The New Tolerance

It is important that we, like the groundhog, stick our heads out every once in awhile, look around, and find out what is going on. In case some of you missed it, we just passed into a totally new age. We passed through the Age of Modernity, and we are now in the Post-Modern Age. It is altogether different. If you think things are the same as they were, you have a surprise coming!

There is one thing being taught to our children today and that it is the dominant theme of the post-modern curriculum. Do you know what it is? Tolerance!

Tolerance is being willing to put up with, endure, and bear with those whose views or lifestyles are different from others' views, without agreeing with them. Every Christian should be tolerant in the correct and historical meaning of that word. It is what the Bible means in the love chapter of I Corinthians 13: "Love endureth all things." Every Christian should be tolerant.

However, if you think that is what is being taught in the curricula of this country, you are very mistaken, as Josh McDowell points out in his book, The New Tolerance, which is the principal source of research for this message.

The "new tolerance" means: Not only do you put up with and endure and bear with those who have different views, habits, and/or lifestyles than your own, but you agree with their views as well.

Furthermore, you hold that their lifestyle is equally true and equally valid as your own and, therefore, there is no possible way that you could be intolerant, because there is nothing to be intolerant of. You must even be willing to promote and endorse that other lifestyle, since it is every bit as good as yours.

We have even invented a new post-modern civil right—the civil right for my feelings not to be hurt. For example, a young lady in one of the high schools recently sued because they sang a patriotic song that had some religious words in it. She said that it hurt her "feelings."

Tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society. When you have an immoral society that has blatantly, proudly, violated all of the commandments of God, there is one last virtue they insist upon: tolerance for their immorality. They will not have you condemning what they have done as being wrong, and they have created a belief system in which it is not, and in which they are no longer the criminal or the villain or the evil person, but you are!

Here's how it works. If you discuss atheism with an atheist, you are finding fault with that man and criticizing his views. You can't separate the two. If you find fault with a thief and criticize his stealing, you are finding fault with him, not merely what he does. The same thing is true of a homosexual. You cannot have a rational discussion of the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality.

We're rapidly sliding downhill. Does it matter? Yes, it matters because when you are criticizing what that person believes or what he does, you are hurting his "feelings." You are intolerant. You are demonstrating hatefulness to him, and that is a "hate crime." That can cause you to end up in court or jail.

For the first time in history, you can be judged and sent to jail for what is inside your head or inside your heart. Who knows what lies beyond that step?

It is time that we stand up for Jesus Christ and show some backbone—while we still have a place to stand!

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D. James Kennedy, Ph.D., is senior minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, and president of Coral Ridge Ministries, an international Christian broadcast outreach