Even a simple review of history reveals that the cultural norm is for one group or another to dominate everyone else, with little tolerance for different systems of belief or forms of behavior. The only clear exception I can find is in modern western culture, primarily in the United States and Europe. For the past few centuries, the West has experimented with forms of tolerance that were rarely considered previously in history.
At first glance, it all looks wonderful. We’re so enlightened now, so delightfully free of the shackles spawned of ignorance and fear that bound us for so long. This is the message we receive daily from the media, the public schools, the universities, and the courts.
However, it pays to take another look. The same forces that claim enlightenment and liberation for so many, ignore, deny or rationalize away the less attractive fruit of their labors. The slaughter of the unborn, the breakdown of the traditional family, the loss of a common agreement about the nature of right and wrong, all can be directly traced to the shift in values underlying this new world view.
While countless voices trumpet the virtues of tolerance, the narrowness of its focus goes largely unnoticed. This new tolerance largely targets those areas of public life that have traditionally been governed by Judeo-Christian morality.
The Bible, and the God who wrote it, declare repeatedly that marriage is a sacrament, a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman. All other forms of sexual expression come under the headings of sin and abomination. The modern voices of tolerance increasingly attack the traditional marriage, and tout the “benefits” of sexual permissiveness and the acceptability of alternative lifestyles.
The Bible clearly states the humanity and value of the unborn, implying strongly that abortion is murder. The voices of tolerance speak of the woman’s “right to choose”. They call murder “family planning” and “termination of pregnancy”. The baby is now a “fetus” and “the products of conception”.
My personal experience as a Christian has been that these voices of tolerance are almost shockingly intolerant of anything that contradicts their beliefs in a way that points to Christ. Anything that aligns with traditional Christian teaching is either attacked or ignored.
On several occasions over the past few years, I have seen otherwise rational, intelligent people explode in verbal torrents of rage and contempt at even subtle hints of my Christian point of view. In each case, when the ranting ended, the person stormed away, subsequently treating me like I didn’t exist.
I must confess that I’m beginning to understand what it means to be persecuted for Christ.
- February 2, 2004