Tol·er·ance noun \ˈtä-lə-rən(t)s, ˈtäl-rən(t)s\
: willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own
The recent media storm surrounding statements made by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson have sparked many debates around “free speech”. But the real issue here is not Phil Robertson, what he said, how he said it, LGBT rights, or even free speech. A&E has every right to fire Robertson. They are a private company, and they can do whatever they feel is right. The LGBT community has their right to voice their concerns, and Phil Robertson has a right to express his opinion.
The real issue here is absolute truth.
The key phrase in Webster’s definition of tolerance is “willingness to accept”. For decades in this America, tolerance meant that even if I don’t agree with you, I will still “tolerate” your views because we live in a free country, side by side. An “agree to disagree” sort of world.
That world is no more. “Tolerance” is now defined as accepting anyone’s view as long as they do not claim to have absolute truth. I will tolerate you as long as you admit that I’m right too. Absolute truth is the deal breaker, because in our post-modern world, no one can have it (many believe). If you claim to have absolute truth, you are bigoted, intolerant, and should be ostracized from the community.
That’s what is happening to Phil Robertson.
It’s what happened to Jesus.
It’s what happens to Jesus still, and those who follow Him.
Christ’s claim on absolute truth strikes people as intolerant, because it puts them in a position of being wrong. And for them, that is intolerable.
So, Christians, don’t be “surprised” or in “disbelief” about the reaction to this latest firestorm. Jesus predicted, correctly of course, that this would happen.
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-20
The world hates believers in Christ, because we are holders of absolute truth.