Is Christianity Intolerant?
by Matthew Tingblad
This is one of the most loaded questions you could ever ask!
Typically when the issue is brought forth, it comes bearing the pain of a hot-button issue such as homosexuality, the fair treatment of women, the exclusion of other religions, or something similar. Each of these important issues deserve their own discussion. But in order to stay brief, I’m going to remain general.
I almost find it odd to address this question because no one is really asking it.
One of the reasons we don’t find common ground is because we aren’t using a common definition.
The word “tolerance” has shifted greatly in meaning over the years. The traditional, old-school definition of tolerance is to recognize and respect and value the other person regardless of whether his/her views differ from your own. This is fully endorsed in Bible. We are to live at peace with one another (Heb. 12:14), to show love and compassion for one another (1 Pe. 3:8), to forgive as Christ forgave us (Eph. 4:32). In fact, there is no other worldview which places as much value on a human person, because only in the Judeo-Christian worldview do we believe every person is made in the very image of God Himself (Gen. 1:27)!
The modern idea of tolerance is quite different, because it doesn’t make a distinction between a person’s belief and the person’s dignity. If I say that I disagree with your view on religion, morality, marriage, etc., and I try to show you why this viewpoint is flawed, I’m attacking you as a person…