Commentary: Today's Brand of Tolerance
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 30-Aug-14; 13 minutes
In my previous commentary ["America's Most Powerful Religion"], I stated that humanism has become the nation's most powerful religion. In the past 25 years or so, "tolerance" has been the pervasive theme of those preaching its politically correct messages on the secular front. Well, today I'm going to speak briefly on a disturbing fruit of that preaching.
Are you aware that the word "tolerance" makes not even one appearance in the King James Version of the Bible or the American Standard Version of the Bible? So why is this word is so common in our language, but it's not even in those translations? Well, this is because the translators could find no place for it to fit until after 1960. And even then, in some modern versions, it appears less than five times. Why so few uses of this virtue? Well, because older versions use terms better suited, such as "forbearance," "endurance," "patience," and "longsuffering."
Tolerance essentially means, "the capacity to endure hardship or pain." The pain might be mentally stressful and the result of other people's expressions of objectionable opinions or disrespect. None of these that I just mentioned and more, of and by themselves, are objectionable to the Christian way. The problems lie in the modern twist given that term ("tolerance") by those in government, in media, and in academia, who have an agenda to accomplish and are strongly influencing the progressives' social movement in this nation.
We are challenged by God to come out of the world. But no matter which way we turn, God's way of life is being confronted because God's way of life touches on every facet of life, and very, very much of the practices of this world are in reality practices of Satan, even though they may seem to us individually as being innocent.
Is not it true that we take for granted that the religions of this world are anti-Christ concepts and practices drawn from false religions that permeate this world's governments, educational systems, entertainment, employment, and social practices? As such, those practices should be evaluated by us, should they not?
In my previous commentary, I stated that humanism has become the religion of the elite in America. An alternative name for humanism is secularism. Regardless of the name, its adherents accept and promote man as being God. The adherents might never directly say this, but it is a fact that the true God's standards are no longer accepted by much of the leadership of this nation. The effective result of that rejection is that each humanist has declared himself, by means of the rejecting and not living by the true God's standards, as God. The humanist thus sets his own standards, and he is subject to them.
Humanism is a religion people practice, accept and adhere to, even though it has no formal congregations or places of worship. Evolutionists are humanists and they dominate academia. So also are the New New Age environmentalists, even though they may talk about God. This exaggerated opinion of themselves as being above God's standards forces them to look down on others, and has motivated them to put a painful and sometimes financially costly twist on the practice of their brand of tolerance that will reach out and directly touch on some of us in due time.
One of the twists is this: They have changed the meaning of "tolerance." "Tolerance" has come to mean (to them) acceptance of them on an equal level, regardless of their practices. "Tolerance" is no longer forbearing, and if one does not accept them according to their new definition, that one is accused of a lack of love and may very well be punished in some way.
Let's look at this from a large and clear point of view. Can a Christian honestly tolerate—that is accept—outright paganism practiced on an equal level with the God of creation and His moral, spiritual, and ethical absolutes? You can't do that. Can a Christian wholeheartedly accept the writings of Mohammed, which appear in the Koran, on an equal level with God's Bible? You can't. But they are demanding that already of some.
Why is there such a thing as sin as defined by the Creator God? It is because in the wisdom of the Creator's love for mankind, He has determined that these acts designated as sin are destructive, detrimental to the person committing them and to others affected by those acts, whatever those sinful acts are. Human beings have neither the nature, experience, or the wisdom to perceive the multiplicity of both the long- and short-range effects of sinful acts. This is a major reason why we must live by faith—that is, trusting God's love and wisdom—that submitting to Him will produce the right effects in our life.
I received an email from Dave Barnes over in England yesterday that reminded me of the shallowness of some people's thinking and the unbalanced effects that shallow thinking can produce. He reminded me in this email of the girl who wrote a poem about her soldier grandfather who fell in the Vietnam war. According to her humanistic teacher, the poem had a flaw. You see, she called the girl into account because it contained the forbidden word—"God"—used in a respectful manner. So, the girl was warned to remove that word or the poem wouldn't qualify to be graded.
Then there was another young girl that Dave Barnes reminded me of, a little younger than that other girl, who was reading the Bible on her own free reading time in the classroom. She too was reprimanded by her teacher, even though the school had a Bible in its library. Is the use of God's name in a disrespectful and irreverent way ever punished in the movies or on TV? No, it's fully acceptable, and they are forcing that already on you.
Much more serious is that persons claiming Christianity can refuse to bake a cake or take photographs at a wedding they do not approve of because those practices break God's laws, and the humanistic court judges rule against them and fine them thousands of dollars, even though the rejected customers had their request fulfilled by another businessperson at no loss whatever. Charges were brought against the baker and the photographers out of sheer spite in order to advance the humanist agenda.
In New Mexico, a gay hairdresser refused to do the hair of the female governor of the State of New Mexico, a job that he had performed previously for a goodly period of time. He did this because she announced that she was not in favor of same-sex marriage. There was no uproar against the hairdresser because he was not tolerant of the governor's beliefs and he advertised it.
Former president Jimmy Carter resigned a 60-year membership in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant organization in America, charging them with discrimination against women because the Southern Baptist Convention ruled to continue to follow the Bible regarding its ministry's membership. It allows no women in the ministry. But he was praised in the media worldwide for being upright and forthright for his intolerance regarding a standard of God. Did you catch that? His intolerance against a standard of God.
All of these examples, and many, many more, emphatically reveal the anti-God spiritual power that is driving this world. It is proof of it that you can read in your newspapers almost every day.
Be aware that the world's brand of "tolerance" is acceptable only in the anti-God direction. It is being shaped to provide justification in the eyes of those who do not know God, so that Satan's designs can be carried out without fear of opposition from unknowing humans. The level of seriousness of this intolerance will continue to rise to sheer, outright hatred of those who are on God's side. It is growing and the tests are coming. They're right around the corner.