They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. (Ps. 115:7)
A CHRISTIAN LEADER RECENTLY stated that what was once a commonly quoted favorite verse—John 3:16, the gospel in mini form—has changed for many. The new favorite seems to be, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matt. 7:1). This shift correlates with a possible buzzword for this age: tolerance. May I suggest that this philosophy has become an idol?
While tolerance is not an undesirable trait, its definition seems to have changed from respect for an idea to acceptance of all ideas as equally true.
In Ezra, we read how the Jews had opposition to their rebuilding efforts from those around them. Much of this opposition came from the Samaritans who had intermarried with Gentiles and had become “tolerant” of their religions. They still had a semblance of the Jewish ways of worship, but also blended with other religions around them.
Placing anything equal to or above God makes an idol out of that thing, person, or ideology. However, as the psalmist says, idols are unable to feel, walk, or do anything. They’re not God’s equal, for he is not an idle God. He has intervened in history over and over again, guiding the Jews toward Canaan, teaching from a boat, or leading Paul to the various churches. While we can practice tolerance, let us not let it replace God in our hearts.
Respect others’ ideas without feeling obligated to accept them.
Edwin Wiles is a retired science instructor from Kernersville Wesleyan and Surry Community Colleges. He enjoys his wife and family, reading, photography, gardening, and his church family.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.