It’s become commonplace today that when you disagree with something, they automatically assume that you are a bigot or a Nazi. But the early church received the same condemnation.

From this remarkable question of the prefect, it is evident, that the men might have been tolerated in the worship of Jesus, if they had allowed idolaters also to be right in the main, by associating idols with the true God. The firmness of Christians, in this respect, provoked their enemies. The dislike, at this day, of the pure Gospel of Christ, arises from a similar cause. Men are condemned as bigots, because they cannot allow the world at large to be right in the eyes of God.

Joseph Milner, The History of the Church of Christ (1794), pg 280 (writing on the history of the church in the 3rd century and the persecution under Aemilian.)

This means that when they call you a bigot for not accepting something that is against God’s nature, you are in good hands. One can tolerate something without accepting or encouraging it.

This isn’t to say that it’s justification to condemn someone or to treat them with intolerance. Contrary to the popular redefinition of tolerance, one can tolerate someone without embracing their lifestyle or supporting their choices. That’s what it means to tolerate. (Read more here.)

The irony is that while they accuse you of being a bigot for not approving of their views or lifestyle, they are the ones condemning you for simply disagreeing.

Advertisements