The truth, that no one wants to admit for fear of being labeled intolerant, is that we can tolerate a different point of view without accepting it. It is agreeing to disagree. Jim Brown offers this, “a better understanding would be to define tolerance as showing respect and courtesy while holding firmly to convictions” (Brown).
Here are some highlights from the Gateways to Better Education “Promoting Tolerance” brochure, http://www.gtbe.org/news/images/promoting_tolerance.pdf:
Keep in mind that not tolerating an issue that is outside of your convictions, if done in good character, is not hateful. Share the truth with love.
Some even go so far as to define tolerance as the embracing and celebration of the opinions, practices, or behaviors of others.
If you oppose that “non-critical” approach, you run the risk of being accused of advocating bigotry, intolerance, and even hate.
But, tolerance in and of itself, is not a virtue. If someone tolerates drinking and driving, his tolerance is not virtuous. Tolerance is neutral. It derives its value from what it is the person tolerates, and the manner in which that tolerance or intolerance is expressed. This involves character.
Proper tolerance is the outgrowth of character qualities such as kindness, patience, courtesy, humility, self-control, and courage. Even intolerance (especially intolerance!) should be expressed through these qualities.
Too many people think they are being tolerant when they are actually expressing indifference (“whatever”), or apathy (“who cares?”), or even recklessness (“why not?”). Improperly understood, “tolerance” can lead to disarming you of your proper convictions.
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" John 14:6
Brown, Jim. “Christian Group's Brochure Offers Schools Help in Understanding Tolerance: Handout Urges Showing Respect, Courtesy Without Surrendering Convictions” AgapePress.org, April 13, 2006: http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/4/132006a.asp
Gateways to Better Education. http://www.gtbe.org/