Some years ago, the cover of a popular magazine asked the question, “Are You Tolerant?” Now that’s a major buzzword in our day. Its the only ‘virtue’ that people seem to unite around. To speak of right and wrong in black and white terms, as absolutes, is seen in our culture as being intolerant. Which ironically, the only absolute in our culture today is tolerance, which means something very different than it did just a few decades ago. It used to mean that we respect those who hold to different views, while maintaining our freedom to disagree and articulate our own. Nowadays, it means that if you express any form of disagreement, you are intolerant. The new tolerance says that we are to recognize and respect that every individual’s values, truth claims, beliefs, and practices as equally valid. It demands that we approve of others’ beliefs as being equally valid because personal autonomy is king. You are to be celebrated for being you, which means all that you believe must also be celebrated.
Thyatira was the church that became known for its tolerance. The city was a military town as well as a commercial center with many trade guilds. Wherever guilds were found, idolatry and immorality were almost always present as well. The believers in Thyatira were involved in ministry. They are known for their love and patience. Yet no amount of spiritual ‘busyness’ can ever compensate for tolerance of sin. The church had permitted a false teaching to influence the people and lead them astray.
Today, we must be on the alert for teachers who, by their winsome charisma or worldly positions, can easily cause whopping problems! We can’t let ourselves be misled by a person’s charisma or blinded by financial contributions. To let our guard down for a moment can lead to doctrinal deception and ruined lives.
For more, read Revelation 2:18-29