To be tolerant is a current ‘buzz’ word being asked mainly of people from the Christianised western cultures. This is especially due to the avalanche of refugees storming into Europe. Tolerance is meant to be a two way street if it is to endure the pressure of clashing beliefs, morals and expectations. When only one side is expected to be tolerant such a one lane road ends in a precipice.
This is happening in Europe, especially Germany at the moment. Genuine refugees with desperate needs are being overshadowed by Islamic intolerant and arrogant infiltrators. Because of their views about women, culture, sharia law and infidels they have violated much of their hosting countries. The results of their belief system is to be intolerant while grasping all the benefits possible. Meanwhile, the desperately needy suffer. A strong backlash is surging within some of the host countries which can only bring more sorrow to all concerned.
What is the Christian response to a one-sided tolerance?
Are we to compromise our faith and heritage for some perceived niceness to the ungrateful? Is tolerance merely compromise leading to surrender? Our Christian faith calls on us to care for those in need. It requires us to try and understand and in a much abused word ‘to love’ them. This demand places us under strong pressure to be patient and make allowances. We are facing this in regard to Christmas, Australia Day, Anzac day, Easter, planning permission for mosques and halal certification. It is a big galling I must admit when this is demanded but not reciprocated in Islamic countries. Tony Abbot had his faults but he recognised a problem from a belief system which wanted our agreement to their demands. It was a one way street. They didn’t want to adopt or tolerate our way of life. What is brewing? Strife!
Some may ask how Jesus would handle this matter! We know He was tolerant but He had a cut-off point. He warned certain cities about future judgement because of their abuse and rejection of His grace (Matthew 11). Also there is the dramatic episode of Him overturning the table of the merchants in the Temple. Towards us the Lord has been patient over many years but we also know He will and has acted with discipline. What then is to be expected when His Name, His word and His people are violated and exploited? Judgement! The book of Revelation is a no compromise comment on that.
While we believe vengeance belongs to the Lord we are not excused from defending and declaring our faith and morality. Nor should we be silent in urging our Government to stand true to our Christian heritage, values and history. If the Government puts tolerance before truth and votes before virtue then our society is sold-out. The tyranny of the toughest will dominate and humiliate.
Grace is still to motivate tolerance with long-sufferance. This doesn’t mean silence or surrender. I wonder what the Good Samaritan would have done if the robbers had jumped on him, using the wounded man as a trap? I think he would have defended the wounded and resisted the attackers. Surely that is where tolerance and justice meet.
Ray Hawkins Jan 25 2016.