Tolerance and Charity Ms. Hall


Tolerance and Charity

Ms. Hall asks a legitimate question on her blog that inspired a bit of thought: Was Jesus Tolerant?

The answer to that is very simple--no. Tolerance is not a virtue--it is a lowest common denominator--it is, "as long as you leave me alone I will leave you alone." Tolerance is soft and weak and vapid, containing nothing of import. It is merely the barest scratch on the surface of adamantine Charity.

Christ was Charitable, not tolerant. Charity is a rock to tolerance's sand. Charity is a command to tolerance's suggestion. Charity demands a great deal from us. We must love people we do not wish to love. That doesn't mean that we simply allow them to go their own way and God speed to them. Sometimes it means that we say, "Generation of Vipers," "Ye Whitewashed sepulchers." Sometimes we bind wounds, sometimes we use a hammer, but we use it when nothing else will do the job--when we must wake those ruined souls around us, and wake them we must, because THAT is the act of charity. The act of tolerance is to "let sleeping dogs lie." We do not confront the homosexual in the self-styled delusion that has become a lifestyle when we tolerate. When we are charitable, we confront the lie even as we welcome the person. Charity is about the cherishing of souls in the same way God cherishes them. This means that tolerance doesn't even come remotely close to starting to be enough. Tolerance is just a whisker away from the sin of sloth. It asks nothing, tells nothing, demands nothing of us. We can be tolerant simply by not commenting or noticing. We can walk obliviously through life and be tolerant. Charity demands observation and it sometimes demands confrontation. Jesus didn't coddle the money-changers in the temple, and yet I believe He acted both in righteous anger and in true charity both to the money changers and those who observed what happened. They could begin to understand what faith and love of God were really about--not about careful, meticulous observance of laws, but self-giving--self-giving unto death.

So to Ms. Hall's very legitimate, germane question the answer is undoubtedly NO. Jesus was not tolerant--He was not a divinely inspired wimp--He is God incarnate and hence has the attributes of God Himself--pure love--pure charity, pure care and desire for every human soul. He will leave the 99 and seek the lost one--an act of charity. An act of tolerance would allow the one to wander wherever he would choose and perhaps say, "I'm Okay, you're okay--everything's cool." Tolerance does not risk itself. Tolerance does not die crucified. Only Love did and does that. Only Charity and desire for the good of all.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 22, 2003 7:34 PM.

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