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Doctrinal Matters: Situation Ethics

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Tolerance, Diversity, and Division

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

One of the “big myths” of society that surely will go down in history as a significant contributor to the moral decline of America is the incessant clamor by liberals for “tolerance” and “diversity.” They insist that those who oppose same-sex marriage are “intolerant” and lack basic human “compassion.” They maintain that “diversity” and “tolerance” (code words for acceptance of homosexuality) are healthy for society, and that those who oppose homosexuality are merely “demonizing people for political advantage” and “perpetuating division” (Obama, 2004).

Satan is slick. He uses “devices,” “wiles,” and “snares” (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:26) to distort people’s thinking. He is a shrewd master of advancing his agenda by disguising the immoral with a righteous veneer. If people give in to emotional impulse, rather than thinking rationally, logically, and biblically, they will swallow the propaganda and embrace Satan’s ploys.

The fallacy of such “reasoning” is made apparent when placed in syllogistic form:

1. Everyone should be compassionate, tolerant, and accepting of diversity;

2. Homosexuality is one form of diversity;

3. Therefore, homosexuality should be accepted/approved; to fail to do so is intolerant and divisive.

Few would disagree with the first premise. The Bible clearly teaches that God loves every person, and He requires Christians to do the same. However, toleration cannot and must not extend to any practice, action, or behavior that is evil, immoral, and sinful, i.e., out of harmony with God’s will.

Using the above line of reasoning, the tolerance/diversity umbrella ought logically to apply to pedophilia, necrophilia, incest, bestiality, and every other aberrant sexual behavior. Similarly, the same principle ought to apply to murder, stealing, drug dealing, and every other illegal action. Are we simply to cancel all laws in the United States that govern human behavior—on the guise that to enforce them is “intolerant”? Are we to open the doors of all the prisons in the country and free the criminals—on the grounds that to fail to do so is to “perpetuate division”? By such foolish thinking, placing anyone in prison constitutes a lack of “compassion.”

The tolerance/diversity viewpoint is completely nonsensical. If applied consistently and thoroughly, it would lead to social anarchy, rampant lawlessness, and the destruction of society. Opposing homosexuality, abortion, and a host of other social and moral evils is not incompatible with compassion and tolerance. One can oppose and punish murder while still maintaining compassion for the murderer. The overarching, governing principle is the recognition of and submission to the absolute standard of morality given to the human race by the God of the Bible—the God who is love (1 John 4:16). Those who reject that standard, thereby elevating their own fleshly appetites above the transcendent Creator, one day will face the consequences: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Those who consider themselves more tolerant and compassionate than God need a healthy dose of humility to alter their skewed perspective:

Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word (Isaiah 66:1-2, emp. added).

May we be among “those that tremble at the commandment of our God” (Ezra 10:3).

REFERENCES

Obama, Barack (2004), “Obama on Marriage,” Windy City Times, November 2, [On-line], URL: “http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=4018.




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