Spiritual Civility

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This affair of our spiritual growth or traveling
spiritually upward to God in our lives is important,
but also important is how we treat others who are
also bound for God. Are we not all pilgrims bound
for God ? Particularly those who do not even know they
are pilgrims yet because they are living in a materialistic
trance unawakened to a real life in the Spiritual World?

In this world we have to exist and co-exist with others
in various spiritual stages of growth, but we can only
do this when we see, recognize and respect others as being in
many various and different stages of spiritual interiority
and physical exteriority. Therefore do not criticize but
but try to recognize them as various pilgrims on their
way even if they donít know where they are going.

The others around us are pilgrims going to different
places by different routes. We must be kind to our
fellow pilgrims in the world wherever they are bound.
Wherever they are bound, we are bound to do good by
them as well as we are able.

Christ adjusts to mankind. So we must adjust to mankind.
For example, we adjust to babies as they are. We adjust
to different pilgrims as Christ adjusts to us. He meets
us where we are in terms we can understand.

Let us recall Christ is a relationship. Through the
relationship with Christ we grow in grace. A creed on
the other hand is a tribal, intellectual thinking area.
Creeds are probably there for our sanity. Creeds fence
us in, but let us build good fences that map our
thoughts but good fences we can talk over.

We do not have to be committed or agree with other
faiths, denominations or organizations to
be civil to them. Yet we must be committed to a
relationship with Christ to look upon all others as
the children of God because Christ saw all people
as children of the Father. To use spiritual civility.

Never should we say that Christian love must make
us uniform thinkers. The common love of Christ should
make us able to disagree. We love others of all ages
and stages of thought in the family, but we certainly
do not necessarily agree with them. Those who have babies
love them but seldom agree when one throws a spoon of
food around the room. You love your rebellious adolescents,
but you donít always agree with them. To agree is one thing,
to love is another. The two are not one. It must be unanimity
of love, not unanimity of intellect that holds the world
together.

Love is grace for all ages and stages of life. We love
people of all stages and phases in life, but bearing with
them because we love them as children of God, does not mean
we must agree with them for a moment. We must respect as
people those whose beliefs and opinions we may not agree
with. To agree with them would be to arrest our spiritual
growth, but to love them in spite of disagreement furthers
our spiritual growth.

Therefore let us tolerate those who may irritate us with
their views. That does not mean we have to like such views
or agree with them. They may be unlikable and unattractive,
unintelligent and violently opinionated, full of
nonsense, crazed with indignation, full of half baked schemes.

Christ does not ask that we agree with them, or that we
set ourselves up as their judges, nor that we lie to
ourselves about what they are. Where you see little, say little.
Where you find no grace, assume a grace, and
be polite. Tolerate. Think of your sins and consider how
Christ not only tolerates but loves you. Pass it on!

If anyone sees such evasion of ugliness as lies rather than
an immutable necessity of a creative and peaceful social
order, then their minds are literal and their truths are said
to be mean. Christ is beyond them. They are pilgrims badly
in need of spiritual growth. It is well they search for
Christ, since they have no grasp or understanding of the love
in His mind.

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Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.