On Tolerance And Evangelism
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

On Tolerance And Evangelism

What do we accept?

98
On Tolerance And Evangelism
wordpress.com

I have been exploring what it means to be tolerant of others and to what extent we should practice this tolerance. Tolerance is defined as "the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with." Ethics comes into play here. Where should we draw the line between what we should accept though do not agree with, and what we should not accept because it is obviously a detriment to you, or to others and society in general? For example, we should be tolerant of the religious beliefs of others, but we should not be tolerant of racial or religious hate. Drawing this line, and even seeing the line, can be trying.

In the past few days, I have let this topic overlap with evangelism, whether it is religious or otherwise. If we are to spread the word of our beliefs and ask others to follow them as well, are we being intolerant of what they already believe? I think there is an open and accepting way to go about doing this, and I prefer to call it discussion rather than evangelism. Though I am using evangelism in a broad sense, the definition of it is "the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness."

I was raised within the Church, so I am no stranger to evangelism, gospel, or preaching. Within a church setting, it is a voluntary experience, much like you may choose to listen to your favorite band or support a local theater. However, public evangelism is where I see intolerance. It may have worked in the past; I'm talking in the time of Jesus Christ. But now, it feels extreme.

On campus, there are some radicals who shout what I believe to be obscenities because they target people and are anything but accepting of them. I usually stop and listen for a bit, but decide to move on rather than participate. Perhaps next time I should engage in a discussion so I can practice accepting them though they may not accept me. This may be beneficial to the both of us.

We are individuals thrown into a pot of soup with over seven billion other ingredients. Sure, many of our flavors are the same, but no one spoonful is identical to any other. We are in this pot together, though, whether we like it or not. Why spend so much time and energy in judgment, anger, hate, or intolerance?

The first step towards peace is tolerance. Accept that everyone around you has a unique culture and life experience. From there, we can discuss them and understand who they are. Perhaps they are filled with hate. Show them what love is like instead, rather than fighting them and showing them that their hate works. It does not work, and it is not sustainable.

One of my role models when it comes to love and acceptance is Fred Rogers. Here are a few of his quotes that I will leave you with:

"How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us?"

“Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”

"The greatest gift you give someone is your honest self."


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
October Is Overrated, Let's Just Accept This Fact

I have never liked the month of October. I like the fall weather and the beginning of wearing sweaters in the crisp fall air, but I never associated this with the month of October.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Plight Of Being Bigger Than A D-Cup

"Big boobs are like puppies: they're fun to look at and play with, but once they're yours, you realize they're a lot of responsibility." - Katie Frankhart, Her Campus

3076
giphy.com

This probably sounds like the most self-absorbed, egotistical, and frankly downright irritating white-girl problem... but there's more to this I promise.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

An Open Letter To The Younger Muslim Generation

Fight back with dialogue and education.

3840

Dear Muslim Kids,

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Mystery Of The Gospel

Also entitled, "The Day I Stopped Believing In God"

6217

I had just walked across the street from the soccer field back to the school. I turned around and saw the cars rushing, passing each other, going fast over the crosswalk where I had been moments earlier. “It would be so easy to jump in front of one of them,” I thought, looking at the cars. “I could jump, and this life that I’m stuck in would be over.”

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

College as Told by The Lord of the Rings Memes

One does not simply pass this article.

8855
Zastavki

College as told by the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit memes. Everyone will be Tolkien about it.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments