God's View of Tolerance

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One of the pet words of this age is "tolerance". It is a good word, but we have tried to stretch it over too great an area of life. Too often we have applied tolerance where it does not belong.

 

The word "tolerant" means broad-minded, willing to put up with beliefs opposed to one's convictions, the allowance of something not wholly approved.

 

Tolerance, in one sense, implies the compromise of one's convictions, a yielding of ground on important issues. Hence, over-tolerance in moral issues has made us soft, flabby and devoid of conviction.

 

We have become tolerant about divorce; we have become tolerant about the use of alcohol and drugs; we have become tolerant about crime; we have become tolerant about not keeping the rule of law; and we have become tolerant about godlessness.

 

There is a manifest tolerance of broad-mindedness about morals; this is characteristics of our day. We have been sapped of our conviction and drained of our beliefs, and we are bereft of our faith.

 

If you to ask someone the way to New York City and he said, "Oh, just take any road you wish," you would question either his sanity or truthfulness. Nevertheless, we have somehow gotten it into our minds that "all roads lead to Heaven." People say, "Do your best", "Be honest," and, "Be sincere---and you will make it to Heaven all right."

 

Jesus Christ, who journeyed from Heaven to earth and back to Heaven again, knew the way better than anyone who ever lived. He said in the Bible scripture Matthew 7:13-14 - 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

 

The wide gate and broad road leads to Hell (fiery lake of burning sulfur). The small gate and narrow road leads to Heaven.

 

What road are you on?

 

 

 

Comments

opher goodwin Added Oct 22, 2018 - 8:42am
I'm on the rational road that makes most sense. I gave up the road described by nomadic Arab tribes long ago. 
I live a liberal, tolerant life. I don't tell others that I have the truth or tell them how to live. I merely express my opinions strongly.
My opinion is that god is a manufactured idea that came out of primitive thinking and that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are religions born out of the minds of ancient tribes of Arabs. It's full of misogynistic and violent stuff as befits that culture and it tries to frighten and terrify people into believing. Quite unpleasant really.
TexasLynn Added Oct 22, 2018 - 9:17am
Opher... can you just let someone post something like this and abstain from the "nomadic Arab tribes long ago" bullshit?
 
Yes!  You're an atheist... we got it.  Yes!  You are better than anybody is isn't... we got it.
 
Show a little tolerance... for once.
TexasLynn Added Oct 22, 2018 - 9:27am
Marty,
Very good article from the Christian perspective. 
 
The world is constantly trying to redefine words and ideas to better suit it's secular agenda.  When it comes to tolerance, the world demands not that you tolerate what it deems proper; you must embrace it.  You can't simply respectfully disagree on an issue you must believe it, embrace it, bake a cake for it; OR face the worldly consequences.
 
We Christians should not be surprised by how the world operates.  Christ warned us of what to expect.  The world will hate us for His name sake.  The likes of Opher Goodwin are happy to remind us of this truth again and again and again.  Quite unpleasant really.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 22, 2018 - 10:38am
Lynn
 
Thanks for deleting my comment LOL
Dino Manalis Added Oct 22, 2018 - 10:40am
 Tolerance requires patience, but we're determined to enforce our priorities!
Stone-Eater Added Oct 22, 2018 - 10:40am
...sorry I meant Marty...
opher goodwin Added Oct 22, 2018 - 11:02am
Tex - if people put up religious stuff then I reckon it's fair game.
I'm not sure I suggested that I was better than anybody else. I just escaped the brainwashing.
TexasLynn Added Oct 22, 2018 - 11:12am
OG >> I just escaped the brainwashing.
Which (in your mind) makes you better/superior than everybody else; especially people of faith.
 
My point is... you refuse to tolerate a religious post on this site without your cookie cutter atheist rant.  You try to bully people into ceasing content you don't like.
 
Did you read the post?  Because NOTHING you said had anything to do with the content.  Sure you tried to throw a little window dressing in you comment (using the word "tolerant), but there was ZERO substance behind it.  It was just the same old "you're an idiot, I'm better than you" bullshit.
FacePalm Added Oct 22, 2018 - 11:47am
Marty-
Christ also said that He is the door of the sheep, the holder of the Key of David, who opens and none may shut, who shuts and none may open.  Is a door a gate, and a gate a door?
 
Many priggish, parsimonious, manipulative, and hardhearted who call themselves "christian" are quite likely to wait - perhaps a long, loooong time - for that Door to open...and many they have chosen to condemn, disparage, demean, belittle, and castigate will enter long before they will, too.
 
Christ said several things about judgment, the one most often cited being "Judge not, that ye not BE judged," but He also said "Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?" and "Do not judge by appearances, but with righteous judgement," not to mention "with the measure that ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again" and "have a care how you speak, for by your words will you be justified, and by your words will you be condemned."
 
Me, i feel it's my duty as a disciple of Christ to warn, then let the other alone.  i am not their judge, and if they choose wrongly, that will be between them and their God.
 
Christ did not say "Love the Lord MY God," or "Love the Lord God YHWH" or "Jehovah-jireh" or "El Shaddai," but "YOUR."  There's a reason for that.
FacePalm Added Oct 22, 2018 - 12:03pm
Tex-
i believe that Opher has at least one legitimate point; many "christians" do indeed attempt to frighten and thereby manipulate people into the Kingdom, but such as these must be entirely bereft of comprehending the meaning of the word "Gospel;"  GOOD news.  Preaching hellfire and damnation isn't very good, is it?
 
i agree that those "of the world" will seek to punish those who embrace virtue and virtuous principles; Christ warned those who follow Him that this is EXACTLY what will happen, that "the world will hate you," because it hated Him, first.  Then He counseled us to "count the cost" of becoming His disciple prior to taking the path of the Way.
 
That path is indeed narrow, but the Way is Straight, and it opens up into a blessed broad place, if one but persists in well-doing.
 
Remember Christ's teaching about the rich man and the eye of the needle?
 
