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Tolerance and Intolerance

By R. J. Rushdoony
October 09, 2007

California Farmer 243:6 (Oct. 18, 1975), p. 36.

A friend was accused of intolerance by an associate because he expressed his opposition to various sexual offenses. He was briefly troubled by this charge until he suddenly realized that this accuser was himself savagely intolerant, intolerant in his case of Christianity.

Intolerance is inescapable. If we are Christians and abide by Scripture, we will be intolerant towards murder, theft, adultery, false witness, and other offenses against God’s order. They will be to us a violation of our freedom and order under God, and an oppression of godly men.

If, on the other hand, we are sinners and lawbreakers by nature, we will be intolerant of God and His people, intolerant of godly laws and restraints precisely because we tolerate and love sin.

Our Lord stated the issues clearly: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other” (Matt. 6:24). It is necessary for us to love God and His Word, and, if we are regenerate, it is our nature to do so. This means that we therefore hate sin and regard it as an offense against God and man and an intolerable violation of godly order which must be eliminated.

Similarly, those who hate God want to eliminate Him, and us, and everything which is an aspect of God’s law and order and Word from their universe. They are savagely and bitterly intolerant.

In other words, what you tolerate says a great deal about you. It identifies your loyalties and your love, and it classifies your nature clearly. Men are known, not only by their fruits, but also by their love and hate, their tolerance and intolerance.


Topics: Biblical Law, Philosophy, Culture , Gospels, The

R. J. Rushdoony

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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