Tolerance is the buzzword these days for people who want to create a law or change the social fabric of our society trying to shame us into accepting whatever it is they want to change. I think that if they were to look up that word, they would have chosen a different one. The definition of Tolerance is "Accepting that which is abhorrent." If you are doing something that I feel is abhorrent(detestable, hateful, loathsome...), why would I ever accept it?
Tolerance is the reason a bakery owner in Oregon owes a lesbian couple $135,000 for pain and suffering for refusing to bake a wedding cake.
Tolerance is the reason that my son was given an assignment on Allah in public school, but can't bring a bible.
Tolerance is the reason we are told to keep our hands off women's bodies but we allow the unborn to be hacked into little vacuum sized pieces.
But the real cost of tolerance is the way we make idols of our children; how we allow their language and attitude be less and less respectful. The cost is how we preach and rail at each other, instead of listening. Let's take a look at the real world wide cost of tolerance.
Because of tolerance, our nation will not call into question Islamic militants or actions of islamic terrorism. That is what has given courage to ISIS, Al Queada, Boko Haram, the Houthi's and a number of smaller groups. These groups now hunt for Christians to kill. But not just kill, but to humiliate and punish them through painful and horrific deaths, to taking or killing their children.
Our nation is the most permissive in the world. You can do mostly what you want, as long as you don't infringe on somebody else. However, the tolerance police want that to go away, and who is the first group they want to reign in? The Christians. I find that abhorrent.
If we allowed, no, not allowed, but if we cultivated true Christian teaching, about love, repentance, humility and prayer, would we as a society have the problems we are seeing Baltimore or Ferguson? I don't think so.
Personally, I'm proud to be intolerant. I'm proud to call Christ my Lord and Savior. I'm proud to blow the whistle on the tolerance police as they tirelessly work to turn this country into something that it was never meant to be. A wasteland of Asherah poles and altars to Baal.
My wife has been bugging me to write my story, so I decided to take a crack at it this morning. The title probably made you wonder if I was off my rocker, but if you will give me a few paragraphs, I'll tie it all together.
I was brought up in Wyoming in the Church of Christ. I have a few fond memories, of that, but mostly memories of rules and boredom, a few times of embarrassment. I really didn't get it as a kid. But then again, when children's ministry was sing a song and color a picture, how was I supposed to get it? We moved to Arizona when I was in 5th grade and never again attended a church regularly. My father wasn't into it, so I felt entitled to not be into it as well.
My Junior year in high school. I was working at McDonalds in Toltec Arizona with a guy who was a preacher's kid and he tried to bring me into the faith, but it took, Kris Weatherly to bring me to God in the band room at the Casa Grande Union High School. The problem was, I was in, then what? I had no idea and fell away and in a fit of pique, told my mother I was an atheist. I lived that life for 28 years.
The life of an atheist can be good if you get lucky, and can stay ahead of your appetites for money, fame, power, sex, women and the like. I wasn't lucky. I foundered into a failing marriage, money problems, health problems, kid problems, a divorce, a new marriage, more kid problems, more money problems. I was on several different anti-depressant and anti-anxiety pills. I was close to going on disability just for anxiety and depression.
In 2008 Obama took office, and I dreamt about him a few times and thought he might be good for the country. However, when his true nature started to take hold, I got angry. I wanted my country back. In 2010 and early 2011, I was travelling on business with IBM and ready to step in front of a bus to stop the pain. The personal pain I felt at my own failures, the distance and travel from my family, and the distance I had from my first three kids. I came back from New Jersey to Arizona to an empty house. My wife, mother in law and youngest son were gone to a cat show (don't get me started, that's another blog entry), and I had a gun show to go to in San Diego. I was making and selling pistol grips at the time and it gave me some purpose and a way to talk with people who felt the same way about the country as I did.
However, that trip from Phoenix to San Diego that night was special. I was tired and ready to pack it in. The thought of crossing the center line into a semi came and went through my mind several times. However, I got to talking to myself about the country and it's founding fathers. I looked at how incredible it was that an upstart nation, with just a few citizens could stand up the world's superpower and start their own country. Furthermore, that those founding fathers set up a system of government where the power rested with the people, not with the few. When you think about the writings of that time, they are truly inspired. A hundred miles of pondering that brought me to the conclusion that there was a God and he had helped the country get started.
A few months later, my wife went with a friend to her church on Wednesday night to hear the friend's pastor talk about "Becoming a Millionaire God's Way." She came back with a glowing recommendation of Pastor Tom and Living Word Bible Church. She told me that he was somebody I would like because of the way he talked about politics and history. I agreed to go with her the next Wednesday night.
That night was NOT the normal Wednesday discussion. It was a full on Easter service, packed wall to wall. Tina and Tara took turns watching me with small side glimpses, waiting to catch sight of when the atheist's head finally exploded. Much to my confusion, my head didn't explode. I got something out of it. After the service, Tina asked me what I thought. I told her that I thought we would be back on Sunday.
Since that Sunday we have only missed church on the weekends if we are out of town.
Are you one who chases and idolizes the almighty dollar? I used to be that person, but I soon found out that pursuit never ends and there is never any rest. Once you get enough dollars, you find you want things, and you expect things to make you happy.
Things cannot make you happy.
Relationships make you happy, experiences that are uplifting make you happy.
The easiest and the most fulfilling way to happiness for me has been to pursue Christ. He is the author and perfector of my faith. He is the rock I can rely upon any time.
This weekend I will be leading about 250 4th, 5th and 6th graders during their Church lessons. This is one of the most uplifting and rewarding times for me. I get to see their faces and get immediate feedback as they see the things I set forward for them. This weekend I will be injecting two things into the lesson, 1) is a group verse memorization of Psalms 56;11, "I trust in God, I will not be afraid." and 2) my own story of redemption and my discarding that for other things. Then I will be leading the group in the prayer of salvation and possibly bring some kids into the kingdom.
Easter. While for many years it was eggs and chocolate and baskets, it has come to truly mean resurrection for me.
While in high school I was asked by a senior, Kris Weatherly to talk with him about Christ, we prayed and I accepted Christ that day. But it wasn't but a few months later that I renounced him and took on the mantle of the skeptic, the atheist. I lived that life for almost thirty years..... Until Easter.
Easter 2011. My wife went to Living Word Bible Church, in Mesa with a friend to listen to the pastor speak on Becoming a Millionaire God's way. She came back telling me how much I would like what he had to say. I agreed to go the next Wednesday.
That day, it was wall to wall Christians and a full Easter service. There was no discussion, it was praise and worship, sermon and communion. My wife and her friend were watching me out of the corner of their eyes to see if the atheist's head would explode. What they didn't know was that I was having a crisis of faith, I had been working long hours and on 100% travel and was questioning my existence. Finally on one lonesome stretch of Interstate 8, I finally admitted there was a God, and he was instrumental in the birth of this country. The Easter celebration pulled me the rest of the way. When the service was over, my wife asked me what I thought. I said, "I think we will be back on Sunday."
The last four years have been a whirlwind. Our lives have been turned upside down by a cross country move, being laid off, trying and failing at a new business, food stamps, unemployment, and finding a new job. At the same time, our faith grew, we found a home church, we started attending small group. We read, we listened, we talked. We now lead a small group, and are deeply devoted to children's ministry. We will spend all weekend doing that for Easter.
So Easter means Resurrection, not only of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but me too. I was brought back from the pits of hell that I made myself. I was born again, and given new life. I am a new man, and I owe it all to Christ.