Downgrading neighbourliness

Here’s a fascinating little YouTube clip where Piers Morgan interviews Mark Driscoll on the Same Sex marriage question. 

It’s fascinating because Piers wants to know whether or not Driscoll is a tolerant person. Driscoll wants to talk about loving your neighbour.  It struck me how much weaker our modern concept of tolerance is than the Bible’s command to “Love your neighbour.”

Our modern view of tolerance is passive and disinterested. It says “Let others get on with what they want to do. Mind your own business.”

“Love your neighbour.” Says that you are part of a community and the lives of those around you matter and have as much value as your own life and your family’s life. It says “take an interest in them. Show concern for their well-being.”

Now, when we talk properly about tolerance, we mean that we can live alongside people and get along with them even when we disagree with them.  In a tolerant society, we will recognise our own limitations and that we cannot enforce beliefs onto others.

However, there is a sense in which “love” is not “tolerant” in the sense that the word has come to be used.  A parent will not tolerate their child running into the road, talking to strangers on the internet, throwing a tantrum or not doing their homework.  Why? Simply because they love their child and seek her wellbeing. A church elder will not tolerate one of the other preachers standing up and proclaiming false teaching or a member running off with another member’s wife and not being disciplined. Why? Again, it is out of love for the whole congregation and wanting to see it fed and protected.

Love means that we must speak out for truth. Love means that we must challenge sin. What is better? To love your neighbour or to tolerate them?