“Was Jesus tolerant?” Greg Stier, president of Dare 2 Share Ministries, asks in an op-ed for the Christian Post. You’ve heard the answer before: Of the sinner but not the sin.
So are we as Christians called to be tolerant? Yes and no! Jesus was tolerant and intolerant at the same time and we are called to be just like him. The Son of God hated transgression and had no problem calling a sin and a sin (see the woman at the well.) But, at the same time, he had no problem engaging them, even if it meant breaking cultural taboos (see the woman at the well again.)
He hung out with sinners and, maybe even more telling, sinners hung out with him. Throughout the Synoptics he is accused by the religious right of his time of being a partier and of hanging out in places that a man of God should never be hanging out. In Christ there was this strange tolerance/intolerance mix that was like a cattle prod to the religious hypocrites and a spiritual aphrodisiac to the sinners of his day. This strange brew drew sinners in, embraced them fully and convicted them deeply, all at the same time.
The image is from the the “South Park” episode “The Death Camp of Tolerance,” which teaches us all what happens tolerance is taken too far.