This is a touchy topic for many people.
In today’s world being intolerant of other people’s lifestyles or a bigot has become something to be stamped out.
1. Lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc.
1. One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
Tolerance does not require acceptance of all ideas as being true, but rather a willingness to listen to views and opinions which differ from our own.
Anyone who tells us not to express our beliefs are the ones being intolerant.
They are being unwilling to allow us the freedom of expression or the freedom to practice our religion.
Sometimes intolerance is learned at home by watching the attitudes and actions of our parents.
Sometimes it is learned by being the subject of the actions of others.
We all have the ability to form our own opinions and even to change them when presented with new information.
Even Jesus is often misrepresented as being tolerant of deviant lifestyles for not condemning those practicing them.
He was considered to be a sinner because he was a friend to sinners and shared meals with them.
Those who accused him of being a sinner failed to see that it was by love for the sinner that he tried to get people to change their lifestyles.
Jesus hated the sin people did but, he loved the people.
He confronted sin and commanded people to not sin anymore.
He came to call sinners to repentance.
There are a great many things people are intolerant of today.
We are intolerant of false advertising (fat in products labeled fat free).
Government actions (interning people in camps without a trial first)
Lifestyles different from our own (slavery, religious fanaticism or others considered not normal)
Looks (tattoos, piercings, baldness or fatness)
Negative actions (pedophilia, theft, adulterous affairs)
It all boils down to opinions.
Those who say the opinions of others are intolerant are themselves being intolerant.
Some parents refuse to allow their children to be taught about slavery by a white man or woman.
Some people refuse to sit at a table next to a gay couple or a couple in a mixed race relationship.
Bigotry and intolerance is all around us.
I have come to the conclusion that it will never be stamped out.
Perhaps I am naïve in my belief that when someone is confronted with an irrefutable fact that they would then have to change their world view and accept the new normal.
I have to face my own reality that I’ll always be struggling against viewpoints that differ from my own, no matter how irrational some of them are.
Perhaps my life’s reality is that I can only try to present truth and then allow people to accept or reject it.
The best that I can do is to accept people and love them as Jesus did, without passing judgment upon them.
Jesus often rebuked the Pharisees for their attitudes and used them as an example of how not to live a Godly life.
Jesus condemned no one.
He did not tolerate anyone’s deviant actions and taught that no one can become acceptable to God by their own actions.
Only by faith, believing in the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross can we become acceptable to God.
God’s plan is for us to tell the world that through the death of Jesus on the cross salvation and forgiveness is offered to everyone, regardless of their current opinions and choices in life.
All are equally lost without Jesus as their savior and all are equally accepted by God if they believe in Jesus.
God is intolerant of disobedience to his commandments.
Jesus said that he was the way the truth and the life (John 14:6)
Either he was telling the truth and Christianity is the only way to God or he was a liar and those who believe in him are lost.
Jesus is willing to accept into his church all who will believe in him.
On the Day of Judgment he will only reject those who rejected him during their lives.