Facebook Post that Made Me Think:
“Tolerance doesn’t mean the absence of morality, it is the epitome of it. We all were made by God, in his image, as free moral agents. We, as Christians, are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, which gives us the divine ability to choose to love others, which is way more than tolerance. When we attempt to impose, legislate, or otherwise force our ‘morality’ upon others, not only will it never accomplish the end result, but is in direct opposition to agape.”
Here are the questions that this comment brought to my mind:
- Does tolerance equal love (agape love)?
- Is it possible to love unconditionally with agape love without being tolerant of everything?
- Could we say that Jesus exemplifies the value of unconditional agape love without embracing a value of tolerance?
Another thought I had: True morality that comes from the inside cannot be legislated. I agree with that. However, because many do not live by a moral compass that is rooted in the absolute truth of God’s Word, we do need to legislate morality (as God did in the OT with the 10 Commandments, etc.), and that morality needs to be based on the absolute truth of God’s Word. Otherwise, society spirals down morally and everyone does what is right in their own eyes (as in the book of Judges).
As a parent, I cannot adopt a parental philosophy of tolerance in the name of showing unconditional, agape love. I do my best to show the unconditional, agape love while holding my children accountable to a standard of right and wrong. Tolerating their wrong, immoral choices without confronting it is not really showing love at all.
Could it be that this is one of the reasons repentance has been so minimized in the presentation of the gospel in America? To demand repentance is considered by some to be politically incorrect and unloving. Some have bought into this thinking to the extent that they have become universalist, discounting hell altogether.
I go back to Jesus…he is the only true example of unconditional, agape love, and he was often politically incorrect and intolerant. He regularly called people to repentance and morality.
Another FB person added: “I have to agree, this an interesting question and the answer follows a great path of logic. Randy, you said that if you love your kids you can’t overlook their wrongs. I completely agree, but I would take it a step further. If you do not take some kind of action to correct a child that is doing wrong and possibly doesn’t know it, or even if he does know it, would that not be the opposite of love? To see when your children are heading on a path of destruction and not take some kind of action, would you not be guilty of at least apathy? maybe worse?”