The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 7, 2014

Do people seek tolerance, or affirmation?

By Sarah Thompson, columnist
Enid News and Eagle

— It is possible you didn’t watch the Grammys this year. In which case, you would have missed Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performing “Same Love” alongside Mary Lambert and Madonna, while Queen Latifah officiated the marriages of 33 gay and straight couples.

Maybe it was the Grammys, or Miley Cyrus introducing us to twerking, or a combination of the two, but it is clear that another line has been drawn in the sand.

In response to these events there has been a lot of talk about “tolerance.” It seems to me that people are no longer seeking tolerance, but affirmation. Our culture believes we can’t love someone completely unless we “accept” everything about that person and view their beliefs as equal to our own. We are becoming a society that forces conformity and calls it tolerance.

Mega-church pastor and best-selling author Pastor Rick Warren stated, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

Jesus was one of the most tolerant people who ever lived, but nowhere in the Bible does He tolerate sin. The Bible makes it clear there is a right and a wrong. This is where the problem lies.

Nobody wants to hear what they are doing is wrong. Therefore, liberals attempt to silence anyone who disagrees with their agenda. A Christian football player is criticized for praying after a touchdown, while a female actress comes out as a lesbian and is labeled a hero.

The sad thing is these ideas are not limited to the media. Tolerance is being promoted from inside churches across America. The gospel has been watered down to nothing more than a free pass to do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy. The Gospel was never meant to make people feel good. Its purpose is to reveal to us the truth about our condition so that we realize our deep need for a savior. That’s the message of the Gospel.

“We should not endorse the belief that all religions lead to God, that truth is a personal construct, or that everyone’s beliefs are valid. Jesus is the truth. Christians are called to tolerate and even to love people without accepting their false beliefs.” (thecompellingtruth.org)

But, we do not win people to the Lord by judging them or calling them names. God says to speak with wisdom, grace and love. Let the love of Christ flow through you so the world can see true love and turn to Christ instead of away from Him.

“In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” — 1 Corinthians 3:15

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” — Matthew 5:16



Follow Sarah Thompson, who is a social worker in the Enid area, on Facebook:       www.facebook.com/godsuncommongrace or email her: uncommongrace1@gmail.com.