The Righteousness of Intolerance and the Tolerance of Unrighteousness

 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the ciy of Sodom – both young and old – surrounded the house.  They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”  Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him  and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing.  Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” “Get out of our way,” they replied. And they said, “This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.  But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door.  Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. Genesis 19:4-11

  He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. “ Gen. 19:23

The Tyranny of Tolerance

 It appears from these verses that neither the men of Sodom or the God of Israel were very tolerant. But were they both unrighteous? It seems then that sometimes tolerance though considered probably the only absolute in modern culture, is on a collision course with the God of all righteousness. And it’s just as obvious that this is nothing new.

In these verses I am singling out one form of unrighteousness, that of sex between people of the same gender, but there are many other forms of sexual behavior that would fall under the same label as unrighteous. Fornication; sex between unmarried heterosexuals. Adultery; sex between a married and unmarried person, or more simply, sex with someone else’s marriage partner. There are dozens of other non-sexual behaviors also called unrighteous in the bible, selfishness, drunkenness, tax cheats, liars, the list goes on and on.

The only reason that homosexual behavior stands out as any different is, for the most part, no one is trying to force me to accept drunkenness, adultery or fornication as perfectly acceptable behavior. Yet. Not to do so now is to be judgmental, whether or not your judgment agrees with Biblical standards or not. You are accused of being unaccepting  and of “putting up walls”, Exactly, but I only want to put up walls where God thinks they are necessary. Tear down all the walls and society goes with it.

Not that I judge myself any better then any unrighteous person. I am just as bad, my flesh is the same and I am capable of taking part in and tolerating any of the above listed behaviors. However at a early age, I learned a few survival skills the hard way. For example, I found other guys girl friends attractive and other guy’s wives as well. And sometimes they were willing. But where I grew up, if you took another guy’s girl, you stood a very good chance of being shot, stabbed or just beaten beyond recognition, So when I first read in the Book of Proverbs that to take another mans wife was to take fire to your chest, I understood that.

I remember back in the late seventies when the first big push to accept homosexuality as equal to heterosexuality in all its attributes, the I’m gay, okay? campaign was in full swing.. I remember feeling uncomfortable with that though I had never been churched or read a bible. I had been in the LA county jail though and witnessed sodomy, and wasn’t terribly attracted to it though some of my home boys tried to sell me on it. And then when the AID’s plague hit, I managed, without any help from “fundamentalists” or anybody else to make a connection there. So when I first read the story of  Sodom and Gomorrah it didn’t seem foreign to me.

God draws a clear line between the sexes, and Romans chapter one tells us that in apostate nations, these lines will be blurred.  The very fact that I believe I could commit adultery, homosexuality, fornication and all the rest is the very reason why I avoid them as best I can. And when I tell you I wont approve of them does not mean that I hate all drunks, adulterers, thieves, fornicators or tax cheats. My dearly loved grandfather had a terrible problem with alcohol. I was a thief. I also committed fornication and tried to commit adultery once  but passed out on drugs  before I could get it done.

And when I woke up that morning I remember the deep feeling of shame I experienced, even though I wasn’t even close to being a Christian or any other religion. I was literally burning with indignation against myself. I told myself I would never do that again. But you can get to like any kind of behavior, you can learn to tolerate all kinds of things which in the beginning burn your conscience. They call it sophistication. And we are all made the same basically.

In this nation we have learned to tolerate pre-natal infanticide, homosexuality, divorce and adultery and fornication. Whoopeee. I really don’t think it’s anything to get excited about. And what is really signified by “tolerance”? Just because people tolerate your behavior, doesn’t mean they actually approve of it. Politically correct people are notorious chameleons, they will say anything to survive. But don’t think just because they won’t tell you to your face that they don’t approve of your behavior, means that they really agree with it. Political correctness breeds cowardice, not the kind of unconditional love God’s lawbreakers are seeking,

We should be able to love people who are involved in behavior we don’t agree with. After all, at best we are all falling short of God’s standards of righteousness. But we shouldn’t be afraid to admit what we actually believe, no matter how intolerant of righteousness this society has become. Nor should we be forced by a bullying culture to lie against our conscience.

 Aren’t we the tolerant ones? So were they in Sodom. Teddy Roosevelt said;

 ” The man who knows the truth and has the opportunity to tell it, but who none the less refuses to, is the most shameful of all creatures. God forbid we ever should ever become as lax as that.”  Theodore Roosevelt


 “Never will I sit motionless while directly or indirectly apology is being made for the murder of the helpless.”

T.R., The Foes of Our Own Household, 1917, p.168

Both Jesus and Isaiah spoke about those who would call good evil and evil good.

Martin Luther said his conscience was bound to the Word of God, and he was ready to burn rather then contravene his conscience. What is your conscience bound to or by?  Is it bound to anything other then the flow of the culture? The intolerance of righteousness or the tolerance of unrighteousness may reign for awhile, but it is a philosophy of cowards. And it is the ultimate dead end road.


About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
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