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John Locke on Religious Tolerance

john locke

Locke said tolerance was the chief characteristic of the true Christian.

Jon Miltimore | June 14, 2016

John Locke (1632-1704) was one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment. The English philosopher’s ideas are at the core of the American Founding; in fact, it can be argued that his thoughts shaped the minds of the American Revolution more than any single thinker.

While Locke is best known for his treatises on government, he also wrote on religion.

Locke was a Christian who grew up during the Thirty Years War (1638-1648), one of the most destructive conflicts in Europe’s bloody history. The war was largely a religious conflict, the product of the Protestation Reformation that divided European states into more than a thousand Protestant and Catholic states.

The conflict no doubt shaped Locke’s views and Christian philosophy.

A deeply religious man, Locke made the case for religious tolerance in a famous letter he wrote in 1689 titled “A Letter Concerning Toleration.”

“Since you are pleased to inquire what are my thoughts about the mutual toleration of Christians in their different professions of religion, I must needs answer you freely that I esteem that toleration to be the chief characteristic mark of the true Church.”

Locke said Christian tolerance (“charity, meekness, and good-will in general”) should be extended to all people, not just fellow Christians, and those who fail in this regard fall “short of being a true Christian himself.”

By what authority does he draw on to make this claim? The New Testament.

“If the Gospel and the apostles may be credited, no man can be a Christian without charity and without that faith which works, not by force, but by love.”

Locke closed his essay by stating that Christians seeking to advance the Christian Church through “arms that do not belong to the Christian warfare.”

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International Leaders And Luminaries Attend Clinton Global Initiative

The Clintons don’t draw lines between their ‘charity’ and personal enrichment.

Oct. 27, 2016 7:26 p.m. ET

In an election season that has been full of surprises, let’s hope the electorate understands that there is at least one thing of which it can be certain: A Hillary Clinton presidency will be built, from the ground up, on self-dealing, crony favors, and an utter disregard for the law.

This isn’t a guess. It is spelled out, in black and white, in the latest bombshell revelation from WikiLeaks. It comes in the form of a memo written in 2011 by longtime Clinton errand boy Doug Band, who for years worked simultaneously at the Clinton Foundation and at the head of his lucrative consulting business, Teneo.

It is astonishingly detailed proof that the Clintons do not draw any lines between their “charitable” work, their political activity, their government jobs or (and most important) their personal enrichment. Every other American is expected to keep these pursuits separate, as required by tax law, anticorruption law and campaign-finance law. For the Clintons, it is all one and the same—the rules be damned.

The memo came near the end of a 2011 review by law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett into Clinton Foundation practices. Chelsea Clinton had grown concerned about the audacious mixing of public and private, and the review was designed to ensure that the foundation didn’t lose its charitable tax status. Mr. Band, Teneo boss and epicenter of what he calls “ Bill Clinton, Inc.,” clearly felt under assault and was eager to brag up the ways in which his business had concurrently benefited the foundation, Clinton political causes and the Clinton bank account. The memoed result is a remarkably candid look at the sleazy inner workings of the Clinton grifters-in-chief.

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Why Do Christians Give?

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“Keep your life free from love of money.”

“Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor.”

“Do good… be rich in good works… be generous and ready to share.”

Christians consider the Bible to be our source of truth in matters of faith.  And the Bible says more about money than it does about heaven and hell combined.  Nearly half of Jesus’ teaching related to money, and there are over 2,300 verses pertaining to money in the Bible.  Clearly, it occupies an important place in what we consider to be God’s inspired word.  So, what does it say?

In short, three things:

• All of our wealth originates from and belongs to God.
• In light of this, our wealth should be used for God’s purposes.
• God’s purpose is to restore the world to wholeness.   This occurs spiritually through salvation in Jesus Christ, and physically through our service and giving to serve the poor, needy, and weak.

Implicit in these three statements is the idea that our wealth is not our own.  As followers of Jesus we believe that we have been bought with a price – when He died for us, we were purchased into His eternal family, accepted and redeemed.  In light of what He’s done for us, nothing but radical and total submission to His purposes would be reasonable.

Thus, our wealth is not to be used for our own goals, but rather subsumed into the greater purposes of God.  Since we believe it is God who enables us to get wealth in the first place, and that we are the recipients of His great grace in our lives, our natural and joyful response is to engage in radical generosity on behalf of the Christian church and the poor.

This gets expressed in a variety of ways, but a few real-life examples might paint a picture of what 21st-century Christian giving looks like in its highest and best form:

• Mark and Megan, in their late 20’s, are so thankful for Mark’s $50,000 bonus he earned at his law firm.  Joyfully and with a great sense of purpose, they give the entire amount away toward international justice efforts for the poor, and a Christian camp they admire.  They rank the opportunity to give to God’s work more highly than their own potential enjoyment of this money, including their imminent need for a home down-payment.
• Tom and Bree relocate to a poor neighborhood, despite Tom’s very high income.  They read about God’s heart for the poor in the Bible, and they want to know God’s heart.  They lead a Bible study for the community, and eventually welcome a family in need to stay in their home for a while, while they get back on their feet.  They give a huge fraction of their income away, raising their family on the median family income out of a desire to serve the world around them.
• Greg and Alison are home shopping.  They buy a house that is only about half of the value of what they can afford, because they want to be able to give generously to address international poverty and spread the Christian message of hope, and don’t want to be tied down by their mortgage.  The house is less than what they’d like to have, but they’re thankful God has given them money to share with others.

