our self-worth by worshipping Christ aright.
Secondly, do not tolerate worldly beliefs/lies that militate against Christ and the Gospel (1 John 2:22).  These are fundamental and non-negotiable truths on which Christianity stands or falls.  Eternal life is God’s promise based on these truths (2:25).  If we tolerate lies against these truths, then we are digging our own graves and those of many others (1 Cor 15:12-19).
Thirdly, do not tolerate sin and lawlessness that are of the devil (1 John 3:4&8).  Perspectives and practices that justify immorality and promote decadent lifestyle are to be strongly opposed and rejected. Remember that heaven will not tolerate such things (Rev 21:8&27).
Christians will always be the minority voices for God’s truth and righteousness. All the more, let us be loud and clear to the world that we cannot and will not tolerate sin and lawlessness.




Benson Goh