Monday, January 7, 2013

Lopsided Tolerance

We hear a lot these days about political correctness and tolerance. It seems that we must never criticize anything in any way and for any reason, but instead be tolerant toward everything.

However, there is one exception to this unstated viewpoint. That exception is the historic Christian faith–belief in the God of the Bible and salvation by His grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

The word tolerance in religious things has in the past meant to be respectful toward those who hold variant views. It did not mean all viewpoints were equally true. When did this understanding of tolerance change? It is difficult to say exactly when. But there is no doubt that in many circles today the historic Christian faith is an exception to the popular view of tolerance. Especially since the September 11 attacks, almost any religious belief is to be viewed as true and must never be criticized, except Christianity.

In his excellent book The Name, Franklin Graham references the EP News Service, January 17, 2002 the following about a California school district (p. 84). A school required of its seventh-grade students the following: Students to learn the tenets of Islam, know important persons in Islam’s history, learn verses from the Koran, pray "in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful" and chant "Praise to Allah, Lord of creation."

You decide how requiring such activities in the name of tolerance squares with restrictions on Christians regarding such things as prayer in public forms and nativity scenes on public property. It all sounds very lopsided to me.