Toleration is the Cut-Throat of the True Religion

“Of all errors, toleration is the most dangerous and damnable, in so far as other errors do only overturn those particular truths of Scripture to which they are contrary; but by this one error (this monster of toleration) way is made to overturn all the truths contained in Scripture, and to the setting up of all errors contrary to every jot of truth; and in the meantime there shall be no power on earth to hinder it, or to take order with it.”  …James Fergusson (Protester)

 “Genuine Christian Unity (and Charity) may only be in the TRUTH.  Unity in anything but the TRUTH is conspiracy against God. God is too big for anything but one True religion!” …Fred T. Di Lella



by Rev. Fred Di Lella, B.S., M.A., Th.M.
Covenanted Reformation Church,
Hebbronville, TX

“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:” (Psa. 97:10).

In the 19th Century Ignaz Semmelweis served as a physician in Hungary.  One of his deepest concerns was that almost one-third of the new mothers on the maternity ward of the hospital were dying. Dr. Semmelweis began to wonder if there was any pattern to the procedure of these deaths.  As his investigation progressed, he noted that the patients contracting fatal or near-fatal illnesses were seen by doctors who had very recently performed autopsies.  The more he studied, the more convinced he became that there was a connection between the autopsies and the sickness and death of the maternity patients.                  

This led Dr. Semmelweis to institute a radical procedure. Whenever he performed an autopsy or visited a highly contagious patient, he would wash his hands.  Needless to say, the doctor observed immediate and favorable results.  While the death rate of the other doctors’ patients was still soaring, none of Dr. Semmelweis’ patients were even becoming ill.                 

With all his well attested and indusputable research data and the well-known marvelous results of his innovative hand-washing procedure, Ignaz confidently and joyfully approached his medical colleagues.  Much to the shock of the conscientious doctor, though, his cohorts reacted with great fury.  They immediately removed him from his post at the hospital and cancelled his license to practice medicine.  Although Dr. Semmelweis had preserved the health and lives of many of his patients, he lost his job and died a broken man.                  

Why did Ignaz suffer such ill treatment at the hands of his fellow physicians?  Believe it or not, he had grossly offended them.  You see, everybody knew that a gentleman has clean hands. Oh, it didn’t matter that Semmelweis had purged much disease and death from their midst.  No, that simply did not carry much weight. What did matter to them was that Dr. Semmelweis might possibly have tarnished their image as delicate gentlemen.  For Ignaz even to imply that the other good doctors, “gentlemen,” could have had soiled hands was a “dreadful” and “hateful” accusation.                 

This true story is almost too hard to swallow.  How could these doctors place a higher value on being delicate, polite gentleman than on doing all within their means and power to rid the hospital of disease, death, and destruction?                  

Yet, as incredible as this historical narrative may seem, today, a considerably worse form of misguided politeness and delicacy is bringing forth far more disastrous and dangerous malignancies.  Because of this high premium being placed upon being a gentleman, disease, death, and destruction abound all around us.  In the name of politeness, “meekness,” “liberty of conscience,” and “charity”, many in the church are sinfully and tragically being polite about far greater cancers than those that merely attack our physical well-being.  They are compromising with and tolerating all types of false doctrine and false worship.                 

Just as Dr. Semmelweis urged his brethren to wash their hands and purge out the deadly disease that was wreaking havoc all around them, the Scriptures continually command and emphatically exhort us to hate and remove all spiritual poison from our midst.  May we not be like the indignant, offended, delicate doctors of old.  Rather, let us passionately hate evil and diligently strive to remove it.


Rev. Fred Di Lella is pastor of Covenanted Reformation Church in TX which is part of The Biblical Reformed Synod of Christ the King.

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