Russell Berger (below), the CrossFit employee who was recently fired for posting his anti-gay views on Twitter was under no obligation to be tolerant, according to Joe Carter, an editor for The Gospel Coalition.
That’s because bigotry toward Christians, he believes, is becoming increasingly acceptable:
In most of America, groups often considered “beyond the pale” include the Ku Klux Klan and pedophile activists, like NAMBLA. But for companies like CrossFit, the beliefs and views of orthodox Christians are also “beyond the pale.” In their view, it would be as harmful to “tolerate” us as it would be to tolerate neo-Nazis.
What Carter ignores is that you can abhor certain beliefs while treating the people who hold them fairly. That’s the very definition of tolerance.
The problem for Christians is that we take our name from the God-man who had the “effrontery to propose that this or that is normative for others.” Jesus was clear about both the standard of marriage being between a man and a woman and his abhorrence of sexual immorality… When companies like CrossFit claim that only intolerable bigots hold such views, they’re talking about our Lord and Savior.
It’s not very convincing to base your entire argument on what Jesus didn’t say. The ground that Jesus didn’t cover involves a whole lot of other gray issues, many of which were not relevant to his time period.
Not only did Jesus never utter a single word about homosexuality, the only sexual immorality he did mention had to do with lust and divorce. (Someone should remind the conservative Christians who continue supporting Donald Trump.) Any time the New Testament acknowledges homosexuality, it’s in the context of lust and pagan worship.
Given that America is still a largely anti-gay place, people who share Carter’s views on homosexuality can just as easily be accused of “following the culture” as their progressive counterparts.
In other words, when CrossFit is talking about “intolerable bigots,” they’re not talking about Jesus. They’re talking about the kind of people who treat LGBTQ people as second class citizens.