Once upon a time, when there were walled cities, they'd occasionally be besieged.  Sometimes camels laden with relief supplies would come by night to a place where a tunnel had been dug under the wall, and the camel needed to be unburdened before it and the supplies could pass through.  This passage was referred to as the "eye of the needle," and may hold a spiritual lesson for the discerning.
 
Then, too, there was the story of the rich miser, a clever businessman, who was able to persuade the Grim Reaper to allow him to bring one suitcase with him to heaven; when he got to the Pearly Gate, Peter refused to let him in with the suitcase.  The miser remonstrated and pointed out the deal he made, whereupon Peter took counsel, then returned and agreed to let him in with his case, but it had to be inspected first.  He opened it, and found that it was completely filled with gold ingots.  Peter exclaimed, "Pavement?  You brought pavement to Heaven?"
TexasLynn Added Oct 22, 2018 - 1:04pm
FP, I think we're on the same page with much... and disagree on a bit.
 
We agree in that we (Christians) often fail in our commission to spread the gospel (good news) because we don't approach the process intelligently or with the proper love in our hearts.  If you're running around screaming "you're all going to hell" I doubt you're winning many converts or are you really trying to advocate for Christ.  I don't do that; nor did Marty in this post.
 
I too, believe it is my duty to simply and boldly give an account for the joy in my heart.  I think it is our duty to have an answer for that.  Christ tells us to be ready with that answer; but he also tells us if someone doesn't want to hear it... to leave them alone (dust off your feet).
 
As for judgment, I think the world tries to tell us that "judge not..." means not to make any judgment that certain sins are indeed sins.  Basically, the world demands silence on the matter and seeks to falsely use scripture to achieve it.  There's an old southern proverb "The devil knows scripture too" and he'll use it to say it's all good, don't judge. That is not what is meant by "judge not...".  It simply means don't be a hypocrite and believe your sin is any less than others.
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
FP >> I believe that Opher has at least one legitimate point... Preaching hellfire...
 
I think there is a line between mentioning hell and preaching hellfire.  I don't think Marty crossed it.
 
Opher, has the same rote reply to anything Christian... I've seen it again and again and again with very minor deviation.  Copy/Paste requires little thought or intellectual honesty.
 
FP >> I agree that those "of the world" will seek to punish ... Christ warned those who follow Him that this is EXACTLY what will happen
 
Yes.  That was my point.  And I used Opher's attitude and comment as an example.  I think they are apt.
 
FP >> That path is indeed narrow, but the Way is Straight, and it opens up into a blessed broad place, if one but persists in well-doing.
 
The path is narrow, and I would say the entrance is as well... AND... there are few (the persistent) who find it.
 
Many never look.  Many more hate the very attempt, despising the path as well as those who trod it.
 
Eye of the Needle: Christ did indeed teach that it easier for a camel to traverse the "eye of the needle" than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  It is a stern warning for the rich.  It's not impossible, but great care must be taken.
 
Pavement: I've heard this story before, and though it is not biblical (not from the Bible), I think the message is apt.  Be careful what you value in life; make it the same as what you will value in the next.  Lay up your treasures in heaven and they will be waiting for you there. :)
Marty Koval Added Oct 22, 2018 - 4:45pm
There are dozens of scripture in the Bible about judging others, and the one I believe is the most pertinent for all people is James 4:11-12 - 11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
 
The one only Lawgiver and Judge is Jesus Christ, who will judge all people after His second coming. It will be done at the Wedding Banquet for the believers of Christ and the White Throne of Judgment for the non believers of Christ.
 
At the White Throne of Judgment, the people there, will not have a defense attorney to defend themselves against their denial of Jesus Christ. Their sentence has already been determined, which will be eternity in the Lake of Burning Sulfur (Hell).
 
So if you not want to go there, commit you life to Jesus Christ now, before it is too late.
 
Riley Brown Added Oct 22, 2018 - 7:05pm
I am only mildly acquainted with the Bible but most of the stories I read that deal with God's propensity for tolerance suggest God is extremely intolerant and not forgiving.
 
I see far more examples of that than I do of a kind and gentle God who knows man has frailties and is appropriately lenient.
Marty Koval Added Oct 22, 2018 - 8:14pm
Riley:
 
First, God is tolerant for our sake, which you will see in the following Bible scripture:
 
2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
 
Romans 2:4 - Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
 
And there are still many who will, God willing.
 
Secondly, God is tolerant for his glory, which you will see in the, following Bible scripture:
 
God is seen as great when He trumps the wisdom of man which is seen in 1 Corinthians 1:20 - 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
 
God tolerates man’s wisdom to show his foolishness is wiser, which is seen in 1 Corinthians 1:25 - 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
 
For our sake and his glory, no one is more truly tolerant than God.
FacePalm Added Oct 22, 2018 - 8:31pm
Tex-
i think we're on the same page, essentially. 
 
Marty-
Let me tell you a story.
Many years ago, now - think it may have been '74 - i was on my way to San Francisco, intending to take the Oakland Bay bridge on in.
 
i was doing about 70, and the sun was setting over the Bay; i let my attention be distracted by the beauty of the sunlight sparking like diamonds on the water.
 
When i turned my attention back to the road, traffic had slowed down to around 50, so i did the same, then looked back at the water again, but this time when i turned back around, traffic had come to a dead stop maybe 50' in front of me, possibly less.
 
I slammed on the brakes(both front and rear) and began a skid toward the rear bumper of the car in front of me - when time stopped.
 
I was out of my body, about 20' or so above it, looking down at me on the motorcycle, freaked out-to-frozen,  when i heard a voice above me and to my right saying (as if there was all the time in the world) "Y'know, if you keep sliding like that, you're gonna hit that car and get hurt real bad, maybe die."  "Yeah," i assented.  The voice went on, slowly, "But," it said, "if you let up offa that there brake, there's a perfectly good lane between the stopped cars..." and i replied "YEAH!"  Then i was back in my body, taking the advice i'd just been given; i was finally able to slow down and stop maybe 8 or 9 car-lengths in - THEN i got scared.  My biggest regret is that i never turned to look at who was speaking during that OOBE.
 
