Tolerance: It’s In The Bible

Squeezed June 11, 2005

Bemoans Melvin Partido Sr. in the Star-Bulletin, about a video shown to certain students at King Kekaulike High School:

The videotape about tolerance toward homosexuals shown to the King Kekaulike High School students on Maui is an attempt by homosexual activists to indoctrinate homosexuality into our education system….

Their definition of tolerance is that all values, beliefs, truths and lifestyles are equal. I was brought up in an era when the Holy Bible was the standard for tolerance in a nation brought up by Christian principles.

The Bible makes it clear that all values, beliefs, lifestyles and truth claims are not equal. It teaches that the God of the Bible words are true and that if something is not right it is wrong. Homosexuality is wrong.

Yesterday’s outrage has become today’s standard.

Obviously Mr. Partido hasn’t asked himself what Jesus would do, and he hasn’t read John 8:1-11. The Bible makes it pretty darn clear here that tolerance of other lifestyles, even those one does not agree with, is something that we are biblically required to follow (if you subscribe to Christianity, that is). What could be more fundamental to fundamentalist Christianity than the actions of Jesus Christ?

I mean, think about it. This is the part of the Bible that Jesus delivers the famous verse that is paraphrased as, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” The woman in question was an adulterer, and back then adultery was even more of a big thing than it is now. Sleep with someone who’s married and you could die.

Now, Jesus had some ideas about adultery. In fact, he basically said that if a man even looked a woman wrong, that he had committed adultery in his heart. So, one would reason that he would probably condone the stoning of one who had committed adultery in the flesh.

Nope. He defended her life by having them look at themselves first. And in the end, she had no accusers.

And here’s the clincher. As someone who was born sinless, he could have thrown that first stone right between her eyes. But he didn’t. “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin,” said he.

Without endorsing her sinful action, he showed compassion and…shall I say it…tolerance. That’s what tolerance is all about…living and letting live. And that is a biblical value.

Gays and lesbians are certainly entitled to the basic level of respect that is due all human beings…that is, the right to live free from harassment. It is unfortunate that there are some people, like Mr. Partido here, who deny that they are due even that. And it is even more unfortunate that gays and lesbians have been killed by those who violate the 6th Commandment (“Thou shalt not kill”) in the name of the Bible.

Society may not be ready to call the union of two men “marriage” (and personally, I’m not either). But if we truly call ourselves a Christian nation, let’s return to the roots, and do what Jesus did.

7 Responses to “Tolerance: It’s In The Bible”

  1. Lynn Vasquez Says:

    Wow! Well written. Keith, I enjoy your entries. Write on!

    God bless you,

    Lynn

  2. Sam P Says:

    Definition of tolerance from webster.com
    sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own

    Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
    I find it difficult to understand how this can be interpreted as Jesus being tolerant of her lifestyle. He encouraged her to change her lifestyle while conveying a message of love and forgivness. He forgave her for her sin, he become tolerant of it.

  3. Dave P Says:

    I agree with you, Sam. These folks have mistaken forgiveness with tolerance. Also that we, as sinners, are ill equipped to be judges. There can be no inference from this passage that the lifestyle should be accepted.

  4. Christianity and the Bible Says:

    The Bible is an extremely thick and difficult book to read. As regards the Bible’s view of homosexuality the following points are important:
    1 Only the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) mentions homosexuality a number of times, usually as part of the more than 600 rules of the law of Moses that contains hundreds of things that people are commanded to do and hundreds of things that people are forbidden to do.
    2 Homosexuality is not mentioned at all in the Greek Scriptures (the New Testament). This means that neither Jesus nor His apostles nor the other authors of the Greek Scriptures ever mentioned the phenomenon. They did not approve of homosexuality. They did not condemn it.
    3 There is no doubt among Christians that Jesus Christ abolished the more than 600 rules and laws of the law of Moses and no Christian is obliged to follow these Mosaic laws.
    4 The teachings of Jesus and the authors of the Greek Scriptures can be summarized by Jesus’ own words: the main commandment for all Christians is that they must love their God with all their heart, their whole mind, and all their strength ……. and love their neighbours as they love themselves.

  5. Reverend George V. Schubel Says:

    Tolerance

    Ways to look at the difference in belief

    Merely considering followers of other religions to hold invalid beliefs, considering them wrong or deluded, or assessing their behavior as immoral or heretical is religious exclusivism. It is not religious intolerance, unless it is accompanied with some harmful action.

