By Scott Tibbs, June 26, 2008
CBS News reports that a large portion of the population feels there are many paths to salvation and more than one way to interpret the holy texts of their respective faiths. The best quote of the article is from Rice University sociologist D. Michael Lindsay, who said America is "3,000 miles wide and only three inches deep."
While the poll results are being touted by some as "tolerance", a better word might be "spinelessness" or even "hatred". Religious tolerance, of course, is a virtue. No one should be persecuted for his faith, and we should all have the right to worship, or not worship, as we see fit. The shepherding of our souls is best left to Jesus Christ and those who serve him on earth, with the government staying out of it. But we should not confuse tolerance for all beliefs with acceptance of those beliefs. The two are most certainly not the same.
The Bible is abundantly clear on the nature of salvation, specifically the doctrine presented in John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Matthew 7:13-14 teaches that "many" go along the wide path that leads to eternal destruction, but "few" follow the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation and eternal fellowship with God. But many Americans, seduced by the god of this world and the desire to please men, rebel against Scripture's clear teaching and endorse the wide rather than the narrow path.
In some cases, the false "tolerance" is ignorance, but in other cases "tolerance" is another word for hatred. Those "Christians" who know the truth but proclaim that those on the path to Hell are fine and dandy are placing their own comfort in society over the souls that need Christ's blood to be saved. Lying to a Hell-bound sinner to avoid discomfort is not tolerance: it is hatred. It is damning a soul to eternal torment in order to avoid being "offensive" or appearing "intolerant". It is also idolatry - worship of self and worship of the culture of "tolerance".
Biblical Christians should be wary of this march toward "tolerance". When "tolerance" roles the day, the ones most likely to be silenced are the "intolerant". We saw this when David Horowitz and Ann Coulter came to speak on the Indiana University campus in 2005 and 2006, and a decade earlier when feminists were determined to shut down a speaker at the Collegians Activated to Liberate Life weekend in 1994. We see it today with "hate speech" laws in Canada, where censorship becomes a tool to enforce "tolerance".
When all paths are accepted as truth, only truth is not tolerated.