In asking such questions, it seems to make sense to wonder why some of us believe that God cannot tolerate sin?
Am guessing we might say something like, “Don’t all followers of the Bible believe that? Could anything be more obvious? Isn’t God too holy to look the other way when we do wrong?”
So let’s look at the issue through two lenses: the story of the Bible, and the meaning of words. Let’s take the second first.
A fascinating website called visualthesaurus.com shows the different realms of meanings that words have. In its universe of the English word “tolerate” this site lists the following groups and word constellations: (1) allow and permit; (2) suffer, endure, abide, bear, brook, digest, put up, stand, stomach, support; (3) recognize, respect and honor the rights of others.
Then there’s the story of the Bible. Where does it indicate that God cannot tolerate sin? Or maybe we should ask the question, how does the Bible show that God either does or doesn’t tolerate sin? Did the Lord even require a change of heart and mind from Adam and Eve before clothing them with animal skins and mercy?
If you’re one who has a deep conviction that God is too holy to tolerate sin, I’d be interested to hear how you would explain your belief. Seems like it would be healthy for us to explain in what sense we believe God cannot and has not tolerated our wrongs.
P.S. As I’ve tried to correct in the comment below, I don’t mean that I’m only interested in hearing from those who believe that God does not tolerate sin. I think this is a subject that needs clarification from all sides…