What is Tolerance? by Selma Oetker

What is Tolerance? by Selma Oetker

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Tolerance is a word that is heard over and over in the news reports and discussions on talk shows these days. Or, intolerance, depending on the particular subject being discussed.

What is the definition of tolerance?..

From Websters New World College Dictionary

1a. a tolerating, or being tolerant, esp. of views, beliefs, practices, etc. of others that differ from one’s own

b. freedom from bigotry or prejudice.

The majority of people who are crying “tolerance, everyone should be tolerant of others”, are not doing this because they love everyone.


These people actually want everyone to accept all kinds of evil, every sinful lifestyle (i.e. adultery, abortion, living together without being married, homosexuality), every false religion, and yet,


These are the kind of people who have COEXIST bumper stickers on their cars.

According to them, whatever is accepted as “normal” in a society, must be right, it must be good, therefore everyone should tolerate it!

Who really determines what is right and what is wrong?

The following passage is from the Protestant Christian Bible, the first Book of the Old Testament.

[Genesis 6:5-22 NIV] 5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created–and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground–for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. 11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark–you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

It is clear in these Holy Scriptures that God is the Creator, and the One who determines what is right and what is wrong!

Now, centuries later, since God destroyed the earth with a flood, the majority of mankind still rejects God and His plan of Salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

The following Scriptures are from the Protestant Christian Bible New Testament.

[Romans 1:16-32 NIV] 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

[Judges 21:25 KJV] 25 In those days ………….. every man did

[that which was] right in his own eyes

As it was in Old Testament times, so it is today!

 God is not tolerant of evil!

Read the following Scriptures from this same Bible.

[Matthew 15:7-9 NIV] 7(Jesus said) You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 ” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.'”

[John 8:42-47 NIV] 42 Jesus said to them, ( the Jewish religious leaders) “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” 

[Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23 NIV] 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. … 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

[Matthew 16:26 KJV] 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Many people think they will “profit” by being tolerant, by being inclusive, by being one of the majority who turn against God and His Holy Word. They want to be accepted and applauded by others, as progressive thinkers, to be in the mainstream of the world.

Read what God has to say about that in the Protestant Christian Bible:

[Isaiah 5:20-24 NIV] 20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. 22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, 23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent. 24 Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.

The good news is that there is hope for you, for everyone. God is merciful, a God of Love, a forgiving God. God does NOT want anyone to go to hell. But that WILL be your final destination, if you continue to choose the ways of the world, instead of God’s WAY, which is Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

You must repent in your heart of thinking you are wiser than God, that you can live any way you want to, and at the end of your life “go to a better place”. People say that all the time when someone dies,

“oh, they’re in a better place now”.


The only “better place” is God’s Heaven,

and there is only One Way to enter there.

You must choose to submit yourself, heart, will, and mind to God, in sorrowful repentance asking His forgiveness for your sin, and living God’s Way, instead of your way. This means to follow the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles, and evangelists in the Protestant Christian Bible.

Selma  Oetker, Protestant  Christian Missionary

Saint Charles Missouri, U.S.

May 2015..