But perhaps the lesson learned is that to the Creator of Time, it is relatively irrelevant.  He can stop it, reverse it, speed it up, loop it like Groundhog Day.  It's all up to Him.
 
So when Christ says that we'll be changed "in the blink of an eye," that could actually take quite a bit of tick-tock time, you know.  The same holds true of hell.  The word used in the Greek, iirc, is an "aeon," meaning a long time, but certainly not forever.  There is no point to a just God punishing infinitely for the finite sins we commit here.  We're idiots, and God certainly knows that.  That said, i've read that "An hour's agony will erase the memory of a lifetime of pleasures," so it may be that even someone as evil as a Hitler has already learned his lessons and been forgiven.  I repeat: "With the measure that ye mete, it will be measured unto you again," so it's entirely possible that by the standard you have set for "others," you may spend an inordinate amount of time there, yourself - or Christ's words have no power or effect.  IOW, be careful of the standards you impose, for they will be applied to YOU.
 
Indeed, i have by now heard/seen DOZENS of testimonies from people who've had NDE's(N.ear D.eath E.xperiences) and come back to relate that their souls were sent back in time and into the bodies of EVERYONE they ever hurt, and were made to re-live the experience, this time feeling EVERY BIT of the pain once dished out, watching you hitting you(and etc.).
 
The first time i heard a story like this, i exclaimed "Wow!  That's perfect justice!"  And it is, too.  It's also perfectly in keeping with what Christ repeatedly taught, in many and divers ways, e.g. "Give, and it will be given unto you," "As ye would that men do unto you, do also unto them," and etc., the rest of which you probably know much better than i.
 
One more thing.
The letter "J" does not now, nor has ever existed in either Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, or Greek - so in Truth, His name as spoken during His earthly manifestation absolutely could NOT have been Jesus.  From many sources, i've heard it said that His Name is actually more akin to either "Yeshua" or "Yashua," but i generally use "Y'shua" to at least try to cover all bases.
 
It's probably a minor point, but as i kinda dislike it when people mispronounce MY name, and get irritated-to-angry when people do so deliberately after having been corrected - i certainly don't want to do it to Him, either.  All part of that "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" thing, for me.
TexasLynn Added Oct 22, 2018 - 8:38pm
RB >> I see far more examples of that [God extremely intolerant and not forgiving] than I do of a kind and gentle God who knows man has frailties and is appropriately lenient.
 
I sorry that is your experience.  The most famous quote of the Bible says differently.  When you see someone in the stands of a sporting event holding up a sign with a Bible verse, it is almost always John 3:16 which I (and obviously other's) think encompasses the message of the gospel (the New Testament).
 
John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
 
Imagine that!  Your love and compassion for your creation is so great that you would sacrifice your ONE and ONLY Heavenly Son just to provide a means of reconciliation.  THAT is Love!
TexasLynn Added Oct 22, 2018 - 9:10pm
FP,
I for one do appreciate the personal story and your interaction with God in your time of need. 
 
In my one memorable near-death experience, there was no out of body experience and no voice, but I instinctively asked for His help and am convinced that very quick prayer was answered.  Probability said I was dead but somehow (I’m convinced it was God) I survived.
 
As for as a hearing God, though I’ve never literally heard Him.  I have had a couple of experiences where I have felt His overwhelming presence and received the exact same message each time.  “Be still.  Be still… and know that I Am.”  It’s been a long time since that last experience but I long for it again… and know it is what He wants for me… forever.
 
As for as your theories on time and eternity and change and hell… there are many things (including these) we cannot wrap our heads around.  The gospel describes these in terms as best it can, knowing that for now we understand as children and see through a dark murky mirror… but someday will understand as adults and see everything clearly.
 
I hope you’re right… I hope hell is not for eternal punishment… and I’ve heard that before, but it’s not something one would want to take a chance on in my opinion.  There are certainly enough warnings in the gospel to avoid that fate.
 
One more point… I had a lot of Asian friends in Houston.  They could not pronounce the letter “L” so my name basically became “Ren”.  It did not offend me, it did not change who I was.  I saw it as an honorary Asian name.  The Messiah is known my many names… none truly capture who He Is. :)
FacePalm Added Oct 22, 2018 - 10:56pm
Yep, that's why i said it was probably a minor point(the pronunciation of His Name), but IAW "Do unto others," etc., i'd want to get it as right as possible.
 
A friend of mine told me this, once: "You'll never know what love is until you hold your own child in your arms."  And yet, God gave His Son to be beaten, tortured, and nailed to a couple of beams.  Not that high up off the ground, either, as is often portrayed.  And He suffered all that willingly so that we could be reconciled through this great sacrifice.  But i've heard from naysayers, "So who ast ya?"
 
Hell is no picnic; it's best to avoid it if possible.  However, a clue is in the book of the Revelation of John, where he writes that the second death is the lake of fire, BUT the saved will not be hurt by it...just as Mishael, Hananiah, and Azariah (aka Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego) were not hurt by being cast into the fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar, iirc; Daniel was given the slave name of Belteshazzar, iirc. 
 
If i found myself being hurt by the 2nd death, i would take it as purification, for as it is written in the OT, God sits as a refiner of gold and silver, and patiently wait upon the Lord while praying.
 
i have a strong feeling that those who have not learned of this may think they screwed up royally, and be stuck there for awhile.  They may wonder why they didn't go directly to the wedding feast and never see that place of torment and suffering.
 
As to "hearing God," there's a clue in one of the Psalms, where something like the following is written: "The voice of God resounds throughout Creation, but there are no words; there is no sound; yet his voice reaches unto the uttermost parts."
 
Ok, i felt moved to look it up.  From the NRSV, Psalm 19:1-3:
 
"Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
4  Yet their sound has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world."
 
