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Are Christians to be tolerant?

So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?  Romans 2:3-4

This is the only time the word “tolerance” appears in the Bible.  (Its other English counterpart word, forbearance, appears also in Romans 3:25).  It says that God is tolerant toward us, despite our sinfulness.

The word means "patiently putting up with someone in love and kindness."

So should Christians be that way with the rest of the world?  Yes.  The Bible talks many times about loving outsiders, foreigners, sinners and our enemies.

However, tolerance has taken on a new meaning these days.  The world defines it as "acceptance."  They want Christians to:

·         Accept other religions or personal practices as equal and permissible
·         Stay quiet and not make people feel bad about their beliefs or try to change them
·         Not judge others

Christians cannot accept things that are wrong or they would be compromising the truth they believe.  However, they can be patient, loving and kind to those people engaging in those practices.

There are not many biblical examples of people who kept quiet when there was injustice.

Moses spoke out to Pharaoh (the leader of the Egyptian government) when the Israelites were held as slaves. 
Prophets spoke to the nation telling them they had lost their focus on spiritual matters.
Jesus attacked the religious institutions for their lack of compassion and loss of truth.
Stephen spoke out to the Jewish authorities and got stoned in the process.
Paul walked into cities and stood in their public squares and arenas challenging their belief system.

By being "intolerant" are Christians judging?  There are two types of judgment.  One is right and one is wrong.

WRONG: I look down on you because of your behavior and thought process and believe I am better than you.

RIGHT: I want to help you and warn you that your thought/behavior could hurt you now or for eternity and I want you to align your thought/behavior to God’s word so you can /have eternal life.

The one type of judgment judges other people's behavior to make the judger feel better about himself.  Wrong!

The other type of judgment judges other people's behavior to help/save them from death.  Right!

If I saw a person drowning and was tolerant - kept quiet and did not want to evade the person's personal privacy - I would be lacking in compassion.

So Christians must be bold, loving, caring, persistent and compassionate to save a lost and dying world.