Being older gives me a bit of historical perspective. I remember the time in the Sixties when college professors were pleading for tolerance and academic freedom so that their Marxist values could be expressed in the classroom. The argument was that college students should be exposed to a diversity of opinions and robust discussion of different views.
We all know what has happened in that regard. If a college professor today dares express a divergent position or robustly discuss current issues, that professor will not get tenure and, as often happens, be terminated from his/her position.
Some have labeled this the New Tolerance. The values of the old tolerance was “live and let live”, “let’s all just try to get along,” and the old saying “I disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Not so anymore. I remember the first time I saw the bumper sticker: COEXIST. I thought it was a clever little way of saying that people of differing faiths should be able to live together and respect each other, discuss opposing views and seek truth together.
Boy, was I naïve. I found out later that there was no room for discussion. I had to hold that all religious views were equally valuable, equally true, and no dissent could be expressed. For me to say that all roads don’t lead to the same place was considered hateful. And for me to bring up the topic of heaven and hell was outright verbal violence!
Is this an issue in the real world? Absolutely. Consider the issue of this year’s NCAA March Madness. One Cinderella team that was in the running up until it’s 2 point loss to Arkansas on Saturday was the target of hateful attacks. What was their crime? Oral Roberts University dared to hold to traditional religious values that conformed to the Bible. Though universal testimony can be given of how civil and gracious they treat all with whom they come in contact, their very beliefs are now labeled as hate and this “bigoted” school should have been banned from the tournament. The challenge and destructiveness of the New Tolerance was well expressed in an editorial response to USA Today’s call to ban ORU…
Yesterday, we told you how another USA Today column this week insisted that ORU’s basketball team “doesn’t deserve to be canceled from [the] NCAA Sweet 16.” Eric Stetzer, a professor and dean at Wheaton College (IL), warns that calls to ban the conservative, Christian university could preview what’s ahead if the anti-faith, pro-LGBTQ “Equality” Act becomes law:
It’s easy to point out the eccentric elements of their history, but President Billy Wilson and the Oral Roberts faculty are well respected and the school is thriving. Yet, it apparently lacks the needed qualifications to play college sports today — a willingness to conform to the new moral dogma.
The dogma teaches that tolerance must mean agreement, then branding all who disagree as intolerant and harmful. Not satisfied that we respect opposing views on human sexuality, all must affirm homosexuality as acceptable within our own theology. There can no longer be any disagreement, only compliance. …
I get that it’s easy to pick on Oral Roberts University. But I’d remind my fellow people of faith, nobody will get a pass on these issues if the dogma of new tolerance continues to take hold. So why not take a stand now?
And this is our new reality. …
This is a stunning 180° from the arguments we heard in 2009 when LGBTQ+ advocates maintained, “All we want is the right to marry. How will my gay marriage hurt you?” Now it’s: “We want your college accreditation, your athletic participation and more.”
Considering how much those who expressed concern a decade ago were mocked for advancing slippery slope arguments, the rhetoric deployed against ORU or in defense of the Equality Act suggests these concerns were underemphasized.
The calls to remove Oral Roberts from NCAA competition comes against the backdrop of Senate debates over the Equality Act. Proponents of the act want to say the law will just keep the homophobes from harming the rights of LGBTQ+ persons, but that’s neither accurate nor honest. What we are seeing in the news media is what the Equality Act will make into law.
Let’s train our children to resist being muzzled in the name of tolerance, compassion, love or kindness. As we have seen in the last 50 years, this is just a veiled attempt to shut down Biblical discussion of the wisdom and morality of various lifestyles and beliefs. It is not loving in the name of tolerance to hide the Gospel, the only hope to avoid a Christless eternity. It is not compassionate to keep quiet about the many consequences of the anti-Christian values being forced on our culture today. It is not kind to fail to expose the destructive teachings of things veiled as “Family Life Education.” The well-being of children is at stake.
I was on the sidelines and ignorant back in the day when tolerance was forcing its way into our culture. We cannot afford to be that way today. Please pray for God’s Spirit to move in the church first and the rest of our country later. Christopher
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