This is how i've experienced this "voice-without-words."  It's akin to telepathy, in a way - and yes, i know the naysayers will claim it's schizophrenia, so lay off.
 
i think this form of communication is done out of love, for His ACTUAL voice would likely blast our atoms apart and scatter them to the four winds, so to speak, based on what the Israelites heard in the desert when Moses went up...or what bystanders heard when Saul had his Damascus Road experience.
 
Speaking of Moses, there's an example of extreme bravery.  Imagine it.  You see a mountain whose top is covered with dark cloud; thunder and lightning issue forth, the earth itself is shaking to beat the band, and you hear a Voice which says "Come up!" - and you go. 
 
Bravest
man
ever.
 
And when he came back down, his face shone so brightly that no man could bear to look at him.  He had to wear a veil...which was a sign of the tabernacle, yet to be built - and later, the veil which separated the main temple from the Holy of Holys - rent top to bottom when Christ died on the cross, thus indicating - to me, at least - that there's no need for any preacher or teacher or priest to do intercession in secret any longer - but we have direct access via the Door, Y'shua ha Maschiach, blessed forevermore, King of kings and Lord of lords.
FacePalm Added Oct 22, 2018 - 11:11pm
Oh, and on review, i see that in that NDE story i TOTALLY FORGOT TO MENTION I WAS ON A MOTORCYCLE!  (*shakes head at omission*)  Now, maybe it'll make a bit more sense.
TexasLynn Added Oct 23, 2018 - 10:14am
FP >>  i'd want to get it [His Name] as right as possible.
 
I think He would rather I concentrate of doing what He commands (though I do that as poorly as well).  Christ will cover many, many of my sins... I'm sure he'll forgive that one as well.
 
Men have always been fascinated with the Name of God; trying to place Him in a box we can fathom.  Didn't Moses ask, "Who shall I say sent me?" and God told him to say "I AM" sent you.  I don't think God's name is the Hebrew equivalent of "I am"; but rather the concept of the great "I AM" was what was important.
 
I will note that in my personal story, God tells me to "be still"... twice... like a parent grabbing the attention of a hyper child.  The comforting the child with the simple knowledge of "I AM" here and I love you.  You need to know that above all else.
 
FP >> this is how i've experienced this "voice-without-words."  It's akin to telepathy, in a way
 
That was my experience as well.  It was more of a feeling as deep down as they come, than anything else.  I've never felt anything like it since.
 
FP >> Hell is no picnic; it's best to avoid it if possible.  However...
 
All I can say is I hope you are right about the nature of hell and the refining to come... but it's not something I would say I am certain of.  The stakes are just too high.
 
FP >> Speaking of Moses, there's an example of extreme bravery.
 
Could not agree more.  The man answered the call of the Lord and bless His people and every nation by his bravery.  He was instrumental in fulfilling the original promise to Abraham.  I love much of the history you spoke of concerning the man.  You're 100% right on the meaning of the rending of the veil in the temple.
 
FP >> Y'shua ha Maschiach, blessed forevermore, King of kings and Lord of lords.
 
Amen. :)
Riley Brown Added Oct 23, 2018 - 10:28am
Marty, when I think about God's propensity for forgiving transgressions I remember why Adam and Eve were kicked out of paradise and every generation after that cursed forever.  No tolerance there,  not even for future generations of people who were completely innocent of that crime. 
 
Marty, one of my biggest bible hero's is Moses, who was denied the joy of living in the promised land because he failed to follow God's directions precisely when he got water from a rock.  Considering all that Moses did do I consider that a pretty petty thing to punish him for.
 
Later when some of the Jews who escaped Egypt begin to doubt the wisdom they had been given, God smites all of them, their supporters and their families, including totally innocent children and infants.  What kind of tolerance is that.
 
Certainly the worst was the flood where God kills almost every living thing on Earth with the exception of what Noah managed to pack into his ark.  Were all of them and even all the animals deserving of that punishment?  What was their crime?
 
God of the bible is often a heartless and unforgiving master who demands absolute obedience and enforces his will with horrible examples of cruelty and death sentences that often seem to have little relationship to the severity of the trespass.
Marty Koval Added Oct 23, 2018 - 8:09pm
Riley:
 
For your knowledge, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all distinct beings, but they are one in purpose and effort, and are God. The events you are talking about come from the Old Testament and involved The God the Father.
 
Many people are in awe and in fear because the image they have is that of a father figure, somewhere up there in heaven, ready to admonish and correct. While the universal flood certainly seems extreme on the surface, there are a number of factors that should be kept in mind.
 
First, the Bible makes it clear that violence and evil had grown to be extremely pervasive so that it literally touched everything and everyone that existed at that time. Genesis 6:5 states: The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.
 
Prior to the flood, evil permeated and filled the earth. God gave people plenty of time to repent their sinful and wicked ways, but they refused. This erases the argument that God drowned ‘innocent’ people in the flood.
 
God decided to banish Adam and Eve from the Garden because Adam and Eve now had the knowledge of good and bad, and that he should be prevented from eating from the tree of life. This was Another tree in the garden, and if Adam ate from this tree they would live forever. So God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden not because of sin, but to prevent him from eating from the tree of life! God went as far as to place a flaming sword to guard the tree of life.
 
Many people caricature God being a vindictive, impatient, quick-tempered, and bloodthirsty deity. The image of God from the Old Testament after a thorough study is just the opposite; God is portrayed as forgiving, patient, and slow to bring forth judgment. However, He is also revealed to be a holy, just, and righteous God who will bring justice about in His time.  In short, the God of the Old Testament matches the God of the New Testament.
 
While some may argue that correcting the skeptic’s faulty view of God is not that important, quite the opposite is true. An accurate understanding of the nature and characteristics of God is paramount; a fact captured well by A.W. Tozer (Christian pastor and author) writes: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God."
 
