(27) Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? (28) Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? (29) So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
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If we tolerate sin, there will be consequences. Society as a whole will certainly decline, and as individuals, we and our children will "be burned."
In America these days, we are checking ourselves unnecessarily and dangerously to tolerate—even facilitate—others' immoral or unethical behaviors. We are too eager to display our permissiveness in face of all we know to be against it, from traditional, biblical morality to plain old common sense.
Perhaps the most easily seen example is this nation's tolerance of homosexuality, a practice thoroughly condemned both by Scripture and—not long ago—by American churches and society in general. Most Americans, though, have chosen to support supposed Constitutional rights and freedoms over real biblical standards, ignoring historical societal decay after the acceptance of homosexuality, as well as obvious public health consequences. They have, in effect, given sodomy a pass despite everything to the contrary.
We also tolerate public theft of the citizenry by our very own government, and many vote to accelerate it every few years! Politicians make long careers out of promising largesse from the local, state, or national treasury, bribing the people with the heavily taxed earnings of their fellow citizens. This national sin—ever-growing entitlements and pork-barrel spending—has landed the United States in a precarious financial position, one that can only grow worse. Counting future guaranteed outlays from Social Security and Medicare, total indebtedness in America is now upwards of $60 trillion! Most Americans are willing to tolerate such fiscal incompetence and indiscretion as long as it works in their favor.
The Western world has made a god out of the concept of tolerance. If nothing else, it has become a chief virtue of modern man, but how is it virtuous to accept destructive behaviors? Would we tolerate sharks in our swimming pools? A little arsenic in our drinking water? Dynamite among our firewood? Do we allow automobile manufacturers to sell us unsafe vehicles? Are we happy to let unlicensed doctors and dentists ply their trades on our bodies? Why, then, are we so eager to tolerate moral and ethical dangers in our society?
— Richard T. Ritenbaugh
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