THE DANGERS OF TOLERANCE
There are unquestionable dangers in tolerance. While the word "tolerance" is often used to indicate freedom from bigotry, "tolerate," according to one authority, means "to suffer to be, or to be done, without prohibition or hindrance; to allow or permit by not preventing."
Christian Science, allied with divine Principle, does not permit its adherents to wink at error, hidden or obvious, in order to maintain a false sense of peace; therefore tolerance cannot always be lauded as a virtue. Without bigotry or contempt for others, the Christian Scientist is never tempted "to allow or permit by not preventing" what is wrong in human affairs; but he supports what is nearest right in these affairs. He knows that a tolerant attitude toward any form of evil is not dealing with it honestly or causing it to be destroyed through the power of Christ, the spirit of Truth. Consequently he makes no compromise with anything unprincipled. He does not tolerate what he knows will be unsound or retrogressive in effect.
Mary Baker Eddy received the revelation of Christian Science, which designates God as Principle, or Love; and in that designation she saw the divine demand for absolute perfection. She made clear the Saviour's mission of proving that the spiritual and the material do not coalesce. She says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 451): "Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the material world and be separate. They must renounce aggression, oppression and the pride of power." Renouncing these errors in themselves, they do not condone them in others. Their prayers, which recognize the reality of good alone, have power to prevent by not permitting evil.
Jesus prayed to God on behalf of his followers (John 17:15), "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." He continued: "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. ... As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." Here is no license to shirk responsibility in the world. Rather is there indicated a demand for active effort to meet the aggressions of the human mind with the humility of Christliness.
The scientific Christian works early and late to prove the presence and control of Principle in all situations. His purpose is not to tolerate but to nullify the action of human will, which would prevent the government of the divine will from appearing in mankind's experience. The clear realization of Love's dominion on the part of even a minority of scientific thinkers can dispel the miasma that would on occasions deceitfully advance tolerance of evil as a virtue.
In "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," our Leader says (p. 129): "I reluctantly foresee great danger threatening our nation,—imperialism, monopoly, and a lax system of religion. But the spirit of humanity, ethics, and Christianity sown broadcast—all concomitants of Christian Science—is taking strong hold of the public thought throughout our beloved country and in foreign lands, and is tending to counteract the trend of mad ambition."
Through love, not tolerance of evil, one contributes to the dissipation of the kind of ambition that would cause men to monopolize in any direction or seek to impose the false opinions of one group upon another. The Master taught that we should love all mankind impartially, and this we do by knowing man in Science as the Father's perfect son. Such love is not the tolerating of "mad ambition," is not the letting of any kind of imperialism or pride or will power take over one's life. To love is to destroy these errors, and one does this by proving their nothingness in the light of God's revealed allness.
The Scientist does not resign himself to negative conditions that seem unavoidable in the course of world events. He does not admit that any phase of error is unavoidable. He rejects the suggestion that God cannot prevent certain wrong trends of human thought, and so he must put up with them gracefully. He knows that all power is demonstrable to scientific understanding and that he is enabled through Christian Science to prove that good is the controlling law of the universe. His prayers are deep convictions of God's omniaction in His constant enforcement of His will for the good of every individual.
In such humble and obedient thinking one does not find blind bigotry but universal good will. Through Science, not tolerance, evil trends that seem inevitable are blotted out, and God's will, which forever manifests the highest good, is brought to light. By reason of reflected divine power, the danger of one's permitting error by not preventing its assertion of itself is averted, and individual responsibility to prove God's control under all circumstances is carried out intelligently. Christly prayer holds the solution of every problem, for by means of it mankind can prevent error by not permitting it.Helen Wood Bauman