    There are two different ways to look at the difference in beliefs between denominations and religions:

    We can choose a view based on our absolute certainty that only we can interpret the will of the Lord. As such all the other views are wrong and a study of other religious views are unnecessary. The problem with this idea is it seems to be intolerant and sets us up as the judge of other believer’s morality, which the Lord has said we cannot do.
    or
    We can choose a view that says based on our reading of the scripture we believe strongly that certain things are true, but realize that no one has a monopoly on the truth and others could be correct and only the Lord can judge a believer’s morality. This view allows us to see what truths we can gain from the view of others. In this view we understand the differences between the religions and denominations because we have studied them first hand with an open mind, but choose to seek and emphasize the similarities so that we can live together in unity. Understanding others start with understanding their beliefs. Reading someone else’s doctrine doesn’t mean you’re going to be converted to their beliefs. It simply gives you information and knowledge to intelligently discuss your beliefs vs. theirs and find common ground between the two. And there is a lot of common ground between religions. This does not compromise our own beliefs and seems more tolerant.

    Dr Hans Küng, a Professor of Ecumenical Theology, formulated, “There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions”. This has become an often-quoted belief among the interfaith community.

    The Interfaith Church believes there is one God, but many paths to the divine. I believe that all who sincerely seek God can be saved through the savior Jesus and the actions of the Holy Spirit. It is on the Holy Bible that I base my belief.

    Support from the Bible on there being more than one path to God
    It is on the Holy Bible that I base my belief that there is one God and he is the God of Love, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The one God who sent his Son Jesus to save us from sin, but many paths that lead us through Jesus to God because God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are ONE.

    “Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.” (Psalms 25:4 New American Standard Bible)

    “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” (Psalms 25-10 KJV)

    Note that the bible uses the plural paths in both of the Psalms. If it is true that there is only one path why did God say paths? Why did he not use the singular “path” so we would know there was only one path?
    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correcting, for instruction in righteousness.”(2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)
    Again the Lord says clearly All Scripture. He does not say this scripture or only this scripture.

    “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” (Psalms 133:1 KJV)

    “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

    The Lord Jesus made it clear that our brothers are all the people, ‘one another’ is all the people and unity does not just mean tolerance it means coming together to understand others.
    We can not know that other religions are false, we can believe that, but we can not know it for certain for the Bible tells us that we do not know all of God’s will.
    “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part” (1 Corinthians 13: 9 NKJV)
    “For now we see in a mirror dimly” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV)
    That is what he was telling the Corinthians when they believed they knew everything relating to God’s will.
    God said that there would be more prophets in the future.
    “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28 ESV)

    The Golden Rule also indicates tolerance. “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” This is expressed in every major religion and is the basis of all moral life. No one would want someone to tell him or her they are going to hell because of his or her religious view.

    Peter said; “God has shown me clearly that I must not call any man profane or unclean.” (Acts 10:28 New English Bible)

    Christians can honor Jesus and show that they understand his message of love and brotherhood by showing tolerance toward those of other faiths.

    Roman Catholics believe that salvation is open to the believers in all Christian denominations and all religions if they sincerely seek God. This was stated in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (often referred to as Vatican II). The assessment of this Council reads:
    “The non-Christian may not be blamed for his ignorance of Christ and his Church; salvation is open to him also, if he seeks God sincerely and if he follows the commands of his conscience, for through this means the Holy Ghost acts upon all men; this divine action is not confined within the limited boundaries of the visible Church.”
    It has been said that Saturday and Sunday are the two most segregated days of the week not only segregated by race but even more so by religious belief. Most people very rarely visit a place of worship of a denomination or religion other than their own.

    I will affirm my beliefs, but I won’t single out any religious person or group to refute its beliefs or practices. I believe no one has a monopoly on the truth or the path to the divine.

  6. John Says:

    The writer of the original conveniently stops short of the verse where Christ says ” … leave your life of sin.”, or ” … go, and sin no more.” (depending on the version of the Bible you use).
    He was NOT tolerant of the sin but was showing mercy to the woman.

  7. Magniloquence Says:

    Reverend George V. Schubel is obviously one of the teachers of the apostate church we are warned about.
    His post about tolerance completely (and conveniently) omits one of the most important messages in the (Christian) Bible where Christ says “no-one comes to the Father but by Me”. No other religion says that about Christ. That is fundamental to the Christian faith. Anyone who does not recognise THAT fact is NOT A CHRISTIAN.

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