How important is tolerance in your religion?
Do you find yourself helping God with his job as Judge?
I met JoAnn about 10 years ago, after I answered an ad she had placed in the paper. We hit it off right away and have been close friends ever since.
She is almost 40 years my senior, but we seem to speak the same language. We both value spiritual growth and often talk about tolerance and God’s unconditional Love.
Many of JoAnn’s neighbors have tried to “save her” by inviting her to their churches. She tells me that she appreciates their kindness, but so many of the “houses of worship” she has visited sent a message of intolerance and hate from the pulpit.
JoAnn’s beloved brother was gay, and she just can’t sit and listen to judgment based on sexual orientation. She says she never knew anyone who gave so much of themselves to others, and she does not hear “love the sinner hate the sin” within their message.
Is homo-sexuality a sin? JoAnn is willing to accept that it may very well be, but she is not ready to pass judgment on her caring brother. She thinks it is not her place to judge and she will not sit and listen to it.
About a year ago I came across TUT.com, an inspirational web site that sends daily emails to feed your heart and soul. I just knew JoAnn would love it!
The other day I got an email from her. She sent it out to many of her friends, recommending TUT.com and sharing how much she enjoys it. She included quotes from the site that she says have “set her heart free”, and she encouraged us all to plug in and experience this wonderful web site.
Following is the TUT.com quote JoAnn passed along to the friends she cares so deeply for.
“Although raised a church-going Catholic I found many of their teachings, rules and rituals contradictory, and more importantly, inconsistent with the answers I had intuitively arrived at.
I’ve always believed, for example, that each of us is really doing our best given our own understandings, therefore if judgment were to be passed on a life, and I don’t believe it is, sin would only ever be regarded as an honest “mistake” due to deep misunderstandings. Not a demerit system that leads to eternal damnation.
Wouldn’t a loving Father, I reasoned, have more compassion than to seek revenge on his comparatively feeble children who are temporarily blinded by the illusions they’ve created?
Even human parents are far more understanding of their own flesh and blood than the “Father” as portrayed in most religions. Sin, and its past and present connotations, must have been a term derived by man I concluded, not an understanding, all-knowing God.”
I’ve always needed explanations that made sense, and just as importantly, I believed they were attainable. I came to deduce, and still believe, that Jesus was here to tell us, as others have, that we are all “children of God”, that the things he did, we all can do, and that there are no sins, no evil, no hell, other than what exists in our own minds.
He came to Earth to be a living example of these teachings, to show a better way to his fellow travelers at a dark time in history when limiting beliefs were so ingrained into the population they no longer sought, nor could they conceive of, greater thinking.”
Since I was also raised a church going Catholic I can really relate.
I am very grateful to the Catholic Church of my childhood for giving me a deep Love for God. However, the hypocrisy I witnessed growing up, did send me in search of peace, and the unconditional Love of Father God.
Is tolerance the tie that binds different types of religion?
I believe that tolerance is the way to overcome fear!
Whether our differences are based in gender, race, or creed, tolerance is the secret to world peace.
People from all different types of religion can live in harmony. If religion is the cause of strife among individuals, it is human error not the Word of God.
Fear will break you down, and Love will lift you up.
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