Paul’s Goodbye

The Apostle Paul stands second only to Jesus in his influence on the Christian faith.  In his final goodbye to the Christian community around him, he gave them this charge:

“And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

He commends them to the word of God’s grace – i.e. the Christian message of spiritual salvation.  And then, he tells them that he never coveted money, and goes on to charge them to help the weak and remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Why is Paul mixing up money behaviors with the spiritual message of God’s grace?  Consistent with the rest of the Bible, Paul didn’t see money and spiritual matters as separable.  His life, free of covetousness and fully generous, was evidence of God’s grace acting in his heart.  As the well-known Christian Pastor Tim Keller says, reflecting on this passage,

“To the degree you understand the Gospel of grace, you will live a radically generous life!  If you truly have a spiritual inheritance, you are going to be promiscuously generous with your earthly inheritance.”

Christian giving springs from our view of God.  Because we believe he emptied himself and gave everything for us, we have no proper response but to turn around, face the world around us, and give ourselves away.

John Cortines, 27, is the co-author of God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School ( All book royalties are given to charity.  John lives in Orlando with his family and works for Generous Giving (, an organization that can help you host a Journey of Generosity ( retreat with your friends to further explore this message.  John has shared the biblical message of generosity on national radio, TV, and at conferences around the country.

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Ridgewood H.S. soccer marathon for charity on Saturday, Sept. 5



Tomorrow, the Ridgewood High School boys and girls soccer programs will host their second annual “Dawn to Dusk” marathon soccer match to benefit two local charities, Gear Up for Owen and Support Rachel Grygiel-Loughlin, and to help raise money for the RHS soccer programs.

This year’s Soccer-A-Thon will be an eight-hour event, with kickoff planned for 8 a.m. at the Ridgewood High School Stadium field, and play will continue until 4 p.m.

The RHS boys soccer program is raising funds to support 6-year-old Owen Betrus, son of George Washington Middle School teacher Rob Betrus.

Owen was diagnosed at birth with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He also was diagnosed with cortical visual impairment just before his first birthday, and with intractable epilepsy at age 3. More info on how to help support Owen is available online at

For the Ridgewood girls soccer program, the 2015 Dawn to Dusk fundraiser is very personal, as the program will be helping a Maroon alumna who is in need. A portion of the proceeds raised through the Soccer-A-Thon will be donated to RHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Rachel Grygiel-Loughlin.

This past May, Rachel was faced with the tragic and sudden loss of her husband, Matthew. The couple were married in July 2014, and Rachel is expecting their first child in November. Dawn to Dusk proceeds will go to an online fund that has been set up in Matthew’s memory to help relieve some of the stress and financial burden Rachel is currently enduring. For more info on how to help, visit

RHS soccer players will donate their time and energy, and they will solicit sponsorships based on eight hours of play. Parents will be contributing time as well, helping to organize the event and support the players. Numerous businesses have agreed to sponsor the event, including Tarleton & Family Landscaping Co. (TLC), The Ideal Supply Co., The Valley Hospital, Stifel Investment Banking, Thomas Flint Landscape Design & Development, Clemente Orthodontics, Keller Williams/The Nuber Team, Park West Tavern, Ridgewood Tips From Town, Fitness 1-2-1 Personal Training, Ridgewood Physical Therapy, C.C. Van Emburgh Funeral Home, Skinners Landscaping and Bedra Intelligent Wires.

According to parent organizer Jeanmarie Mulholland, “We are expecting this event to be a tremendous success, not only in the amount of funds we raise but also in creating a sense of caring and camaraderie within the soccer community.”

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Camden diocese shines spotlight on poverty ahead of papal visit

Vatican Pope Youths

Practicing what Pope Francis preaches, Catholic Charities on Monday unveiled an effort that culminates with the papal visit to Philadelphia and draws attention to issues of poverty among local parishioners. (Greg Adomaitis,

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RIVER VALE, NJ (April 2015) – On Tuesday, April 14th will be hosting a Charity by Design event that will benefit Spectrum for Living. 15% of all sales between the hours of 6P.M. and 8P.M. will go directly to Spectrum for Living to help continue to provide services and care for adults with developmental disabilities.

“CEO, Founder and Creative Director of Alex and Ani, Carolyn Rafaelian, created Charity by Design, which serves as a unique division focused solely on giving and making the dreams of charitable organizations come true. Charity by Design empowers non-profit organizations both on a national and local scale to reach their goals by sharing their mission through the power of positive energy and creative design.” (

If you are interested in shopping and cannot join us on April 14th on Wednesday, April 1st Orders may also be placed by phone at 201-857-0911. All orders placed prior to April 14th in store or by email, do not forget to mention you wish to take part in the Spectrum for Living fundraising event. Orders benefitting Spectrum cannot be placed online.

Currently, Spectrum for Living facilities and services touch the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities in over 100 New Jersey communities. Spectrum for Living is one of New Jersey’s most respected and recognized not-for-profit organizations assisting adults with developmental disabilities in Bergen, Passaic, Middlesex and Monmouth counties. Spectrum provides a wide array of housing, medical, clinical, habilitative, social and educational services to more than 200 residential consumers and hundreds of community clients.

For more information, please contact Spectrum for Living at (201) 358-8000 or at in the Ridgewood store or by placing an email order to will be held until the day of the event. *Whether shopping

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Ridgewood Officers Run in the NYC Marathon and raise money for charity.


Ridgewood Officers Run in the NYC Marathon and raise money for charity.

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood PBA local 20 was proud to support Officer John Ward Jr and Sergeant Brian Pullman who ran the NYC Marathon on Sunday November 2nd 2014 raising money for the charity Racing to Register, an organization that’s main goal is to increase the number of potential donor’s available to patients of all races, ethnicities and ages, who are in need of a lifesaving bone marrow or stem cell transplants. 

Officer ward competed the race in 4:24:44 and Sergeant Pullman in 5:2646. congratulations! 

For more information on racing to register see the link below