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November 11, 2012


You read my mind. I'd written up (but not yet posted) a blog post on this.

Toleration is quite different than acceptance; it has judgment and arrogance packaged with it as in "my view is better than yours but I will 'tolerate' yours, even though you're wrong." The thought that we all should be tolerant is not only a delusion, but the arrrogance and judgment infuriate me.

I like the comment about why Christians feel compelled to tell others about Jesus! But I've been told that Christians feel compelled to 'shove Christianity down everyone's throat'. I disagree. We should feel a sense of urgency to make sure all have had an opportunity to know Jesus. But everyone has the option to decline.

" But I've been told that Christians feel compelled to 'shove Christianity down everyone's throat'." What they really mean is that they resent having been put in a position where they are asked to make a judgment of the claims of Christianity. As if avoidance of judgment makes them blameless!

Everyone wants to find their bliss and ignorance is bliss, but it is a dangerous bliss when the claims of Christianity are ignored in favor of it.

I've had plenty of Christians telling me I'm sick and going to Hell because I'm Catholic. I call that a misdiagnosis by quacks.

Doctors have years of training in the tradition of medicine. They have to follow certain strict protocols to ensure correct practice and procedure, and expertise is handed on from surgeon to surgeon to make sure practices are 'orthodox', and one is struck off for not following them.

That's much like the Early Church and my Church today. The equivalent of being struck off is excommunication, and the protocols - authoritative creed code and cult - are ensured and protected by a whole body of authorised and deputised surgeons under a 'surgeon general', who are under authority themselves.

My nutty friends, however, are self-styled doctors of the soul who think that because they can read a medical textbook ("the Bible") they're qualified to tamper with people's souls.

If they tried that in the medical sphere, they'd be imprisoned, yet they're allowed to mess with people's minds, often "praying" on the vulnerable at their leisure. They are compelled like someone with obsessive/compulsive disorder. They have Toxic, not contagious, Faith.

The more a religion deviates from the doctor/scientific models of assessment (which medicine and science have learnt from, and are isomorphic with, how the Catholic Church has always preserved truth and protected herself from error), the more it's sick.

The Bible Alone plus subjective judgement gave us Arianism. It was only Tradition that ruled against it, because Arianism had become the majority view.

Of course, one could write the Nietzschean grammar of power into it, but then bang goes the Trinity - and sadly, most of my compelled friends have very shaky Christologies as proof of this problem.

To them, everyone else is sick and they're saved.

The analogy of the doctor works for me - because it's the only way of discerning the disease accurately and telling real doctors from quacks.

It is a matter of, of……just *enjoyment*. To this day I so enjoy walking into any store, any house, any place whatsoever with my wife. I mean, she’s just so *beautiful*. “That’s right guys! She’s with me!” “OH isn’t she lovely!?” And to be honest such is not a rhetorical question on my part because….well…..to be honest…. I just love showing her off. “OH! Isn’t she lovely!?” “Hey! let me tell you about her!”

It is a matter of DELIGHT.

And, a bit further: in a very practical way this kind of spontaneous delight just is not really itself until it is *expressed*. That little bit of expression there at the end actually *completes the enjoyment*.

“I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise…… The world rings with praise --- lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game……… I had not noticed either that just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn't she lovely? Wasn't it glorious? Don't you think that magnificent?” The Psalmists in telling everyone to praise God are doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about. My whole, more general, difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can't help doing, about everything else we value. I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.” C.S. Lewis, “Reflections on the Psalms”.

Telling one another about those things or those persons we delight in most or value the most *just is* one of the most human and natural things we do, and we do *it* everyday with almost everything in various modes and manifestations. Now, the reason this is such a natural part of our disposition is because we are created in His Image and out there in the interior of God we find just this sort of Back-And-Forth-Delighting-In going on and that Uncreated and Forever. This is just one of those things which Love just does, and God just is love.

Asking one another to be less human, to "utterly" squash this, to destroy this most natural quality seems a bit odd. Even unnatural. It is better for us to error on the side of being more like God is in this regard, not less.

Paul R. wrote: "I've had plenty of Christians telling me I'm sick and going to Hell because I'm Catholic. I call that a misdiagnosis by quacks." emphasis mine

Got that right Paul!

The Bible says we deserve hell when we break God's moral law (the 10 commandments), not because of any particular religious organization we may belong to.

If you have kept all of these commandments Paul then you don't need Jesus and you certainly don't need the Roman Catholic Church.

"The analogy of the doctor works for me - because it's the only way of discerning the disease accurately and telling real doctors from quacks."

What is "the disease" Paul and how does Rome offer to fix it in a way that Jesus can't?


"The Bible Alone plus subjective judgement gave us Arianism."

I agree with you that this is the wrong formula. Subjective judgment is at complete odds with biblical teachings. Objective judgment and the Bible are a perfect marriage that is made in heaven. However, there is one rub in this...is any particular objective judgment...accurate or not. That has to be examined in each particular case and done so objectively.

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority”

Ralph W. Sockman

There are practical things that reasonable people can discuss and come to agreement on, and then there are spiritual things where no amount of discussion will change anyone's mind. Tolerance means working together on practical things, even when you disagree on spiritual things.

Christians don't have to change their beliefs, but they do have to realize that their beliefs are spiritual. Their beliefs have little bearing on everyday practical efforts, like putting food on the table. God lets some people starve and gives others bounty. Your reward isn't here on Earth but in heaven.

Again, tolerance doesn't mean agreeing with moral relativists or speaking politely about their philosophical errors. Tolerance just means working together with them to rebuild your town after a hurricane. And stuff like that.

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