God's Magnificence Of Mind On Differences
|Toleration is a Christian
courtesy. It is the Christian way to go.
Toleration should not be construed as meaning agreement.
To say that we tolerate therefore we agree is to misunderstand
the meaning of toleration. We may not agree, but with God, we
demonstrate a loving attitude of allowing the use of free will
that God has given people to exercise. This calls for a loving
and enduring Magnificence of Mind on the part of God.
God gave some Free Will in making us in His image. So people have a free will they must be allowed to exercise, even though
they may do it wrongly. God’s Will is our free will.
Giving free will to a people on strange and varied
levels of thought and spiritual attainment means disagreements
and differences. These difference are allowed by God and
are to be respected by us. We may not like every strange
view but we allow them. Yet common sense does not ask us
legally to allow all harmful actions that may stem from
strange views. Many views are novel and not harmful, spice or arts adding to the pleasant variety in life.
But the fact remains God has given us free will in some
things while other things are predestined. Life is a mix of
free will and grace. For example, by free will we decide to
have children. But if we have babies, their growth is predestined
by God approved and life-affirming forces. What we have started
by choice cannot be kept back or held down. The end, adulthood,
will arrive. (Our free will choices march to their end appointed
and approved by common grace. Every choice is seed thrown into
earth, an act of will thrown to fields of grace. Some laws
of grace we know; the fullness of grace we do not know. Free
Will joins That Written. Thus the wonder of God’s Will continues
on glacially and mysterious moving and sparkling down the line.)
True Believers in God tolerate. They know toleration of free
will has a cost. It is paid in suffering fools gladly, by
patience, putting up with others who do not seem real, in
listening to twaddle. The diverse often have little to divulge
in spite of propaganda to the contrary. But we are contained
by Christ. Toleration means we must all be restrained by Christ.
Creation has given to us Free Will whose use God expects.
We must join God in demonstrating Magnificent Courtesy. It must
be to Him a painful courtesy, but He demonstrates it by honouring
the often shallow use of free will by sinners and others of
insubstantial views and half baked actions. But God’s Mind is
Magnificent. It is courteous and accepting of freedom. We, like
God should show Magnificence of Mind on differences. Differences are the result of free will used, even if wrongly.
I do not lie to you. Why should I? Toleration is a pain best borne
out of love of Christ. He suffered real pain out of love for
our redemption and the world’s. Toleration, though rarely
physical and literal pain, is a type of suffering tedium that, if
you sit in enough committees, classes or church meetings, is
spiritually wearying, mind wearing and butt-breaking.
Toleration involves more of a level two pain, stemming from
civilization rather than a level one pain, like violence, caused
by lack of civilization. School children penned inside while
looking at a “blue sky” day out the window know exactly what
I mean and how it feels.
I suggest toleration is one of the necessary existential
absurdities of life. It is an absurdity we suffer for Christ.
It is an absurdity but a necessary absurdity, though sometimes
I tolerate for God with a “By God” feeling. If toleration were
not a moral implication of the Free Will gifted us by God, I
might rarely do it all. But then I am, as I remind you often,
an Imperfect Servant of God. It is a good thing I do some things
at all, given the way I feel about some, for at times I feel
like a “put upon” man. The ups and downs of tolerating
that involves showing how strange people may be, can do this to
you. But disgusted as I may be, I know God is always with me.
We become, as the Apostle wrote, “cast down, perplexed,”
but not without hope for we know, like him, God is always
with us. He is there to help us TOLERATE many in the world
we do not know, as well as others we may know. Of the
two, the ones we may know can become harder to tolerate.
We expect little from people we don’t know but probably
too much from people we do. Toleration involves both groups.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.