Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tolerance in Christianity

 'Tolerance is not a Christian virtue. 
Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty; these are Christian virtues'

 -Archbishop Charles Caput 

 In the modern age of tolerance, one often hears that the Christian world should be tolerant. That Jesus preached a message of tolerance and love. 

 Jesus did indeed preach a message of love, but tolerance? One must do some digging. 

 First, lets observe his most famous sermon, the sermon on the mount. In this he gives a brilliant outline for how we are to conduct our life here on the earth. Jesus seems to be intolerant of several behaviors. 

 -Laying up Treasures on Earth
 -Judging others

 Now, the tolerant man today seems only to pick up on a couple of these. Social behavior seems to be overlooked and hate, anger and greed seem to be condemned very harshly. Divorce and Lust are forgotten about and judging others becomes the only thing one should be intolerant of. After all, judging someone for getting divorced would clearly by wrong, right? Or a person that has a lustful thought? Those are private and personal matters and none of our business. 

 The speck in the eye is always quoted. Get the speck out of your own eye! Don't worry about other peoples sins, worry about your own! This becomes some blanket justification for other people being allowed to sin and to never question it. 

 However, let us look at the rest of the verse that often goes unquoted. 

 Verse 5  'You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers eye.' 

 Clearly, Jesus never meant for us to be completely silent about the sin of others. Instead, examine ones self, confess your own sin, repent and then with a clear conscience, go to your brother with love. 

 An example of Christ being intolerant comes to us in the story of the woman at the well. In John chapter 4, we see clearly Jesus being intolerant of this woman for having 5 husbands. In the age of the sexual revolution, it's hard to imagine anyone condemning something like that. If Jesus was all loving and preached only a message of love and tolerance, why would he condemn this woman's practise? Why would he "judge" her for this? 

 Only when we except that we are created beings who are sacred in the eyes of God can we begin to understand the true love of Christ's message on ALL it's levels and that true freedom lies in his perfect will. 


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