Why are we so intolerant?

Intolerances: "unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one's own."

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A baby isn’t born with hatred, intolerance, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia and prejudice, sadly they are often taught these things by the ones who love them — their parents. 

As a society we live in a world full of intolerances. Whilst not everyone is intolerant, we are seeing a growing number across the world thanks to politicians playing on the fears of the community and winding up the population. Extreme nationalism has recently been seen in the United Kingdom following the referendum to leave the EU — with a 50% increase in reported hate crimes.  There are reports of schoolchildren terrified of being deported. “Polish vermin” and “send them home” seem to be becoming something that immigrants and non-whites have to once again have to endure.

There are those who do not like people from countries that are different to our own, who have cultures and a way of life that seems alien to us. Muslim women who dress more traditionally are being targeted on the streets and in buses and some believe all Muslims should all be "profiled" because of the behaviour of only a few. 

Instead of learning and sharing different cultures we avoid people who are different to ourselves. 

Sadly the west has a long and tragic history of colour segregation because whites (including many Christians) believed for far too long that they were superior to black—it resulted in numerous deaths that never needed to happen. Sadly white supremacy is still going strong in many societies around the world. 

We are afraid of those of different faiths and as a result, millions of people have been persecute for their religious beliefs and some have been willing to go to war over religion. Hitler killed 6 millions Jews but tragically genocide continues to happen around the world, most recently by ISIS.  

We think it is ok to called homosexuals names that are derogatory and hurtful because of their sexual orientation. Throughout history many homosexuals have been murdered because the community thought it was ok. It isn't. Many parents disown their children when they "come out" which is tragic and so sad. It isn't ok to treat anyone like this. 

We belittle women who stay at home and we treat women who work in a way that is not acceptable. We think we have the right answers so its ok to say things to others who do it differently, even if we don't stop to hear their stories. 

Children at school are bullied because they are different, intolerance starts young. 

Only recently we witnessed another gun massacre in the USA resulting in the deaths of 49 innocent people but sadly too many are more concerned about right to keep their guns that saving lives. 

Husbands killing their wives because they believe they are superior and their wives should be punished for their behaviour—it is only recently have we seen a movement to put a stop to domestic violence, however with two deaths a week in Australia, we still have a long way to go.

Politicians have become experts at dividing the nation with “them and us”, playing on the fears of the community and whipping up a frenzy of hate. It doesn't matters if they are not talking the truth, all that matters is that they win — and in the process, creating fear and uncertainty and INTOLERANCE.  What is worse — the politicians that lie or that we are sucked in to these lies. 

Thanks to our intolerance we are seeing an increase in right wing groups spreading hate in the community. We are more concerned about driving out Muslims than understanding them.  In Sweden the extremist anti-migrant Swedish Democrats are making the political movements. In Austria, the extreme right came within a whisker of winning the nation’s presidency and in Australia several very right-wing candidates have successfully would senate positions. 

Where is our Christian charity?

One Muslim doing something terrible in Florida does not make the entire Muslim community bad. 

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12)


The Lord has asked us to love one another just as He loves us — no matter the colour, religious beliefs, ethnic background, sexual orientation etc..  This is not an option and nor can we be choosy about who we love — this is a commandment. Therefore NO christian should be intolerant and exclude those who are different because that isn't love. 


"This love needs to be deliberate, decisive, firm, obedient, gracious. This kind of love is not indulgent or weak. Agape love does not just forgive people, it also holds people accountable. The love that Jesus commands is a decision, not a feeling. it is clear eyed and realistic. The love of God always seeks the highest good of the person being loved, even in the most externe and unlovely situations" (source: Ray Stedman: God's Loving Word, page 432


Some people are very hard to love, some people are not kind but that should not stop us loving them as we are commanded to do. 


As Christians we are to tolerate others even if they have different beliefs about God. However, it does not mean we have to believe what they believe as truth, but it does mean that we don’t treat them with hostility and ill-treatment, rather human decency, compassion and love. We need to be "Christ in action". 

As Christians, we are in no way more superior to those who don’t believe and we should not behave as if we are. 

As Christians we will come across many people who will reject (or make fun) us for our beliefs “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18), but that doesn’t mean we behave in a similar way to non-believers. 

Being tolerant to others, doesn't mean we don't talk about God to non-believers. It doesn't mean we comprise our beliefs, but it does mean showing kindness and "loving one another" even if the person is a Muslim, a homosexual, black or white. 


Comments

  1. As a Christ follower I agree wholeheartedly that we as Christians are called to love our neighbor, doesn't matter that he looks or believes differently. We are to love him and tolerate his differences without compromising our faith. The only thing I disagree with is the comment "too many are more concerned about right to keep their guns than saving lives." To repeat a couple of much used quotes, "If we give up our guns, only the criminals will have guns" and "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

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    1. Sadly the growing number of mass deaths (3 or more in one incident) as a result of guns at the same time as a rapid increase in gun ownership demonstrates that no matter how many citizens have guns the number of deaths just keep on increasing - owning guns does not stop mass deaths. If American is prepare to live with this then there is nothing much more to say.

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  2. People will always have their opinions and stand on one side or the other of issues that they are passionate about. That's human nature.
    We are called to be separate from the world (in all ways), but we still live in the world and are also called to be lights of the world. A light pierces the darkness and shows it for what it is. Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave His Son who died for each and every living soul - and we are called to love the brethren, love our neighbours, even love our enemy. But like you said, we must stand APART from their sins and even their way of life in order to be obedient to the rest of Scripture. It's a difficult and high calling!!

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    1. Regardless of a persons sin or their colour of their skin or their religion - we still need to be kind to all - love thy neighbour really means love everyone regardless. Trump has really wound up this intolerances even worse (it had been simmering for a long time before he came along) and things will only get worse. Its all very sad.

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  3. I was interested in this new to me blog and reading through older postings, until I came to this. Your example of Sweden is a poor choice to support your arguments, as that dear country is now known as "The rape capital of the world" due to the actions of the religion and culture you are supporting. For myself, I thank God every day that Donald Trump is my President, and I pray daily that God will continue to use such a flawed man as His tool to combat true evil and promote Christianity, not promote multi-culti feel goodism posing as Christianity.

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    1. My reference to Sweden was in regards to the rise of the extremist anti-migrant right wing parties - some are Neo Nazis. Likewise we are seeing the same rise in Germany, France and other countries in European. I am not sure what you thought I was referring to with Sweden and why you thought it was supporting my argument.

      I am not a supporter of Trump and I think we are about to see so much more uncertainly and instability across the world, something we haven't see since the Cold War. God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we think He has and on this occasion I feel that God is teaching every one a lesson with Trump's arrival and it isn't going to be a nice lesson.

      Please understand that whilst I don't support Him in any way, in a democracy we are each entitled to our opinions on politics.It is so important to realise that NO president will save our nations or make them more Godly.

      The salvation for all mankind has been manifested in Jesus Christ. God knew that our world needed saving long before any national government was ever founded. He demonstrated to the world that redemption could not be accomplished through the power of man, his economic strength, his military might, or his politics.Peace of mind, contentment, hope and joy—and the salvation of mankind—is accomplished only through His work of faith, love, and grace.

      Lets ONLY have devotion for our beloved Lord and for no nation as time here is temporary.

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