So, with Target making the decision to allow people who are identifying themselves as transgender to use whatever bathroom they choose, there has been quite the explosion of blog posts, Facebook comments, tweets, & Instagram photos.
Whether you’re with Target in their huge step towards “tolerance” or you aren’t, I think everyone is very confused with what tolerance actually is.
What is tolerance?
Everyone uses this word, yet I feel that as widely used as it is, everyone interprets it differently. People so desire tolerance, but they don’t even know what it really is that they want.
I’ll tell you what tolerance isn’t.
Tolerance isn’t “I have a right to state my beliefs, & if you go against them by stating yours, well, you’re intolerant!”
Tolerance also isn’t “You need to love me and & accept the way I live, all the while not being able to state your beliefs because that offends me.”
Silencing & suppressing someone else’s voice to raise yours is not tolerance.
Jesus was not tolerant in the way our world defines tolerance. In Matthew 21:12-13, when the money changers were taking advantage of the people worshipping at the temple, Jesus cast them out.
If the money changers would’ve said, “You’re offending the way we express ourselves, & we have a right to live how we want! Don’t be so intolerant!” I’m fairly certain Jesus would’ve had the same response He did in verse 13: “He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
These men were turning His Father’s house for a profit, & Jesus was having none of it.
This is why identifying yourself as a Christian is so controversial – Jesus’ name is not meant to be said or taken lightly. His name & those associated with Him causes a stir, because that’s what He came into this world to do.
Jesus says in Matthew 10:35 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, & a daughter against her mother, & a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. & a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
Jesus’ name tears families apart. It causes a controversy. This doesn’t fit into our culture’s definition of tolerant.
Now that I’ve gone through what tolerance isn’t, what is it?
Tolerance is unconditional love towards another person whose sin issue is different than yours.
It’s not criticizing what someone else believes while yelling over them trying to state what you believe.
We’re all sinners. That’s why many people define tolerance so wrongly. We try to cover up our sin with a justification disguised as a definition.
Tolerance: the new way to justify your sin & stop people from confronting you with it because “it’s just who you are” and “you were born this way”.
Yeah, you’re right. We were all born this way, as sinners. It’s just who we are. But that doesn’t give us the exuse to wallow in our depravity because, well, it’s just who we are. In Romans chapter 6, Paul brings up this subject. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” But Paul doesn’t just leave us hanging. His answer to this question is: “By no means!”
We have a Savior who died to save us from that sin two thousand years ago, and why should we attempt to vindicate our sin when it’s already been paid for?
True tolerance is unconditional love. So, while Jesus wasn’t what this generation would define as tolerant, it isn’t that Christ wasn’t tolerant – it’s that our modern world has the definition wrong!
So, let’s show one another unconditional love. Let’s follow the marks of the true Christian in Romans 12: “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
This is how we show tolerance.