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« Thoughts on Our Sinful Nature | Main | Links Mentioned on the 10/14/15 Show »

October 14, 2015

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I am so glad this is being addressed on the blog! I am right now listening to the podcast and was going to comment on it.

This used to be a good approach and tactic. But my experience has been that it no longer seems to work. People have now found a workaround. It's some version of:

"I am tolerant towards those who are also tolerant. But I see no need to be tolerant with those who are hateful bigots."

Remember, in our culture today, simply disagreeing with any aspect of the Rainbow Crowd is considered bigotry and hatred. It simply does not matter what the level or nature of the disagreement may be, or how reasonably and graciously that disagreement may be expressed/presented.

It's all or nothing. Either you celebrate this lifestyle, or you are labeled a hateful bigot (among other things that probably cannot be printed here) and you are completely shut down. It's not even subtle anymore. The hatred is now palpable.

I'm at a loss. It used to be you could at least get some discussion in, before the name calling and the ending of the discussion would occur. Now, it starts off with the name calling (and very often vulgarity) and the discussion barely begins before it's shut down. There is now ZERO room for disagreement.

Also, the consequences could be way more than name calling and insults. I agree that that's trivial. But we're talking about losing your job, your business being destroyed due to lawsuits, and even being put in jail - all of which has actually happened already.

This is terrifying to people, and understandably so.

I've been out of the workforce for years. But if I ever found a real job again (after 8 years of this nightmare) and then I was put in a situation where I had to choose between Christ and the job, I'd be terrified.

I have NO desire to cave. I love Christ and I want to stand for Him in every situation! But in my weak, human self, I don't know if I'd have the strength to bear the pressure. The thought of being sent back to this horrible situation of being stuck without a job, stuck in my parents' house, stuck with no future, no hope, no purpose - it truly would be unbearable. I don't know that I could do it. I pray I would!

So we are no longer just talking about name calling. I get called names online nearly every day -things I cannot even print here.

There is very real, valid reason for fear.

Praying for you Mo...

MO -- how about some more follow-up questions when you get that answer? How exactly would you define tolerance? Can you give me an example of what you would consider intolerant? How do you decide what is right and what is wrong? Do you recognize any authority outside your own opinion in matters of right and wrong? Is morality a real feature of the universe, or simply a social structure? If the former, where does morality come from? If the latter, would it be possible under different circumstances to come to the opposite conclusion?

It seems to me that the root of this debate comes down to a question of authority. I do not expect people who do not share my belief in biblical authority to see it my way. But that is a two-way street. What does the opposing party claim as their source of authority? And why should I accept their source of authority? In my limited experience, people insist on transcendent human rights for members of the LBGT community, but recognize the problem with their view as soon as one asks where those transcendent rights come from. On the other hand, if these rights are not transcendent but contingent on time/place/society, then logically, opposing view points are equally valid; there is no "real" right or wrong, and there is no reason to get angry, in fact, such debate is utterly meaningless.

@ RagTime

Thanks.

@ Sam Jones

You know, I am really starting to wonder if people today are even capable of thinking through issues and why they hold the views they hold. All I ever see is emotionalism!

Yes, yes and yes. Emotionalism truly rules the day.

I always thought the whole painting-people-who-preach-tolerance-as-intolerant tactic was kind of weak. Mainly because it mischaracterizes what proponents of "tolerance" actually believe. They typically don't mean "okay with any opinion or view". Instead, their functional definition is something like "okay with any view that doesn't damage our collective ability to get along and pursue individual happiness".

So it's not "intolerant" to denounce the view that it's okay to use children as sex slaves. But it would be "intolerant" to denigrate a Christian for believing in God.

When someone calls somebody else a bigot, by logical conclusion, doesn't it mean that they are a bigot?
"Bigot: a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions."
If you label someone a bigot, it means that you are a bigot too. Am I wrong in thinking this?

Buddy,

"okay with any view that doesn't damage our collective ability to get along and pursue individual happiness".

That's a slippery notion. Consider the preachers of tolerance that are homosexual activists who also want to force Christian bakers, florists, etc. to violate their religious conscience in serving gay weddings. Do they qualify as damaging our collective ability to get along and pursue individual happiness? I would certainly say so, but they would have a different understanding of what the legitimate limits of individual happiness entail.

And so for these people (who are the vocal majority in our society), it's a perfectly legitimate and strong tactic.

Also, if this tactic forces the preacher of tolerance to go back and qualify his claim in the way you have done, such that only some morally appropriate positions should be tolerated, then the tactic has already adequately done it's job... since most of today's western preachers of tolerance have not been careful to qualify their position in the way you have. Instead "tolerance" operates as a "hooray word" -- a word politicized word that has immediate emotional purchase but little intellectual content.

@MO -- I agree that people do not think through their views and emotionalism is primary; therefore, it is our job to gently help them think through their view, maybe for the first time! Likely there are many that are simply not interested in doing so, but being rational creatures made in the image of God some will be. We must also be conscious of others who are listening, who are less vocal and/or decided, as they may be the primary beneficiaries of the exchange.

This is such great advice. Too often people try and trap us under the pretence of wanting to know what we want to believe. I use Greg's Tactics every time I teach apologetics in Bible College.

@ Sam Jones

"therefore, it is our job to gently help them think through their view, maybe for the first time! Likely there are many that are simply not interested in doing so, but being rational creatures made in the image of God some will be. We must also be conscious of others who are listening, who are less vocal and/or decided, as they may be the primary beneficiaries of the exchange."

If you find people like that, let me know! I can't even remember a time I found such a person, especially online!

@Mo: I'm genuinely sorry you've gone through what you've gone through. However, it seems that you've viewed a job as the basis for your sense of purpose or meaning in life. That's idolatry, my friend. You need to repent of that.

“So let me ask you a question: Do you consider yourself a tolerant person or an intolerant person? Is it safe to give my opinion, or are you going to judge me for my point of view? Do you respect diverse points of view, or do you condemn others for convictions that differ from your own?”

Are you guys going to judge? Yes, you are. Is it safe to give my opinion without accusations? No, its not. Do you respect diverse points of view? No you don't. Are you going to condemn me? Others on this site already have.

Sorry, the Bible is not the Word of God and Greg Koukl's statement of faith agrees with me. Here is a copy and paste:

1. The Bible, consisting of all the books of the Old and New Testament, is the Word of God, a supernaturally given revelation from God Himself, concerning Himself, His being, nature, character, will and purposes; and concerning man, his nature, need and duty and destiny. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are without error or misstatement in their moral and spiritual teaching and record of historical facts. They are without error or defect of any kind in the autographs. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)

Do you see the qualifier? The autographs don't exist; therefore your perfect Bible does not exist per your own statement of faith. All there is are copies of copies of copies. Therefore the above statement is saying that the Bible we do have has errors. Just as I have said and the reason I say it is because it is true.

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