September 25, 2015 (Source: http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com)
Aristotle once said that the last virtue of a dying civilization is tolerance. Certainly, this is the only virtue – if it is a virtue – that our undoubtedly dying civilization can pride itself on. Only we like to call it “compassion”… David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain, yesterday spoke about the “extraordinarily compassionate” country that Britain supposedly is. Other national leaders are weighing in to the compassion competition. Mr. (or Mrs.) Compassion in Europe appears to be Germany’s Angela Merkel. A contender for the global crown is Australia.
However, tolerance is not compassion. Nor is it a virtue. Self-restraint, patience, long-suffering – these are virtues. But tolerance as the modern world understands it – that is, the refusal to rebuke or in any way fight against a vast array of false teachings – is not only not a virtue, but a serious vice. The word is not even found in the New Testament.
However, intolerance of evil teaching is both found and praised in the New Testament. Consider the following sayings of the Lord to the Seven Churches of Asia: – “This you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Revelation 2.6). “I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam…” (2.14). “Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezabel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants” (2.20). “Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (3.15).