The Hypocrisy of Tolerance

by Jason Chatraw

Being a Christian in the age of “tolerance” can present quite a challenge. After all, it’s much easier to judge people and move on. What Christian wants to be convicted or confronted by attitudes that don’t exactly reflect the heart of Christ?

Whether it’s comfortable or not, we should all desire to be confronted when our actions don’t measure up with what we proclaim to believe. Such confrontation is a must, giving us the ability to emerge from the constant state of hypocrisy that overwhelms us. If we are honest with ourselves, we truly don’t want to be hypocrites, saying one thing and doing another. We really want to be doing what we’re saying. It’s just that it takes time for our hearts to realize the truth that makes sense to our head.

However, the deeper challenge for Christians in the “age of tolerance” is to avoid patting yourself on the back because you’re more open-minded than other believers. Such a grandiose view of your own faith can lead to a crippling state of hypocrisy.

In his book Thirsting for God, Gary L. Thomas explains how this false piousness plays out in a conversation he had with another young pastor:

[This pastor] talked about his ability to speak with gays, but in the same conversation personally attacked fundamentalists. I responded, “It’s no credit to you when you love gays but not fundamentalists. You’ve simply focused your prejudice instead of getting rid of it.”

Take a moment to consider your heart. Is your tolerance for others something that extends to everyone or only certain groups of people who make you seem cooler and holier than other fellow Christians? How do you lovingly confront someone without appearing like you’re better than that person? How do you respond to conviction in this area of your life, whether it be from Christians or from God?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 (NIV)

As Christians, our goal shouldn’t be tolerance, but rather a relentless, furious love that – like God – is no respecter of persons. No one should be spared from God’s love that wells up within us.

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10 Responses to The Hypocrisy of Tolerance

  1. toadspittle says:

    .

    “As Christians, our goal shouldn’t be tolerance, but rather a relentless, furious love that – like God – is no respecter of persons. No one should be spared from God’s love that wells up within us.”
    OK, Jason, so what do we actually do?

    …apart from loving Fundamentalists and Muslims and gays who hate us? And, while “sparing no one,” how do we manifest this “relentless, furious love” without getting either bashed up, murdered, or arrested (by gay Scottish policemen possibly?) Hoots, Mon!

  2. JabbaPapa says:

    This is not hypocrisy — it’s pride, pure and simple.

    Tolerance isn’t what Christ asks of us — He asks for our love !!!

  3. toadspittle says:

    .
    Jabba – when you explain something I generally understand. May not always agree, but that’s another thing.
    But you now have me more puzzled than I was originally. What is “pride” here, and not hypocrisy?
    Is this good or bad, do you think? (Is what good or bad, I hear you ask. Pride, I suppose?)

    Are tolerance and love incompatible, as far as Christ is concerned? Surely not?

    My original question still hangs around: What ought we to do, in a purely mundane manner, to meet Jason’s relentless and furious requirements?

    Is God really “no respecter of persons”? Should we not be, either?

  4. Marjorie Sessions says:

    As GK Chesterton said: any true creed will couple beauty with severity. If you take away the severity then it’s a free-for-all – as in, ‘It’s my right to enter a polygamous marriage – because I want to.’

  5. JabbaPapa says:

    Are tolerance and love incompatible, as far as Christ is concerned?

    No.

  6. toadspittle says:

    .
    I didn’t know we – in Britain, anyway – had the right to enter polygamous marriage – even if we were mad enough to want to.
    Muslims, in Muslim countries can, or so I believe – and they strike me as being quite a “severe” lot(in some ways.)
    Not a “true creed” though, I suppose.
    Polygamous marriage would be a bit too “severe” for me.
    One wife is plenty “severe” enough to be getting on with.

  7. The Humans Rights Council of the UN has been pushing harder and harder each session to give special attention to tolerance of the LGBT community and condemn those who disagree.

    Here is an excerpt from an article on it:
    “The commissioner’s report condemns “homophobic and transphobic attitudes” and “heteronormative gender identity.” This represents a clear challenge not only to freedom of religion, but also to those who believe, based on natural law, in the differences between men and women, traditional marriage and in the impossibility of changing sex.”

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/lgbt-demands-get-a-boost-from-hillary-clinton-and-the-u.n/#ixzz1tPPfAIru

  8. kathleen says:

    This is a good article, leading us to scrutinise our attitudes towards others.
    Is your tolerance for others something that extends to everyone or only certain groups of people who make you seem cooler and holier than other fellow Christians?”
    Yes, we should all ask ourselves that question.

    The Faithful who obey the Pope and Magisterium’s teaching on Faith and Morals – and N.B. this must not mean pointing the finger at anyone who does not, with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, but simply calling a sin, a sin, always with charity – are sometimes accused of being ‘narrow-minded’ or ‘intolerant’, when in reality they are doing no more than following the teaching of Our Blessed Lord Himself in His Holy Church. Those that accuse them cannot see the ‘beam’ in their own eye!

    Going a bit further on the subject, I doubt very much whether the numerous Islamic fundamentalists, or the militant secularists and atheists (who talk much about ‘tolerance’) ever wonder about the hypocrisy of their intolerant stance towards all Christians (especially Catholics).

  9. toadspittle says:

    .
    “…based on natural law, “ sez Sed.

    It strikes me that “natural law” is basically, “Kill weaker creatures and eat them in order to survive.” That’s what we do, and what dogs, cats, lions and other animals do.
    And, in the case of the new post about Good Shepherds – we kill and eat the lambs, like the cuddly little fellow around Jesus’s neck. It’s called lechazo, (mother’s milk fed) and is very tasty.

    Shepherds don’t protect their flocks out of human kindness – they protect them to exploit them, and to make a living selling them. Their “obligation” isn’t to the sheep, it’s to the butcher.
    No point in getting all sentimental about it.

  10. toadspittle says:

    .
    Catholeen is quite right, of course. While we are tolerating the horrible people, they are killing us.

    But what’s to be done about it?

    “Jason” huffs and puffs about “relentless, furious love,”, but seems to have no practical clue.

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