One word, Two meanings
The traditional definition of tolerance means simply to recognize and respect others' beliefs, practices, and so forth without necessarily agreeing or sympathizing with them. This attitude, that everyone has a right to his or her own opinion, is what tolerance means to most of us.
But today's definition is vastly different. Unfortunately, this new tolerance considers every individual's beliefs, values, lifestyle and truth claims as equally valid. So not only does everyone have an equal right to his or her beliefs, but all beliefs are equal. [This is the current mindset of people today, that they confuse the idea that though everyone is entitled to an opinion does not mean that they are right. Some people think that because someone is completely sincere about their stance on a certain topic, i.e. religion, politics, homosexuality, science...etc. and they forget that just because someone is sincere doesn't mean they are correct, they could just be sincerely wrong.] The new tolerance goes beyond respecting a person's rights; it demands praise and endorsement of that person's beliefs, values and lifestyle.
The new tolerance simply avoids offending someone; we must actively seek to promote the good of another person:
Tolerance says, "You must approve of what I do." Love responds, "I must do something harder; I will love you, even when your behavior offends me."
Tolerance says, "You must agree with me." Love responds, "I must do something harder; I will tell you the truth because I am convinced 'the truth will set you free.'"
Tolerance says, "You must allow me to have my way." Love responds, "I must do something more difficult; I will plead with you to follow the right way because I believe you are worth the risk"
Tolerance seeks to be inoffensive; love takes risks.
Tolerance glorifies division; love seeks unity.
Tolerance costs nothing; love costs everything.
Josh McDowell has pointed out MANY great points here, not only the distortion from the word "tolerance" itself, but how often do we here "we all should love each other and accept each other for who they are" and then it goes into "i love you and i will let you do whatever you want" and finally "i don't want to tell them what to do, it is their life and i love them enough to let them live their own life." The flaws in these are....they are not love. Love always protects, so if someone is in danger because of their lifestyle, a person who loves them will sacrifice their time and energy to be persistent after them until the truth of love and reality sets them free. Here are a few good quotes to help us understand what love is....
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."
" Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer....show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
"Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent."
We see that love does not tolerate ignorant behavior but perseveres and bears all things, it endures and is everlasting from its sincerity. Notice in the second statement, " Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good." Said more simply, Love is sincere, hate what is crap and hold on to the good things. Love is just and brings complete justice to anything, because love disciplines. For example, a parent sees their child reaching for a hot stove and pulls them away and tells them, "NO! Hot!" is an example of love. Now, tolerance on the other hand...same example....a parent sees their child reaching for a hot oven and says, "I like to let my child experiment, and learn from their own mistakes. They are creative and they will develop their own mind and life this way." This is not only not love, but hatred and idiotic, child abuse and a felony as well.
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. " That is what love is, letting others know of the mistakes that have already happened, because when we do not learn from our mistakes, as the saying goes, "The one who does not study history is doomed to repeat it." Love teaches and corrects and disciplines.
Let us learn the difference between this disgust of the perverted understanding of "tolerance" and discard it from our minds and teach others the truth of tolerance that it does not mean to exalt other people beliefs, but only to acknowledge that it is there, and love shares and teaches the truth about every situation.