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Loving Your Child Is not the Same as Condoning what He does

Many parents believe if they have to accept and love their child unconditionaly it will mean that they condone what their child is doing. This however is not true.

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi states: We must be tolerant of people’s lives. People has the freedom to live their lives, to do what they want, to pursue freedom, happiness, love, in the way they want it. That is tolerance. That is fine. But that does not mean that we have to give approval. We have the right to withhold approval. And to withhold approval based upon informed disapproval does not mean homophobia. Phobia means “an irrational fear off.” This is not about irrational fear. This is about an educated conclusion that we withhold approval. This informed disapproval is based on what you read, what you are thinking, conversations, attending seminars/conferences, and even your own faith tradition is a source of education.

Let’s remember that there are three kinds of tolerance, Dr James Emery White points out.

The first is legal tolerance. This has to do with our basic first amendment rights to believe what we want to believe. There is nothing in our discussion that goes against that. In fact, the Bible is a great advocate of legal tolerance.

The second kind is social, or cultural tolerance. This is accepting someone else as who they are regardless of what they believe. It is loving someone, caring about them, and being open to them relationally. There is nothing in all of this against that, either. If Jesus stood for anything, it was open, loving acceptance of others as people who mattered to God.

The third kind is intellectual tolerance. This is accepting what someone believes as right regardless of what you believe or think is right. It is only in that sense that views against embracing a homosexual lifestyle would be considered intolerant, because Jesus didn’t believe that everything and everyone was right. The Bible clearly holds to the idea that there is right and wrong, true and false.

But that’s the way most of us feel, isn’t it?

If someone came up to you and said, “I believe that the best way to improve the performance of your car is to pour sand into the gas tank.” Can I be tolerant of that person – legally, and relationally – without buying into what he says?

Of course!

I can say, “You know what, I think you have every right to pour sand into your car. It’s your car – and I’m not going to get all worked up to try and stop you legally from doing it. Have at it. And if you do, I’m still going to come over to your house this weekend so that we can watch the football game. This doesn’t impact us socially at all. You’re still my friend. But being legally tolerant, and socially tolerant, doesn’t mean I’m going to be intellectually tolerant.

I’m not going to put sand in my car and have no trouble telling you that. I’m also going to advise other drivers that I don’t think they should either. Why? Because I care about you, and I care about them, and I want each and every human life to be lived optimally.

You can hold to the value that other people have a right to their beliefs, without believing that all points of view are equally valid.