This is in response to the Rev. Tom Matthews of Douglas Island Bible Church, who wrote "Christianity is not hate-filled" on April 19. I hope he wasn't only reading letters critical to certain Christians, because everything written was a reaction to hypocritical judgments made by those Christians.
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I think tolerance needs to be preached until people understand what it really means. It is definitely not used as a "battle cry," but it's a message Matthews is preaching in his very own letter. Nevertheless, there seems to be a lack of tolerance by certain Christians. In actuality, the people Matthews was criticizing were not attacking the message of Christianity, instead they were responding to people who believe it is their job to judge others through religious values. And that is lack of tolerance.
The last letter I wrote (April 5) was definitely not a hate letter, but a letter of what has happened in history and what is happening now. Matthews says I'm "turning my back on God's offer" and that is hate. Why, because I don't believe in religion? That does not mean I hate. I understand that is what it says in the Bible, but wouldn't that be leaving out all the other people in the world who don't follow the Bible?
I believe in God; I just don't believe he comes in a religious form. I'm not against religion; I simply don't believe in it. I don't think religion is all bad, because there are people who become better through religion. But to do good or great things for others does not mean you need to be religious.
Raymond E. Paddock III