It is true that the Bible contains graphic stories of sin, evil, and death. But it also includes the overarching grand story of love, redemption, and grace. It showcases a God who asks us to not criticize Him about His acts of justice, but instead One who kindly encourages us to come alongside Him and grieve over a world that has misused the gift of freedom given it to do wrong instead of right. When that happens, and God acts in His righteousness, the world discovers that consequences exist for evil behavior, which is something the prophet Isaiah speaks to in Isaiah 26:9 - My soul yearns for you in the night;  in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.
 
So is the God of the Old Testament a merciless and intolerant monster? After a thorough review of the facts, the evidence overwhelmingly demands an answer of ‘no.
 
As a matter of fact, all of the biblical authors agree that God's love and God's judgment are actually two sides of the same coin. Fire can burn. Fire can also provide warmth and comfort. It all depends on where we stand in relationship to the flame.
 
Troll Hunter Added Oct 23, 2018 - 10:49pm
Riley:  Dear LORD!  Your god is a total prick!
 
Hey, I have an idea:  Why don't you follow my God, who is all Love and doesn't mass murder kids for no reason or punish people for eternity.
 
You might like it, just saying.
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 24, 2018 - 12:23am
@Riley, I like that you have familiarized yourself with aspects of the Bible and have, on the face of it, legitimate criticisms. 
 
I'll quickly try to address them. Moses striking the rock. He disobeyed a direct order from God. God told him to X, he did Y. 
 
By contrast, President Truman fired General MacArthur during the Korean War for insubordination. That's a far less crime than disobeying a direct order from the president, let's say.
 
(MacArthur wanted to widen the war to "win"...but we now know that had he widened it, bombing China, he would have brought the full force of China and probably Russia in and could have lit most of the Asian continent ablaze...but MacArthur didn't know all of it, President Truman did. MacArthur should have simply done as he was commanded.)  

During the Civil War, Lincoln fired generals for losing a single battle. 
 
But in the case of Moses, he kept his job (for then) but was forbidden from entering the promised land. Petty? I'd argue no. Insubordination and not following direct orders in leadership positions always brings swift retribution--King Saul was stripped of the kingdom for doing the same, disobeying a direct order from God. 
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 24, 2018 - 12:23am
The Exodus...I've heard preachers humorously compare it to a miserable family vacation where the kids are constantly complaining. But dad and mom want the family to spend time with each other so they continue on, and if they have to discipline the kids along the way, they do. Seems to describe it pretty well. 
 
But the widens into a deeper discussion of God's form of punishment and judgement. And there's no easy answers for all of it. 
 
The Flood...humanity virtually destroyed for seemingly disregarding God and going about their lives (Jesus said regarding the days before the flood 'people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day Moses entered the ark'.) 
 
I suppose when you step into someone's sandbox, you play by their rules. But it's difficult for us to accept the harshness of this. 
 
But as much as we want to put pads on playgrounds and treat everyone with kiddie gloves, life is harsh, is it not? There is no changing of that reality. And Christianity does preach a message which offers a loving way out of these harsh realities. 
FacePalm Added Oct 24, 2018 - 1:59am
Cullen-
Actually, the reason God refused to let Moses into the Promised Land was not so much his disobedience, but his arrogance/lack of humility.  When he struck the rock with his staff as directed, fresh water came out, but when the Israelites asked him who brought the water from the rock, he said "I did."  He was the instrument, not the Mover.  He should've said "God did," because that was the truth.
 
An object lesson to fake preachers today, those who took the bribe and became 501c3's, for example.
 
Also, t'was Noah as entered the Ark.  Moses came much later.
 
Riley-
If you read the OT, make note of all the different names by which God is called, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Malachi.  Then, with the help of a Concordance, look up the meanings of these names, and you'll get a glimpse into the growing and changing understandings of the Most High granted the Israelites over long years.
 
Christ revealed God as Our Heavenly Father, who has been described as "light, and in Him is no darkness at all" as well as "Truth."  IMO, it is advisable to get a "red-letter" version of the bible and read the words of Christ first and foremost - evaluate them, consider them, assimilate them, become as familiar as possible with what He said, and did, and taught(while asking questions of God, if you like) - then, evaluate the rest of the bible through His lens, as best you can, for He is the Word, as recorded in John 1:1 et seq.  There are many tales of great violence and injustice told in the OT, but there are also many hidden gems, especially in Proverbs and Psalms.  i'm right partial to this OT passage, too...can't remember offhand where it came from, but could find it again relatively quickly:  "What does the Lord require of you but that you do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God?"  Many "christians" would do well to live those words as best they're able, for these are not just suggestions (which is why the italics were used).  But this is just one of many.  Look at it like a spiritual treasure hunt, if you like, for the words "Seek and ye shall find" are equally as true when seeking the good as well as the bad. 
 
Christ came not to end the Law, but to fulfill it, which was accomplished with the words "It is finished," just before He died on the cross...after "uttering a great cry."  Our new law - quite imperfectly understood, much less implemented by most, sad to say - is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength...and your neighbor as yourself."
TexasLynn Added Oct 24, 2018 - 9:30am
Cullen >> But in the case of Moses, he kept his job (for then) but was forbidden from entering the promised land.
 
I will note just from a perspective of Bible trivia... that Moses much later enters the promised land with Elijah for the transfiguration of Jesus. :) 
 
I always thought of that as a little nod and blessing given to Moses by God.  Entering was denied Moses in life, but when he finally does get to go... it's for a very blessed and momentous event.
 
