One of the cardinal doctrines built into our broader culture is that of diversity and tolerance. Everyone’s views, religions and cultures are said to be of equal worth. Affirming this will lead to tolerance and diversity among different people. While this thinking may seem true to the undiscerning, it isn’t fooling anybody who has a modicum of conviction.
The fact is people in the public sphere or in the workplace aren’t really affirming the equal value of each other’s worldviews. Most people are just playing along, putting up with this so they wont get into trouble. It has led to unhealthy culture of fear and silence. But in point of fact, nobody has listened to this. Muslims remain Muslims and really think Christians are wrong, and vice versa. And secularists don’t affirm the truth of the Christian worldview for a second. Nor do Christians see atheist belief of equal value to their own. Yet despite this diversity, we are tolerating each other.
Think about it. In the work place environment, do I really have to affirm that a co-worker’s Islamic beliefs are equal value to my Christian beliefs in order work alongside him and have lunch together? Yes in public worship, there must be common convictions about God, Christ, the Bible, and so on, but the workplace? Do we both have to deny our faith in order to work together? Obviously not!
Real tolerance implies some measure of disagreement with others and their views, yet choosing to live with and work alongside them. In other words real tolerance presupposes disagreement. There is no need to tolerate the guys whose views I agree with. But the fellow whose views I don’t agree with, I will tolerate and he will have to tolerate me.
But today’s tolerance is not about toleration in this sense; it is about conformity. We are told and retold that no one can or should judge someone else’s religion or worldview as wrong. Those who don’t conform are marginalized as right wing quacks and bigots. Ironically, then, it is radicals holding to the tolerance doctrine that are intolerant.
Today’s tolerance doctrine is therefore insidious. It uses virtue to promote evil, the virtue of tolerance to promote the denial of Christ. It condemns discrimination even as it discriminates and thus condemns itself. In the end, it is just another, albeit subtle instance of man’s endeavor to silence God. Because of sinful rebellion humanity will not tolerate the thought of the true God. He suppresses the knowledge of God, and will come up with ingenious ways to silence the church. The world will tolerate a church that does not call out its unbelief, delusions, and sins. It doesn’t want to hear about the Son of God. Well, they crucified Jesus, and we are not above our Master.