Its finally December-What has happened to tolerance?



My thoughts on the past year

Every month this year I have written things that I consider important but I want to end the year with something that I think is growing and will become much more of an issue in 2017 —

Intolerances

I wrote a post on intolerances earlier this year, however very few people read it (LINK), I wondered why—has intolerances become acceptable across the broader community or did I touch on a topic that raises too many questions for Christians.

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18)

As mothers we need to teach our children to be tolerant — to love one another, to care for one another, to reach out to others. As Christians being tolerant means being loving and considerate of others who differ from us. Being tolerant means being patient and forgiving of others' errors. However, it doesn't mean being tolerant of evil or deliberate wrongdoing, nor does it mean we must believe what they believe as truth (as in other religions), but it does mean that we don’t treat them with hostility and ill-treatment, rather with human decency, compassion and love. 

We need to be "Christ in action". 


In Australia, the USA and in Europe we are seeing a growth in the far-right political groups and the push for acceptability by the white supremacy and nationalists. These are dangerous ideologies and one that NO Christian should have anything to do with however we are seeing these groups becoming much more widespread and their beliefs being picked by those who feel forgotten or neglected by the mainstream political parties. 

No baby is born with hatred, intolerance, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia or prejudice but by listening to their parents and those around them, it doesn’t take long before they too think it is ok to be intolerant towards others. Only the other day a young boy committed suicide as a result of bulling he endured because he identified as homosexual. It doesn't mean you have to accept homosexuality, it means not hurting those who have identified as gay — name call, bully or making fun of a child or adult who is different. 

Following the UK Brexit vote there was a 50% increase in racial attacks. Polish vermin” and “send them home” seem to be becoming something that immigrants and non-whites have to once again have to endure. One only needs to look Steve Bannon’s (Trumps chief White House strategist) Breitbart News to see what white nationalism looks like. Its ugly. 

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. 

We do not need to afraid of those of different faiths. We need to welcome them into our communities and show Christian hospitality. We have a past history of discrimination where 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.  A handful of Muslims committing crimes, doesn't make the entire Muslim community guilty. 

Sadly though 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?

As an older woman, I ask you all to think about the ramifications of intolerances and teach your children to be tolerant. Teach your children about the differences in others and walk the talk — be a shining example of what tolerances looks like.

However, I want to end on an important note — being tolerant towards others, does not mean we become accepting of sinful behaviours — immoral behaviour, wickedness, delinquency, criminal activities, selfishness, adultery, a husband beating up his wife, those who indulge in alcoholism and gambling etc.. These are not things we should accept as ok as they are not. However, just because a criminal has committed a crime, should not stop us from reaching out and spreading God's word in prison, nor should delinquent behaviour of a young person stop us in praying for their salvation. And just because someone is engaging in sinful behaviour does not give us the right to treat the person badly, humiliate tham in social media or make fun of them. 


You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren[c] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (Matthew 5: 43:47)



Comments

  1. I'm standing up and applauding this post!

    I also read this post, from another blog, about tolerance.

    https://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com/2016/11/tolerance-isnt-approval-or-agreement.html

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    1. I just heard on our news here in Australia about the increases in reported abuse in American schools on black students, gay kids and Latino students by white students. And teachers in a survey following Trumps win have noted an increase in aggressive racist language against minority's groups. This is not good news in any way 🙁🙁

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  2. It is the old saying "love the sinner not the sin". Though we don't want to condone sinful behavior, and when it comes to other Christians going on in a sinful lifestyle, we must distance ourselves from it: "I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat" (1 Cor. 5:11). Note, this verse does not just include immoral behavior, it also includes a railer -- that is to say, someone who is abusive. Ours is a Saviour God and that is the image we should project: "God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:3-4). As a non-American living in the USA, allow me to make a few observations as to the recent election. 1) I do not believe as a Christian I could have voted for the President Elect -- in doing so, I am identifying with this man and all he is and represents; 2) Many who did vote for him, will say they voted for the lessor of two evils (this I understand, but could not go along with); 3) Many who voted for him, will say they did not vote for the man, but rather, their vote was a repudiation of the social agenda that has been thrust on people contrary to their strongly held beliefs (this I understand and sympathize with). Nevertheless, that being said God would have us completely delivered from this world: "Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father" (Gal. 1:3-4). Satan is its prince (political head). Prior to His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus said: "the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me" (John 14:30). It dismays me, as a Christian, that so many believers feel that they still have a part in this world's politics. As to what's happening it doesn't surprise me at all; I expect this movement will spread to Europe as well. It points to the nearness of the Lord's return.

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    1. Do you think there really is such a thing as "lesser of two evils" - isn't evil evil and does't come on a sliding scale? Just as sin is sin, there isn't really a smaller sin.

      Many Christians vote because they think they much vote in someone who is Christian and believe it is their duty to do so. I feel that too many Christians are getting entangled into politics from my experience, politics has nothing to of with Christianity and even those who confess to be Christians end up giving up some of what they believe in the bartering process.

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    2. I understand what they mean, when they say a lessor of two evils. But as you point out, evil is evil and as to which is the lessor is rather subjective! Christianity has survived under persecution--thrived even, and in a purer form. Compare the letters to Sardis and Pergamos in Revelation 2. Pergamos is that period of history when Constantine, a supposedly Christian leader, led Rome.

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