If You Can’t Celebrate, At Least Tolerate: The Doctrine Of Hate That Masquerades As Love

Tolerance and Hate1 Peter 1:14-16

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”


A friend recently relayed a quote from a gay rights activist she knows, that says: “If you can’t celebrate, at least tolerate.”


This misconstrued idea of tolerance is the newly accepted methodology for attacking the Christian standard of holiness.  Ironically, while it masquerades as an enlightened and altruistic outlook on life, at its core, this ideology espouses hate and indifference towards the wellbeing of others, which is not solely isolated to the cause of equality in marriage.


The word tolerance means to respect the beliefs of others, as such those who are painted as intolerant are purposely equated with a blatant disrespect for others and what’s worse in society today, imposing their confining beliefs on others.


We are to tolerate homosexuality under the guise of “equality in marriage”, we are to tolerate the practice of abortion under the guise of a “woman’s choice for her reproductive health”, we are to tolerate recreational drug abuse because those that engage in these practices “aren’t hurting anyone else”, we are to tolerate sexual relationships outside of marriage because “they really love each other”.


The idea of tolerance however is completely foreign to Christianity and the very nature of God.  God cannot tolerate sin, in any form, in any being.  His command to believers is to live Holy lives, which means lives that conform to the moral standard of God’s perfection.  God doesn’t tolerate sin in the lives of Christians, yet Christians may regularly find themselves falling prey to sinful choices.  God does not tolerate this sin in order to accept His people, on the contrary, a high price; a ransom had to be paid for the freedom of those who believe in Christ.


Refusal to conform to this standard leaves an individual in the unfortunate position of having to pay the ransom themselves, through eternal separation from God, who cannot tolerate the lives of sin and rebellion that these have chosen to lead.


Since this is true… To ask a genuine believer, to tolerate choices of rebellion and sin in the lives of others, is to ask them to stop caring about the bigger picture of their eternal destiny.  Tolerance then becomes an act of hateful disregard for the wellbeing of those around us.  Were we to celebrate or tolerate sin in the short term and approve of destructive choices for pleasure in this life, we would be helping to condemn an ignorant soul as Peter calls it to an eternity shut out from the presence of Christ.  Such an attitude also constitutes rebellion against the standard of Holiness that God has established for us.


Disagreement is not equivalent with hate.  Tolerance of destructive practices is.