Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tolerance Revisited...

In the last Post, we began the search for wisdom and understanding about a very complex word, "Tolerance." The research for Post #14 opened my eyes in many ways, and I thank God for that enlightenment; however, it became clear to me that as I drew the prior Post to a close, that there was so much more to be done on this simple, yet controversial subject. And so, here is "Tolerance Revisited."

I am often accused of being intolerant myself...In the language of current psychology, I have a "Type A" personality, and often exhibit the key traits associated with this "disorder." Here is a taste of my personality as defined by "The Jacob Goldsmith Theory."
  1. Arrogant
  2. Controlling
  3. Business-Like
  4. Aggressive
  5. Competitive
  6. Irritates Easily
  7. Hates Delays
  8. Hostile When Pushed
All I can say is that if my sister read this list, and was asked who it was, she would say, "So, you know my brother, Jimmy." Unfortunately, so would many prior associates, partners and employees. I put my personal, "40 years in the wilderness," right upfront, so that you would know something about this author, and for some reason I feel compelled to share this piece as well to preface the rest of this Post.

To the core, I was a hardened, vicious, cruel, and overbearing ogre for most of my years on this earth. Toleration was not in my vocabulary. I tolerated nothing and no one, nohow and never! If there were an Olympic game for Type A-Intolerance, I would have swept all the gold metals, and just to be perfectly clear, I have broken most of the 10 Commandments and a host of other secular laws. Fortunately for me and those I love, most of this history is just that, history.

Why God has allowed me back, I do not know. I do know that if it is temporary for any reason, it will not be His fault. He has given me a second chance where, in my humble opinion, none should have been possible. Only with this information about me, can you now know with absolute certainty that God, no matter what you believe or think you know about Him, is tolerant above all measure.

Some have asked if this all happened overnight from some epiphany or other sign from above...Sorry to disappoint, but this did not happen quickly at all. There was no thunder or lightening, no brass bands, and no near death experience. For me it was just like this inverted bell curve:
The point of this curve is to show you my personal path. If you follow the descent here it graphically reveals my last 40 years, starting in my early 20's and going until today. My slope was a steep decline during the early years, then I wallowed in a trough of ungodliness for a few years, before I gradually found my way back by the Grace of God. If you have ever read the book, "Siddhartha," by Herman Hesse, it provides you with a better picture than I can portray here.

This is Godly Tolerance that knows no boundary and the only reason I am capable of writing now is simply because He waited for me, even when I showed no sign of spiritual life. Just like the graph above, I was below flat-lined for decades, before any pulse could be found.

Returning to the OT legality from Mosaic law, there are countless stories that appear completely intolerant to the casual observer, but upon reflection there was tolerance there as well. Consider Adam and Eve...Many consider this a quaint little story about the beginning of God's creation; however, most only see the obvious seduction of Eve by the serpent, and the eating of the apple from the tree of life by both of them. Do you really think that the apples on that tree were any different from the surrounding trees? It was never about the fruit opening their eyes to their nakedness. It was about trust and obedience. The souls that had just been given to them both were now damaged and no longer pure. They disobeyed, then lied about it, then blamed each other and finally blamed the serpent. God gave them everything, asking nothing in return except the 1st Law, "don't eat of this tree only."

He didn't kill them, he punished them. He didn't kill the serpent, he punished him. He didn't scorch the Garden of Eden and start over, He TOLERATED all of it, just like any loving father would do, while covering up their new found nakedness for them. Then He kicked them out of the house (Garden), so that they could live and learn on their own. Far from a perfect beginning to mankind, but at least they launched their life together, just totally different than in the confines of the Garden with God.

In further study on the subject of tolerance in the OT versus the NT, I came upon the following "idiomatic antithesis." Don't let that combination of words throw you, because from my vantage point it provides proof positive that their is a palpable, discernible difference in, "The Letter of the Law versus The Spirit of the Law."
This short phrase makes the hair stand up on the necks of the orthodox and the unorthodox alike. It commands you to THINK, not just blindly accept 6,000 years of history, and it is another key to wisdom and understanding all that has been written from Mosaic Law to the Laws of current civilization in modern society. You have to make up your own mind, based not what you were taught, but your personal stamp of understanding and acknowledgement in your own soul.

Both the letter and spirit of all Law have gotten sorely abused down through the centuries right up until those on trial this year, this month, or next week. If the letter of the written law does not provide  a loophole to minimize or eliminate responsibility, then go to the spirit of the law and plead that the law was written for a different time and place, making it no longer valid. Those in authority now and historically actually poke fun at God's Law. They have rationalized it away, because it has been stamped, "DOES NOT APPLY." But currently it is no longer good enough to trample on God, because people of my own country are now trampling our own legal system. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are being stamped, "DOES NOT APPLY," right in our faces on the heals of home grown corruption and senseless toleration. That's right toleration, like any virtue can be used for good or evil. Focus on the pattern of activity, not on what the pundits say, and you will be able to stand up for yourself and make independent assessments. 

Mankind was divided by geography and language many years ago. I don't know how or why, but I can tell you that our world of different civilizations is "a-changin." Much of the time it is labeled, progress. We want to address and rationalize everything from global warming to the limited supply of fossil fuel in the "new" digital global community. We want to save "endangered species," while ignoring the millions of OUR species, living in in squalor, starving or worse. We sell arms to the militants for money and political gain, while we attempt to impose our rules of existence on all peoples of the globe. Somehow we believe that the way we live is the only correct way. How do we continue to rationalize our arrogance, while we continue in league with drug cartels, arms dealers, dictators and our own sin and corruption? The United States has sold its birthright for a barrel of oil. The United States has sacrificed its soul for power and control. As bad as those two observations are, the worst tragedy is that we traded away, "We The People," and replaced it with "We The Federal, State and Local Government." 

My earnest prayer is for more Divine Toleration. Here is an example that says it better than me:

In Matthew 5:20-44, Christ showed that obeying the “letter of the Law” is a matter of physical action, whereas obeying the “spirit of the Law” requires more than just outward actions—it also involves an attitude of the mind—referred to by the Apostle Paul as “circumcision of the heart” (Rom. 2:28-29). For example, Christ showed that to merely refrain from adultery is obedience to the “letter of the Law,” but to obey both the spirit and letter of the Law, one must also exercise self-control (“temperance”–Gal. 5:23), and not even lust after someone(committing “adultery in his heart”).

In my over-sized and bold words above I find another key to divine wisdom and knowledge. Being intolerant requires nothing but a weak mind and a severely damaged soul; however, being tolerant from God's perspective requires taking time for understanding and accepting, minimally, the letter or the spirit of the law, but truly divine temperance requires, "BOTH."

My words are never meant to hurt anyone of God's creation, just to make you think and decide for yourself. You see, when you meet your maker, your life will be evaluated based solely on YOUR deeds and actions, so learn to depend on your own soul and the God who put it there.

God Bless,

The Digital Disciple


  1. you are invited to follow my blog

  2. Anonymous10:53 PM

    I like what you have to say about things today being stamped "DOES NOT APPLY". So true.

    ...I would love to hear what you have to say about Tolerance's cousin, patience.


Hearing from you is certainly not a requirement. Consideration of what is researched and written is all I ask of anyone who stumbles upon my writings. I believe that my God will take it from there. With His help I try to separate fact from fiction, sense from nonsense, and ultimately clarity from chaos.


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