I'll also note that the main reason for the wandering in the desert was so that the old generation (and their ideas) would pass away.  I get the feeling their ways were incompatible with what God wanted to accomplish in the promised land.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 24, 2018 - 10:01am
I don't see where any of these comments, all wrapped in gawd, have anything to do with tolerance, and all about bibical virtue signaling.  How does neoconfederate TraitorLynn find time for banging bibles for "Geezus" and planning for the United State of White People where TraitorLynn will have to violate people's rights, property rights for "curing the US from cancer."  And he's the one determining what cancer America has, so can't even get a second opinion.  What warms my heart is the rightists have gone from "Lock her up, Lock her up," to "Blow them up, blow them up."  So cheer on rightist dogs.  More you scream about the need to "chop up America," the sooner the FBI or DHS will slap the cuffs on you and take your "farm implements, " TraitorLynn.  Tolerance?  TraitorLynn was very clear with wsucram15 the traitor will never compromise, but wants others to compromise with him.  "Lock him up, Lock him up!"  So you think ol Traitor will be "tolerant?"
Riley Brown Added Oct 24, 2018 - 11:01am
Marty, thank you for trying to explain God's ways to me.
 
Your explanation of what Moses did wrong only reinforces my belief that God's punishment was horribly disproportionate to Moses's crime by showing me I did understand what I read.  Here we have a mortal man that God had used over and over again to help him, (God), free the chosen people and God inflicted a horrible punishment on him for not saying the right words. 
 
I know Moses disobeyed God in doing so, but I would hope a merciful and compassionate God would have forgiven such a minor trespass.  In reading the story I'm not even sure Moses deliberately disobeyed God, to me it sounds like he might have thought the exact words weren't important.
 
Not forgiving Adam and Eve is similar, and in that case he cursed all future generations for their crime. 
 
I can accept the idea that God needed to destroy all the bad people via the flood, but surely young children and infants were innocent.  Were the butterflies also evil?  I don't think so but he killed them too. 
 
I think the bible shows us a God who created man and women hoping they would use their free will to fanatically and blindly follow God's will, and when they didn't God got mad and instead of forgiving and moving on, often preferred genocidal solutions, and a fresh start with new people.
 
In more modern times God does seem strangely disconnected or perhaps even tolerant, allowing things like mass murder, and the genocide of innocent people to take place without retribution. 
 
How can the same God that wiped out everyone who doubted his guidance after they left Egypt, and their families and supporters, also be a God who allows people to get away with Genocide?
Jeff Michka Added Oct 24, 2018 - 2:32pm
Maybe it's all because Marty's "sky guy" doesn't exist?  Hmmm "the old "why did gawd Allow X, Y, Z?"  He didn't allow anything or prohibit anything, because he's non existent. 
Marty Koval Added Oct 24, 2018 - 7:25pm
Riley:
 
Many people have the wrong impression who the Father of God is. When you thoroughly study the Bible, you will discover that He is a kind, loving and faithful God that posses numerous attributes. The attributes are:
 

GOD the Father is love itself
The Creator
God of Justice
God of Mercy and Compassion
God of Wisdom
He Fulfils His Promises
God of Blessing
God of Deliverance
God of Concern
Is Awesome God
God of Mercy and Judgment
God of Laws and Details
Redeemer God
God of Refuge
God of Forgiveness
God of Goodness
Faithful God
God of Salvation and Vengeance
Father God
God of all Creation
Father of all Believers 

There are 100's of scripture in the Bible supporting each one of these attributes. If I would list all these, my reply would be many dozens of pages. You have concentrating your focus on how God the Father has discipline people in the Bible. Like our human father, there has been times that he has discipline each one of us for not following his commands and instructions.  Discipline that is applied appropriately for the situation is for the positive development of our character and soul.  
 
Like our worldly justice system, depending on the severity of the infraction, could lead to death. People in the past, present and future has experienced what is stated in Isaiah 59:8 - The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace.
 
The justice system in the USA is actually based on scripture from the Bible
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 24, 2018 - 7:34pm
"How can the same God that wiped out everyone who doubted his guidance after they left Egypt, and their families and supporters, also be a God who allows people to get away with Genocide?"
 
God didn't wipe them out but let them live out their lives in the desert (in the Exodus maybe cut a few years off the youngest of them). And that life probably was marginally better than being a slave in Egypt. 
 
The message of the Bible is nobody "gets away with it" it though. The judgement you seem to abhor in the Flood or in the Exodus is the same sort of thing that people "who get away with Genocide" will face at the Second Coming of Jesus. 
 
So is God's judgement just or not? Sinners get their just deserts. But Jesus actually took the punishment for all sin for those who want to believe and escape the final judgement can simply accept his gift.
Riley Brown Added Oct 25, 2018 - 10:35am
Cullen, I think you need to dig a little deeper.  While wandering in the desert some of the people who fled Egypt began to doubt the wisdom of their leader and confronted Moses.  God killed all those who doubted and their followers and their families, including innocent children who had no idea what was going on.
 
You are right about the larger masses, but missed this subplot.
Riley Brown Added Oct 25, 2018 - 10:38am
Marty, God may be kind, forgiving and loving much of the time but he or she flip flops and as in the bible stories I provided, can be a mean and unforgiving entity who wipes out the innocent and guilty alike when people don't use their free will in the way he or she hoped they would.
Marty Koval Added Oct 25, 2018 - 2:14pm
Riley:
 
The Father God provided the people numerous Bible scriptures telling them what would happen if they would not follow what He was saying. The people have the free will to either obey or disobey. If they obeyed, they were in a good position. If they disobeyed , they face predetermined consequents up to death.
 
Mankind because of sin has a rebellious heart. If it is not tempered and tamed by fully accepting Jesus Christ into their hearts, they will continue to sin and do evil things. The Bible is very explicit about obeying God's commands.  If they obey, they have nothing to fear. If they disobey, they will face the consequences based on what Bible scripture states.
 
Here is just a small sampling of these scriptures warning mankind if they disobey God. These scriptures have been recorded to show mankind that the Father God is looking out for their best interest.
 
Daniel 9:10-11 - nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. "Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.
 
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 - “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
 
Deuteronomy 28:15 - "But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.
 
Ephesians 2:2 - In which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
 
Ephesians 5:6 - Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
 
Hebrews 2:2 - For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution,
 
James 1:14-15 - But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
 
James 4:17 - If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them.
 
Jeremiah 12:17 - "But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it," declares the LORD.
 
