Tolerance: A dangerous word
Tolerance is a dangerous word. It is dangerous because it says that everybody should accept others’ beliefs and not say they are wrong. Let me illustrate. Four people get together and discuss the shape of the world. One says the world is flat; another that it is rectangular; another that is like a triangle; and the fourth who says it is round. The four have a discussion and the first three say “it is okay if you believe something different, just as long as you don’t tell me I am wrong”. The fourth person says the evidence shows that the world is round and can’t be any other shape. The first three get on the fourth because he/she is not tolerant to their beliefs.
You might say, “Well of course the other three are wrong. That is something that can be proved.” There is also empirical evidence that can be used to validate religious belief. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul makes a terrific argument for the legitimacy of the resurrection. One of his points is how many different people saw the resurrected Jesus. Doing the math, we come up with over 514 witnesses. In any court that is a number that cannot be refuted.
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the only way. It doesn’t mean there isn’t truth in other faiths, but Christianity says that the only way to God the Father is through Jesus.
Our faith teaches us to be evangelistic. This means we are to try and influence non Christians to become believers in our Savior. Why do we do this? We do this because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; not a way, but the way. So to say it is okay to believe something different is in effect saying that not believing in Jesus is just fine. That negates the need to evangelize others. Clearly something the Bible doesn’t accept.
The way we share our faith and respond to others is also very important. We should have respect and speak in love and really listen to others. But at the end of the day we should want to influence others to believe in our God. Respect definitely; tolerance definitely not.