Tolerate This!




I am one of those people who like boundaries. I try to stay within the boundaries and obey the rules and laws. I appreciate boundaries. I do understand that there may be reasons to go outside of the boundaries and sometimes everything will still work out for the good…the world doesn’t end…and the planet keeps spinning. That doesn’t mean it was a bad boundary or rule; it just means there can be exceptions. Exceptions are, however, exceptions and not the norm. I doubt I will regularly be the person to challenge a rule enough that it gets redefined. These things do happen; I am just not programmed to be a part of that process. Some of you are.


Boundary stretchers are always testing the limits. It’s not that they are intentionally bad people who love to break the law, rather it is just the way they are created and explore life. It is woven into their personality and has been since the first time mom and dad noticed they like to climb out of their crib to explore. Some people are bent towards expanding the boundaries and some people are bent twoards guarding the boundaries.


Not every boundary or rule is made to be stretched, broken or rewritten. Some rules literally are set in stone. There are a host of laws that have been abolished or changed in the not too distant past that have affected the very fabric of our how we define society. Whereas some changes needed to be made and adjustments needed to be worked through, other rules have simply been hijacked by a small but vocal minority of people who have enough clout to change the laws for everyone. I do not always agree that a minority should be able to dictate boundaries for the majority all in the name of tolerance.


Tolerating someone or something used to mean putting up with a person or thing without the need to fix him, her or it. Nothing or no one has to change, we just have to put up with it or bear it. It seems every family has that one family member or one friend who shows up for all the gatherings and requires loving tolerance. It doesn’t mean that family ceases to exist as a family or that they have to redefine their family. They just lovingly tolerate his uniqueness, but they don’t let him set the agenda for the whole family gathering.


These days tolerance means all values, beliefs, lifestyles and truth claims are equal. That might make some people feel better, but it certainly doesn’t make it true. Saying something over and over until other people repeat it doesn’t make it true. The author George Orwell in his book Animal Farm said all beliefs are equal but some beliefs are more equal than others.


Certainly people are entitled to their opinions, but we don’t have to call them truths just because those people believe what they are saying to be true. Everything in life can’t be up for a vote. All truths cannot be equal. Some boundaries are meant to keep us from harming ourselves. Most laws and rules help us live happy and healthy lives.

Christian author and speaker Josh McDowell challenges us to practice love in our pursuit of truth. In a Focus on the Family magazine from 1999, he said:

We must humbly pursue truth. It may be difficult to speak the truth in today’s climate, but Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” Pursuing truth in this context means countering the new doctrine of tolerance. It means teaching our children to embrace all people, but not all beliefs. It means showing them how to listen to and learn from all people without necessarily agreeing with them. It means helping them courageously but humbly speak the truth, even if it makes them the object of scorn or hatred. The Apostle Peter told us: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have,” he added, “But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

About admin

I am currently serving as the Associate Minister at a Church in Earlham, Iowa, population about 1300. There are probably another 1300 folks who live outside the “city limits.” I am married to my lovely wife Heather. We moved from Mesa, AZ in January 2006. We have a dog (Sammy) and a cat (Daphne). We also have a 92 year old house the sucks the life out of me (Rex), and costs a whole lot of money to upgrade, and is generally a pain in my butt…but I am not bitter. So far I have set my arm on fire, broken my wrist, broken my toe, got tendonitis in my foot, fell out of the bucket of skid loader, captured and “removed” 13 bats from my attic, been to the chiropractor dozens of times and have more doctors on my payroll than I care to admit. I am not very handy! Iowa has been so life-changing for me, but I love the pace of life, pace of ministry and the quality of people. I went to college at Atlanta Christian College near Atlanta, GA where I recieved a Bachelors Degree in Christian Ministry/Preaching. I went to Seminary at Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, TN., where I recieved a Master of Divinity degree with a specialization in Christian Care and Counseling. In addition, I have 2800 hours of post-graduate training as a Chaplain specializing in Crisis Care. I have served Churches in GA, KY, NC, AZ and now Iowa. I have also served as a Chaplain at hospitals in AL and AZ in addition to serving as a Corporate Chaplain with several companies in the metro Phoenix area for a short time. I was also blessed with the opportunity to serve as a Chaplain at the in-field hospital at a NASCAR race in Talladega, AL (once) and as a Chaplain to the Mesa Miners professional baseball team (six weeks). Rex L. Stancil Associate Minister Earlham Church of Christ 515.867.8559 mobile 515.758.2020 home 515.758.2787 office
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