Jeremiah 9:13 - The LORD said, "Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it,
 
John 14:15 - “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
 
Joshua 5:6 - For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD, to whom the LORD had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
 
Joshua 7:11-12 - Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stan
Jeff Michka Added Oct 25, 2018 - 3:15pm
As is said in Fuckwad 44:33, "May thine fist be full when strok9ing yourself IN MY NAME."  Guess that means you bible bangers all scream "Geezus!" when you cum.  And how are the prayers for the bomber and the bombers escape working out?
Marty Koval Added Oct 25, 2018 - 4:16pm
Jeff:
 
The Bible clearly states don't take the name of the Lord your God in vain, which comes from the second  of the ten commandments." The Bible scripture Exodus 20:7 states -  You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who takes His name in vain.
 
The third of the Ten Commandments forbids taking or using the Lord’s name in an irreverent manner because that would indicate a lack of respect for God Himself. Exodus 20:7 -  A person who misuses God’s name will not be held “guiltless” by the Lord.
 
Be aware that The Great I AM (Jesus Christ) hears you at all times.  Do not use the name of the Lord in vain.
 
The name of God stands for Himself and for that which He has revealed of Himself, not for our thoughts about Him. The positive way to look at it is to revere God, love God, delight in God, know God, fill up God with all that he is. And then out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.
 
FacePalm Added Oct 26, 2018 - 7:17am
Marty-
i often wondered about the reason for the structure of taking the Lord's name "in vain," and the answer i got was that His Name is a name of great Power, so using it as part of a curse instead of a blessing is quite inadvisable - first, because you'll get His attention, and second, because of the boomerang principle, aka "reaping what you sow."  IME and FMO, words are seeds. 
 
This would be yet another reason for the cautionary warning "Have a care how you speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 26, 2018 - 11:38am
Opher 3:3-7 God the father is a fiction of a fertile imagination.
opher goodwin Added Oct 26, 2018 - 11:40am
https://www.amazon.com/Antitheists-Dictionary-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1500821144/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1540568465&sr=1-1&keywords=the+antitheists+dictionary+opher
Marty Koval Added Oct 26, 2018 - 12:54pm
Opher:
 
What is great about God is that he gave mankind, the free will to come to conclusions about various topics on verifiable proof.  The Bible it is the most scrutinized book that has ever existed.
 
The Bible claims to be the written Word of God. It claims to have been inspired by the very mind of God, written by the hands of fallible men, but containing the ultimate truths of life. I understand why the Bible is heavily scrutinized. If it’s true, it has far-reaching implications for every person that has ever walked the face of this earth. Life and death is in this book. Destiny and purpose are found in its pages.
 
Believers and non-believers alike should be scouring the pages of the Bible as frantically as we would search for our child if he or she went missing. We should read it. Question it. Study it. Investigate its history. And, analyze its integrity with an Open Mind.
 
The Bible has stood the test of time; And, I, for one, believe it will continue to do so; even under the most intense scrutiny ever afforded a book.
 
Additional, you need to ask yourself, how did the universe and all its complex and very orderly structure occur? If it happen by chance, it would be impossible to be an orderly universe, with stars and planets being in orderly orbits. Mankind himself is such a complex being, that believing he happen by chance takes unfathomable faith.
 
Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. From my perspective, it takes a lot less faith to believe in God and the Bible, than to believe that there is no God and the Bible is not the truth.
 
opher goodwin Added Oct 26, 2018 - 1:05pm
No Marty - the physical laws of the universe dictate the orbits and chemistry. There's no need for god.
Marty Koval Added Oct 26, 2018 - 1:14pm
Opher:
 
Who created the physical laws of the universe? Did they just happen by chance? It takes a tremendous amount of faith to believe that these happen by chance!
Jeff Michka Added Oct 26, 2018 - 4:45pm
Geezus, if ol Marty says there's a gawd, then there must be.  Marty, of course, would NEVER lie.  His sky guy didn't save that bomber from being caught, and Geezus is cumming back?  I wonder how Marty heard Geezus breathing hard.  The mythical sky guy is gonna be angry with me for not just taking his "name in vain," but not saying he exists, and just doesn't.  Awwwww.  Tolerance is only for commies and other leftists, not for those that believe in gawd.  Marty has a bumpersticker warning: In case of "the rupture," his truss will be unmanned.   "Clinging to their guns and bibles"  describes the deplorables well.
Eric Reports Added Oct 27, 2018 - 2:27pm
The evildoing left think they are doing good, even when they are killing people.  "If the end justifies the means."  The above comment would have been deleted by my account in a heartbeat.  Michka, you are going to hell. 
Marty Koval Added Oct 27, 2018 - 2:49pm
Eric:
 
Amen!
 
Liberal1 Added Oct 27, 2018 - 3:32pm
"we have become tolerant about godlessness..."
 
Sir, you don't get to "tolerate" my godlessness. 
 
Frankly, my godliness or lack thereof is:   a.) None of your damn business  and  b.) Condescending as hell, if you believe that you have the "God given right" to even think that your answer must be accepted, with a big 'ol "or else!" implied (which is saying "become tolerant" means).
 
You closed with a question about "which road".  In my mind you are on the same road that took people to the Inquisition, took the Conquistadors to commit genocide in the Americas and which took the Puritans to the Salem witch trials.  To be honest, the "Godly"s track record ain't too stellar on that count.
Marty Koval Added Oct 27, 2018 - 5:48pm
Liberal1
 
First of all, I am not telling you how to live your life. That is you choice.
 
Instead of creating machines or robots, God created people. And He gave us free will—the ability to think, reason and make our own choices. He gives us commands and instructions that show us how He wants us to live, but He allows us to decide whether we will obey.
 
Free will is also a blessing and a curse. It gives us the ability to choose good or evil
Riley Brown Added Oct 29, 2018 - 10:59am
The more I learn about physics the more I realize most of what I can see happens in the Universe is just the result of predictable physical reactions.
 
