We live in an interesting, ever-changing, and challenging day. As Christians, learning to navigate such a reality can be very confusing and intimidating. In one of Jesus’ central teachings, he commands us to love our neighbor (cf. Mark 12:31). And while we can and should often do this by meeting physical needs, there is another vital, but often overlooked, application of this passage. We need to stand up for the possibility of truth. We need to protect the endangered species of honest disagreement concerning the nature of reality. Today a not so subtle battle is raging from newspapers columns to college classrooms concerning the nature of tolerance. There are 2 competing definitions:
- False Tolerance: We can make no judgments at all about the truth of others’ beliefs.
- True Tolerance: We allow others the freedom to hold beliefs which we judge to be false.
If we cannot tell our neighbors or ourselves the truth about reality, then we cannot really love them. Because love involves seeking another’s highest good, and goodness is anchored in reality (after all, the truth sets us free). We must fight the false tolerance that seeks to intellectually bully our culture into agreeing that every viewpoint (especially when it comes to religion and morality) is equally valid. We must speak up in love for the possibility of truth. Loving our neighbor requires this.
Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow
Labels: Christianity, Cultural Observations, Pluralism, Tolerance, Truth