by Wes Moore
Let’s just lay it on the line: tolerance as the world defines it is a farce.
It’s interesting to me how those outside of conservative Christianity put so much stock in tolerance—they even believe they are the glossy examples of what tolerance is and should be—and yet are forced to tolerate so little. In reality, it’s the other way around: your average, everyday follower of Jesus is the one who shows what real tolerance is.
About a week ago I saw an interview with Mark Driscoll on the Piers Morgan Tonight show on CNN. Mark was promoting his new book about marriage and intimacy. Of course, Piers didn’t really want to talk about Mark’s book; he simply wanted a chance to grill another Christian pastor about the terrible intolerance of anyone who could possibly reject homosexuality.
Most of the interview was focused on Kirk Cameron’s comments earlier in the week about homosexuality being sinful and unnatural, and Kirk’s biblical (and creationist) view that homosexual marriage should not be supported.[i] Soon every other word that came out of Piers’ mouth was “tolerance.” He just couldn’t believe how anybody who would follow such a “good book” like the Bible (I’d like to hear what he says about the Bible when the cameras are off) could be bigoted enough to deny homosexuals their “right” to marry.
The Real Meaning of Tolerance
Tolerance in America doesn’t simply mean that the Christian should allow other people to believe what they want without fear of abuse (which I believe in); it means the Christian must cease all opposition—verbal, legal, spiritual, and otherwise—to the perverse opinions of his fellow citizens, while at the same time lavishing his applause and praise on anything and everything the godless world sets before him.
In short, we must tolerate everything the world loves without comment or resistance, while they tolerate nothing. We must tolerate homosexuality shoved down our throat every day on virtually every TV station, movie screen, newsstand, classroom, and radio station in America.
We must tolerate stripping teacher-led prayer, Bible studies, prayers in Jesus’ name, and pledges from public school classrooms, while our kids get shot at, sexually assaulted, bullied, and persecuted in those same “liberated” temples of education.
We must tolerate illegal pornography being pumped into our homes on any and every cable and satellite provider there is to choose from (there’s really no way to get it out; I’ve tried), and we must walk by it in every convenience store in the neighborhood (with our children sometimes by our side, mind you). All the while rape increases in this land, as does pedophilia, sex trafficking, sex between minors, abortions, and prostitution.
And, might I add, we must tolerate the name of Jesus Christ being used as an expletive every time we turn our heads. But if we dare mention Muhammad’s name in any negative light, we’re instantly deemed religious bigots. I wonder if Piers thinks the Muslims who kill people when the Koran is burned are intolerant? Nah, what am I thinking! Of course not. That’s just religious freedom to him!
But I guess that’s not enough, Piers. Even given all of this, I still have to watch the few of my brothers who will take a stand for the truth get grilled by you on national television for being so “intolerant.” I guess your standards for tolerance are just too high for us.
The Hypocrisy of It All
While the charge of hypocrisy is often levied against Christians (and, many times, rightfully so), it applies in reverse as well. Piers, and those like him, are so quick to stand up for the “rights” of homosexuals to define marriage as one man and one man, or one woman and one woman, and, yet, so brutal in their condemnation of those who want to redefine it as one man and several women (polygamy).
The double-standard is dramatic. Pay attention the next time some polygamist leader is arrested in some western state. See how the media—the same media that carries the banner of righteousness for the homosexual—jumps on the “immoral,” “perverted” polygamist with both feet.
If marriage can be defined as any two people wanting to carry out a lifelong commitment to each other (which isn’t the full aim of the homosexual movement, by the way[ii]), why can’t it be defined as any three people? Give them time.
Also, ironically enough, Piers’ freedom to mock the teachings of the Bible and those who hold them actually comes from the teachings of the Bible itself. The liberty we experience in America is founded upon the Christian worldview, no matter how much they deny it.
The Lesson for Us All
The lesson here is not to cower in the face of the “intolerance” charge. When someone around you says Christians should be tolerant, don’t accept the assumption that we’re not. Tell them the long list of offensive acts we tolerate every day. And, when you’re done, ask them who the intolerant lot in America really is.
[i] If you’ll recall from my last article, I argued that the only rebuttal-proof argument against homosexual marriage is found in Genesis with the account of Adam and Eve. The best way to defend marriage is not with the argument that it’s always been the accepted definition of it in western culture (though, that is a valid argument). The best way is to defend marriage is to show that the Creator himself has permanently and inalterably defined it in the book of Genesis.
[ii] For a revealing look at the true goals of the homosexual movement, read the 1972 Gay Rights Platform, a document outlining their goals for the alteration of state and federal laws where homosexuality, and sexuality in general, is concerned. Here’s the link: http://www.article8.org/docs/general/platform.htm. Pay close attention to state goal 3, 7, and 8 (legalized prostitution, pedophilia, and polygamy).
*Wes Moore is a conservative Christian author and speaker, and the founder of Evidence America, an apologetics and evangelism training ministry. Wes is the author of Forcefully Advancing: The Last Hope for America and American Christianity, a book designed to equip the average Christian to engage the lost; The Maker, a futuristic apologetics novel; and The Spiritual Top 50, a non-fiction apologetics book designed to help Christians answer the questions their lost friends are asking. You can learn more about him at www.wesmoorenow.com.
The power of your worldview lies in the fact that it is hidden. It is a collection of your underlying beliefs and assumptions which color all of your thinking, yet is rarely examined openly. Idols for Destruction is a challenging read, but well worth the effort for those who would like to gain a fresh perspective on the worldviews that they have unconciously adopted. The author writes from a Christian perspective, and most people will probably not agree with all of his ideas, but he systematically goes through most of the 20th century influences on Western thought and compares them with a traditional Judeo-Christian world view. He does an excellent job in drawing out the implications of the various philosophical systems and providing examples of how they are manifest in modern culture. The most useful things I have gained from this book are first, a review of most of the philosophies which have shaped this century and a heightened awareness of what worldview is implicitly expressed by various thinkers and writers. This helps me to be a more critical thinker and to analyze people’s arguments better. The second thing I have gained is the realization that there are other options then whatever worldview happens to be the most popular today. This has opened up whole new areas of thought and allowed me to understand a much broader range of ideas by people who have differing worldviews. This book is very well documented. It helps if you have had a college course on Philosophy or have a quick reference book to help you to understand all of his references to philosophical and moral systems. It is not casual reading, and it will force you to do some hard thinking, but it is well worth the effort. — Anonymous review from Amazon.com
“The bookshelf next to my desk holds Christian classics and books I refer to often. Idols sits on that shelf, for Herb’s lucid critique has been an invaluable reference for my own writings. It helps believers to understand the ideologies that undergird secular culture, and how they dramatically–and dangerously–differ from the Judeo-Christian view based on adherence to absolute truth.” — Charles Colson, Prison Fellowship
“Well-written and highly readable… discerning and critical analysis of our times; a stimulating contribution.”— Carl F. H. Henry
“This book has become a vade mecum for thousands of Christians who understand the cultural disaster of our time and are determined to do something about it.” — Richard John Neuhaus, Editor-in-chief, First Things
“Now that Francis Schaeffer is no longer with us, Schlossberg is just about the most provocative Christian thinker around.” — Harold O. J. Brown, Professor of Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Years before anyone talked about an American ‘culture war,’ Herb Schlossberg penned an acute description of the crisis of virtue that is the domestic issue of the 1990s. His diagnosis remains essential reading for everyone who believes that self-governing republic requires self-governing and morally serious citizens.” — George Weigel, President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
“Thorough, provocative and especially penetrating. If you want to think Christianly about culture Idols for Destruction is must reading!” — John H. White, President, Geneva College