Are Christians Intolerant?

Christians are often branded “intolerant” because they insist that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Certainly some Christians are intolerant but many more are unfairly labelled as such. Consider the meaning of the words “tolerant” and “intolerant.” Tolerance means “respectful disagreement” and intolerance means “disrespectful disagreement.” Notice that you can’t be tolerant *unless* you disagree. If you agree with something, then you’re neither tolerant nor intolerant but in a different category altogether. Only if you disagree with something can you qualify as tolerant. And it really all depends on *how* you disagree. So if a Christian disagrees with someone else about how to be “saved” then they certainly are tolerant if that disagreement is done in a respectful manner.

Ironically, if a skeptic disagrees with the aforementioned Christian on this and then falsely accuses him or her of being “intolerant,” then isn’t the skeptic the one who is being intolerant? Hurling a false accusation at someone certainly seems to be a way of “disrespectfully disagreeing” with them. And disrespectful disagreement is exactly what intolerance is all about.

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