Should Christians always be tolerant of other views?

This question could be looked at in a couple different ways. On one hand Christians should always be ready with an answer for what they believe and be able to do so with kindness and respect of others. However, today there seems to be an idea that all views are equal and therefore shoud be tolerated on the basis that, as Oprah says, there can’t just be “one way”.

So lets break down the word “tolerant”. If all views such as Christianity and others are valid, then by definition Christianity is valid. However, the Biblical Christian world view says that not all views are valid so in fact this simply doesn’t work. In addition, there is no reason to “tolerate” someone that we agree with, we tolerate people that we have issues with. If all world views are equal and all ways point to Heaven then logically there is no need for tolerance in the first place.

One of the biggest problems today is moral relativism which seeks to avoid the issue of tolerance altogether. If there are no absolute truths then everything is relative and we need to tolerate all other view points since what is truth for you might not be truth for someone else. In opposition to that, Christianity does claim an absolute moral truth and although Christians are sinners and approach others with tolerance as such, it is not done to the point where the truth of God’s word is compromised.

So to the Christian, true tolerance for people is shown through being Christ like in our compassion and respect for others. At the same time holding true to the absolute truth taught by Christ that there is only one God and one Mediator between God and man and that is Christ. True tolerance is understanding that different people need revelation in different ways and that God reveals that truth in his own time and place so we are to present the truth and not hide from it.

Have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by flesh. Jude 1:22-23 (English standard version)

One thought on “Should Christians always be tolerant of other views?

  1. I appreciate this post. I never realized that tolerance is out of place in a morally relative culture. “We all already agree that every view is right, there is nothing left to tolerate.”

    I also like the Christian view of tolerance, specifically referenced from Jude, “Have mercy on those who doubt.” We are not to condemn but rather show mercy to those who lack faith.

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