I Disagree With You = I Hate You
by Josh Fults
Christians. Who do they think they are? Thinking they hold the market on truth. Who made them the arbiters of truth? They are all just a bunch of intolerant bigots. I think we have all heard claims muttered like this from time to time. This is not to say that there are no crotchety, bigoted Christians that spew vitriol with every other word. I see the people from Westboro Baptist church on the news like everyone else, and what I see is pathetic. True Christianity must not be confused with abuses committed in the name of Christ.
I am not sure exactly how it happened, but somewhere along the way people are no longer entitled to hold dissenting views. If a person has a view different than someone else it is interpreted as “well you hate me.” It is certainly possible to hold a divergent view and still affirm and accept the other person. Is it not? Disagreement and respect are not mutually exclusive.
Everyone in our culture loves to use the word tolerance. Everyone should be tolerant. It is repeated over and over. It would behoove those that use the word to first understand it’s meaning. Should people be tolerant of the beliefs of others? Yes. Should Christians be
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tolerant of other people’s beliefs? Absolutely. But tolerance does not mean accept or affirm the beliefs of others. If this was the definition we could simply use the word “accept”. It means to tolerate what you feel is wrong or illegitimate.
Tolerance means you can disagree with an idea, worldview, or lifestyle and still affirm, respect, and value the person. Many will say that Christianity is intolerant because it does not accept the beliefs of others, but one would be a fool to accept or affirm what one believes to be blatantly false, wrong, or immoral.
Those who claim that Christianity is intolerant do so on the grounds that Christianity claims exclusivity. Yet, at some level, every single worldview claims some amount of exclusivity. Somewhere, lines of demarcation will be drawn, regardless of what one believes. Even the inclusivist excludes the exclusivist. It cannot be helped…
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