That has changed my religious views.  Where I once believed God made the sun come up every morning I now know the Earth is rotating and it just looks that way.  I realize the tilt of the earth, not God, causes the seasons.
 
I see mountains and realize they are the result of Geologic uplift, and deep valleys, even the Grand Canyon were not carved by God, but got that way naturally from millions of years of erosion. 
 
Where the Bible is in conflict with science, in my world science wins every time.  The world was flat according to many religious views until experience proved that wasn't true.  It was also at the center of the universe according to prevailing religious views, until the scientific evidence was just too overwhelming to ignore.
 
That doesn't leave God out of my life, there is a time and place, and I'm not about to ditch God just because lots of things that have been attributed to him have been proven to have other origins and causes.  There is still lots of room for God.
TexasLynn Added Oct 29, 2018 - 11:46am
RB >> The more I learn about physics the more I realize most of what I can see happens in the Universe is just the result of predictable physical reactions.
 
Because the universe obeys laws of physics/nature does not preclude or exclude God.  In fact, I see it as the exact opposite (my personal experience).  The beauty and structure of the universe/nature I think shows intelligent design.  Not that I expect or would frown on someone who does not come to the same conclusion.
 
One of the most religious and influential Christians I ever knew was a mathematician.  He told me that when he looked at complex equations and theorems he could not help but see the fingerprints of God's design.
 
I once believed that God wound the universe up like a clock, saying as part of creation "Let E=MC2..." and then letting 'er rip. :)  Experience over the years has revealed his hand in quite a bit (in my life); but hopefully you see what I mean.
 
RB >> Where the Bible is in conflict with science, in my world science wins every time.
 
I think a lot of that science/religion conflict is created, versus existing naturally in an effort to divide.  This is done by both sides for various agendas/reasons.  While there have indeed been religious institutions and people who injected doctrine (the world is flat... etc...) many of the people who knew better and proved it were in fact believers in God.
 
Thus... there is no secular monopoly on scientific truth... far from it.
 
And today, secular science practices the same type of dogma, declaring the "debate is over" concerning global warming and those who disagree are "deniers" (another word for heretic). 
 
They have proven Solomon right that when it comes to the foibles of humanity "there is nothing new under the sun".  We make the same mistakes over and over and over again.
 
RB >> That doesn't leave God out of my life, there is a time and place, and I'm not about to ditch God just because lots of things that have been attributed to him have been proven to have other origins and causes.  There is still lots of room for God.
 
Glad to hear that. :) 
 
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." -- Thomas Jefferson (1787) (full quote here)
 
 
FacePalm Added Oct 30, 2018 - 7:52pm
TL-
Great choice of a TJ citation; when it comes to religion, that one is my favorite of his.
 
Ever hear of the "Jefferson Bible"?  IIRC, what he did was strip out every "miracle" and just leave behind the bedrock foundations of real discipleship, and it's superiority to every other known form of religion insofar as fashioning virtue, ethics, and morality, the qualities of character men and women really need...as well as love of God and neighbor.
 
i've never read it, personally.  If you have, i'd be interested in what you have to say about it.
TexasLynn Added Oct 30, 2018 - 9:55pm
FP >> Great choice of a TJ citation; when it comes to religion, that one is my favorite of his.
 
I have profound respect for the man (TJ); not that I agreed with everything he believed.  That is not a requirement for my admiration and respect.  You and I don't agree on everything after all... BUT I respect and value your opinion.  You've certainly given me much to ponder. :)
 
Back to Jefferson, I remembered the quote because I thought it was relevant to what Riley was saying.
 
As far as that quote.  I agree with him.  God gave us reason among many other gifts... he wants us to use them.
 
FP >> Ever hear of the "Jefferson Bible"?  IIRC, what he did was strip out every "miracle"...
 
Yes, I've heard of it, but I have not read it.  It also, IIRC, stripped out every reference of Jesus as being the Messiah and the Son of God (a miracle of miracles).  Jefferson and I must part ways on that point.
 
Jefferson was a deist, if I'm not mistaken.  I was too, in my much younger days; but graduated beyond that belief as Christ worked within me.  I’ve stated before, I was a late comer to Christ… so I am a benefactor of God’s “longsuffering” patience.
 
Despite our differences, I acknowledge Thomas Jefferson as one of the key founding fathers who gave us the blessing of this grand republic.  His faith was key to its foundation.  This nation (and the world) owe him our gratitude for such generational liberty and prosperity.
 
On a side note... One of my favorite Christian apologist authors is C.S. Lewis.  In Mere Christianity in particular Lewis used the reason referenced by Jefferson to work out his faith.  That book, The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters were astoundingly enlightening for me.
 
FacePalm Added Oct 31, 2018 - 12:29am
Yeah, i used to have a quote of his in re: "democracy, in the incantory sense" that was quite profound, but now i can't find it, even with a websearch.
 
It may be part of the curious "Mandela effect."  One example of that is that a part of Isaiah once said that the "lion would lie down with the lamb," but now it reads "wolf" instead of lion...there could possibly be some time-traveling experimentation going on, perhaps.  Other links i found claim that large number of people are having "false memories," instead - but years back, i made a habit of waking up, rolling over, putting on my glasses and picking up a bible(NRSV w/deuterocanonicals), then reading a ch. of the OT, a Psalm, a ch. of Proverbs, then a ch. from either the Wisdom of Solomon or the Book of Sirach(i'd alternate), then a ch. of the NT, and did this daily for approx. 3.5 years, so i do remember quite a bit, and the bible once DEFINITELY said the LION(not the wolf) would lie down with the lamb.
 
Now, while i admire the general genius of Jefferson, i certainly don't elevate him to demigod status...even though a statue, a "pantheon"(literally means "gods") of F&F in DC,  iirc(looked it up, and apparently one can be found in the Jefferson Memorial)...and although we may disagree on certain things, i don't think the little disagreements we might have matter to the respect i have for you, and your fearlessness in proclaiming your faith despite the sniping and meanspiritedness and attacks.