It is possible to become so extreme in the practice of a virtue that we make it a vice. It is good to pray, but if one spent every moment of every day in prayer he could not do many other things the Lord required of us. This is not what Paul meant when, he said, “Pray without ceasing,” incidentally (1 Thess. 5:17). Generally, the Bible teaches the virtue of tolerance that God desires to see in us.
However, it is apparent that the spirit of tolerance has become so strong and so universal in our world that it has run far beyond what the Lord either expects or permits. We have reached a point where tolerance has been allowed to supersede truth. Many people have allowed an undue spirit of long suffering and forebearance to obscure their distinction between good and evil, right and wrong. In all that God says on the need for us to be tolerant and long suffering, there is never the faintest hint that this is to cause us to tolerate erroneous practices or doctrines, whether within or without the church of our Lord. Never is there a suggestion that the false teacher is to be patiently endured without rebuke and attempted correction. Never are we to allow hyper-tolerance to silence our outcry against the fleshly sins of ungodly men.
Too much tolerance has affected the way men view God. Most men have recoiled from the Bible teaching that the sinful and disobedient must suffer the eternal wrath of God, though it is unceasingly taught therein. Thus, they have come to view God as only merciful, forgiving and tolerant, completely ignoring his justice and severity. The level of tolerance is so high that even the crudest forms of immorality, including homosexuality, are defended as merely being “alternate life styles.” The greatest sin that can be committed nowadays in the estimate of some of these mushy tolerationists is, to expose a false doctrine or to identify a false teacher.
Our Lord and his apostles could not be silent in the face of error or unrighteousness. Time after time the Lord called the Pharisees “hypocrites.” He once told the hard-hearted Jews that they were of their father, the devil (John 8:44). The Lord said, “Beware of false prophets,” only shortly after he said, “Judge not” (Matt. 7:15). False teachers were called false teachers. Perversions of truth were never allowed to pass as mere “partial versions of understandings,” but were denounced as damnable doctrines. May we never be more tolerant than the Lord.