“Tolerance” and Post-Modernism

Nothing offends people today more than to claim to have the truth. Since there is no truth, no one can claim to have it. It is diametrically opposed to the very core tenets of Post-Modernism. And that’s why Post-Modernists call for “tolerance.”

Today there are actually two working definitions of tolerance. It would serve you well to determine which definition is in use when people use this term. You can accomplish that by simply asking for their definition. The old definition is “recognizing other’s beliefs without sharing them.” For example, someone is a Christian and someone is a Muslim. You understand what they believe, but you don’t share their particular view, so you live and let live. Sometimes this is now called “negative” tolerance.

However, “positive” tolerance (the new definition) is recognizing everyone’s beliefs are equal, and that no truth claim is greater than another. All beliefs are tolerated since none can actually be “the truth.” Remember that every worldview begins with an assumption; Post-Modernism says that there is no God. It further states that there is no truth, just interpretations by different people and cultures, and all are equally valid. So any person or group that claims to have “the truth” is judging the beliefs of others and is intolerant. By claiming to have “the truth” they are trying to dominate other cultures.

Those who are “intolerant” will suffer consequences–sensitivity classes, a mark on their permanent record, loss of class credit, or employment opportunities surrendered. Yet examples occur daily of people standing up for “the truth” and willingly suffering for it. Thankfully, groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom offer help. It is a Christian organization that defends and protects the right to hear and speak “the truth” in communities across America. Visit tellADF.org for more information about your free speech rights.

But in the midst of the desire to be tolerant, did you notice the double standard? If all beliefs are equal, then people should tolerate “intolerance.” If Christians have “their truth,” no one can judge them for it just because they say it is “the truth.” Chuck Colson states it this way:

“But the creed for the new god of tolerance is that knowing truth is impossible. So everyone is free to think and act as he likes, with one exception: those who have the audacity to believe that they know the truth, particularly if they think God has revealed it to them, are not tolerated. The result is that those who crowned the new god of tolerance have become the absolute arbiters of culture.”

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