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"Tolerance"
By Stew McAuley

You'd have to go all the way back to somewhere around the fifteenth century to find when the word "tolerance" was first used.

Several centuries later, Webster provided a definition as "the ability or capacity to endure pain or hardship" as well as "the act of allowing something."

As time went by, additional definitions were created, like the "capacity of an organism to grow or thrive when subjected to an unfavorable environmental factor."

This eventually tapped into our emotional and social conscience with "a sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own."

"That's nice," you say; "Thanks for the grammar lesson," you joke; "Is there a relevant point?"

Well, yes. What was a simple acknowledgment of differing beliefs has morphed over time to become accepted as truth and without question. That's a problem if it rejects the possibility that there is an objective truth.

We, as believers, are called to show tolerance and empathy for others' beliefs, but not when it compromises Biblical truth. This brings up an interesting challenge:
Should you take a stand on principle at the risk of being intolerant?

Tolerance

Is being tolerant simply the virtue of a person who lacks conviction? The issues we face today go way beyond constitutional freedoms and generational disconnects. 

Yes, believers pray for a return to a Christian worldview in leadership and the foundation that sets this country apart from others. 

However, enlightened progressive bullying will continue as long as we twist our Creator's fundamental truths to fit our own self-importance and short-term self-gratification. 

Ultimately, there are consequences for challenging biblical instruction and the reference points that almighty God declared since the time Adam and Eve tempted fate.

And those who are only tolerant as long as you put no restrictions on their lifestyle or behavior once again miss the reality that they are created beings, and it's only by the grace of God that they live to see another day. 

So, it's not surprising that throughout history, challenging ideologies have attacked and sought to eliminate Christian values; however, the Bible continues to provide answers from the past and why Satan has ramped up the spiritual battle for our souls.

No matter how "cool" you think you are or how "connected" you seem to be, as a believer, you will find the world does not play by your rules and may try to back you down, calling your views intolerant. 

In an increasingly lost and self-serving world, you must know what you believe and how to share it. Responding with a Christian worldview is not necessarily easy and sometimes seems at odds with the prevailing narrative.

Listen, the future will become more combative and hostile before Christ returns, but stick to the assignment that the Holy Spirit has given you. 

God's instruction regarding intolerance is the same today as it was two thousand years ago: love those who get in your face, who bully, who are insensitive to your own opinions, and pray for them. THAT… is the difference. 

We aren't playing by the world's rules. We don't respond with fear and hate; instead, we express the love of Christ.

Many verses in the Apostle Paul's letters reinforce Biblical tolerance and how to love people without accepting a false belief. For the most part, I think we get that. Where we get upside down is tolerance in the modern sense. 

No mandate says all religions lead to God, nor that truth is what you make it. No policy says everyone's beliefs should be accepted as valid.

The world is searching for answers; this is not a time for indecision. Be strong, confident, and available; your next opportunity to share Jesus might be the difference in someone's eternal destination.

It's time to get out there and live your Christian worldview.

Stew McAuley

Web Site URL: https://mbstew5.wixsite.com/3-minute-exposure


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