Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why I Hate the Word 'Tolerant'

Get the tar and feathers ready.  I'm just warning you, depending on your own personal opinions, experiences, or convictions, this may rub you in all the wrong ways.  Maybe it'll rub you in all the right ways.  Who knows?  I don't.  This post is more for myself, a vent, if I may.

It comes in response to the Chick Fil A fiasco.  Yes, that's exactly what it was: a fiasco.  I'm not going to get into logistics about the happenings with the company.  I'll be relatively vague and say just a few things regarding the subject, since the foolishness that happened with the company only prompted this blog, but is not intended to be the entire content.

1.  The first thing, I'm sure you all know, is that I support the company.  Period.

2.  The second thing is that the CEO of Chick - Fil - A at no point, cast any judgement (disagree? let's get honest about what judgement is) against people of a homosexual lifestyle, but rather, said that his convictions were of that of a Biblically based family during an interview in which he was asked specifically about such a topic.

3.  And lastly... Really?  Really?  Let's specifically ask a vegetarian whether they eat meat and then when they answer 'no' let's all act surprised and us meat eaters slam them and say they are 'hating' on us and discriminating against us.  Really.  Come on.

Ok.  Off my soap-box.  This isn't what this blog is about.  Rather, I'm actually going an entirely different direction.  My peeve comes from the word tolerance, mostly because the world tends to view Christians as 'intolerant' because we have different convictions regarding our lifestyles.  (Ahem, Chick Fil A CEO's and other Bible Believing Christians who support whatever Biblical truth.)  On the other end of the spectrum, I've heard too many preaching from the pulpit that tolerance is a bad trait. 

Let me first preface, I'm not referring to church discipline and addressing professing Christians who are blatantly living in sin.  I'm referring to those, mostly, who are non-Christians and don't claim to be.

Christians - there is a level of tolerance we are called to!  It may not look like the world's definition of tolerance.  It may not mean taking your alcoholic friend out to a bar.  It definitely doesn't mean putting yourself in a compromising situation with a friend who is struggling, but it may be calling you to be a friend. 

I'm. so. sick. of all these Christians who boycott companies (ahem, Oreos) trying to 'make a stance' about something Biblical in their own lifestyle.  Let me ask you, brothers, who are you making the stance against, because unless it is meant to affect your brothers and sisters in Christ, what good are we actually doing? 

I'm not saying bow down to culture and the world.  I'm saying live your life to a standard that you don't have to boycott a cookie company over the color of the filling, look like a jerk, and ruin any chance of having a relationship with a person that may bring them nearer to the God who loves them.  Soapbox. Get real. Let's use some common sense.  

And you know what else I'm sick of?  I'm sick of the idea that a man cannot even say, in a faith interview with The Baptist Press that he believes in core family values.  I feel that so many who have slandered the man and his faith haven't even seen the article in which he 'displayed such hate' towards a group of people.  I challenge you, go read it!

If not - and you'd just rather be mad - here's the synopsis, straight from the article (and you'd notice in reading the article, homosexuality was never even mentioned):

"Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."'

It's true.  The issue isn't with Cathy, or even with Chick Fil A.  It's with Jesus.  Period.  

Where is the tolerance for a Biblical world view?  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  Scripture tells us we will be hated for Him, and that we will be aliens and foreigners in this world.  

You know, I'll be very honest here.  I hope for those who know me, and I mean those that really know me, that there are people I know, respect, and have friendship with that live different lifestyles as myself.  Whether it be divorcees, those in homosexual relationships, those who drink, those who don't, those who are singles, those who live together before marriage, those who drive red cars, those who drive scooters... fill. in. the. blank.  I hope people would know, God has called me to love and serve each of those.  Jesus, Himself, set the example.  We may disagree.  We may live our lives differently, but, to quote scripture, " If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) What am I, really, if I do not love?  

Tolerance is not turning our heads away when our brothers and sisters are falling into sin.  That is sin in itself.  Tolerance is understanding that those who do not profess the faith that we profess cannot be expected to adhere to the tenants of that faith.  In fact, scripture would indicate that they cannot adhere to the tenants of our faith.  God must convict of sin, lead to salvation, and conquer sin in the life of those who have been led into salvation.  Why we expect anything different is foolish.  

I leave this whole experience aggravated.  I'm aggravated with those not of the faith who are claiming that this man discriminates against them and is narrow-minded.  I'd say his convictions are his business, and until a few days ago, they were.  Narrow-minded could very well apply to those on the other side who can see no other side themselves.  Just sayin'.  I'm also aggravated with the Christians who are either A.) the big boycotters and megaphone screamers that shout fire and brimstone down on people who have not love, and on the complete other spectrum, B.) those Christians who sink beneath the weight of society and culture jumping on whatever bandwagon is fresh at the moment.  God has called us as Christians to standards.  Quick reference to the Bible would prove that.  

I have a holy anger festering.  It's an anger that rips apart the innermost of myself, warring for the truth to win out, yet at the same time an anger that shakes violently and reverberates the strings of love, both for those boycotting the faith I love and serve (through the means of Chick-Fil-A) and those bowing beneath the pressures of society, yet professing that faith.  In the anger, there is love, and only God can do that.

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