Some say, Loving Christians should accept other religious views.

"You Christians seem to think that your way is the only way and that all other views are wrong. How intolerant can you be? Why can't you accept other people and what they believe as also true?"

These criticisms reflect the views of a new definition of the word tolerance.  Websters' New World Dictionary of English (third edition) defines tolerance as to recognize and respect [other's beliefs, practices, and so forth] without sharing them, and to bear or put up with [someone or something not especially liked]. The apostle Paul expressed this concept when he said, [Love] endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).

But today a new definition of tolerance is systematically being foisted upon the minds of all people. As an example, Thomas A Helmbock, executive vice president of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, states, The definition of new... tolerance is that every individuals beliefs, lifestyle, and perception of truth claims are equal... Your beliefs and my beliefs are equal, and all truth is relative.

This misconception assumes that truth is inclusive, that it gathers under its wings claims that oppose each other.  The fact, however, is that all truth is exclusive - at least to some degree - for it must exclude as false that which is not true.

For instance, it is true that Washington D.C. is the capital city of the United States of America. This means that no other city in the United States is that country's capital. In fact, no other city on planet Earth or anywhere in the universe can lay legitimate claim to being the capital city of the United States.  One city and one only fits the bill, and that's Washington D.C.

Simply because just one city is the United States capital does not mean that the people who affirm this truth are therefore intolerant. They may like scores of other cities and even live in different cities themselves. They may even live in different countries and prefer their country to America. Accepting the exclusive truth claim about Washington D.C. does not make a person tolerant or intolerant - it simply make him or her correct about what the capital city of the United States is.

The same is true about Christianity. If the claims of the Christian faith are true - and many people accept them as true - these people are no more intolerant for their belief than those people who accept Washington D.C. as the United States capital. They are either correct or mistaken about how God has revealed Himself in the world. If they are right, then there really is no other way to God but through Christ. If they are wrong, then Christianity is false. The question of tolerance isn't the issue. The question of truth is.

The misconception of intolerance assumes that a person should always keep his options open, even when the evidence narrows the options to one. Why should we do this? It seems clearly unreasonable, as apologists Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes state:
Surely, it is good to admit the possibility that one might be wrong and never good to maintain a position no matter what the evidence is against it. Also, one should never make a firm decision without examining all the evidence without prejudice... [But] are we still to remain open-minded when all reason says that there can be only one conclusion? That is the same as the error of the closed mind... What if the absolute veiw is true? Isn't openness taken to be absolute? In the long run, openness cannot really be true unless it is open to some real absolutes that cannot be denied. Open-mindedness should not be confused with empty-mindedness. One should never remain open to a second alternative when only one can be true.

It is the person who disbelieves in the face of strong evidence supporting Christianity who is really intolerant and closed-minded.

Josh McDowell. The New Evidence that demands a verdict. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1999. Pgs. xxxix - xi.
The "intolerance" of Christians is a direct result of the teachings of its founder Jesus Christ, who, in todays world, could be described as one of the most "intolerant" people to have ever lived...He was the one who said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14:6) -Daphne

Ravi Zacharias, a Christian writer, warns, "Truth cannot be sacrificed at the altar of pretended tolerance. Real tolerance is deference to all ideas, not indifference to the truth."

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