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Archive for December, 2016

Was Jesus Real Or A Legend?

Many God-followers may think that I have abandoned my faith by discussing if Jesus is a created legend in the minds of the writers. I really don’t mind offending those who already believe in God. I prefer to have an open conversation with those who have heard things about God or Jesus that are hardly inspirational and give reason to not pursue spirituality.

Many are convinced the historical Jesus is real and the claims Jesus made are not lies. I can assure you reasons for acceptance are not because of moral superiority. Many morally outshine those of us focused on being more spiritual. It is challenging though to accept Jesus was just a great moral teacher if claims about Himself are lies, but I will discuss teachings espoused by Jesus regardless of one’s beliefs. I am convinced such teachings are important for a better world.

I must admit I am convinced the information we have about Jesus in the Gospels are historical than fictional.

Many defend the Gospels were written within 20-40 years of Jesus’ life. Most biblical scholars accept the Gospels were written within at least 40-60 years when Jesus lived. Legends do not develop within such a short time, as eyewitnesses can dispute claims made. Historical research can only suggest probabilities not certainties, but the Bible’s historical reliability far surpasses any other ancient literatures. See Gregory Boyd & Paul Eddy, Lord Or Legend, for further discussion.

But, many are not convinced or interested in historical reliability discussions. 

Besides, faith based on past information must always involve inclinations of the heart. One may have an inkling that a loving Supreme Being exists but struggle with what some claim to be true of such a God. Some interpret the Bible as portraying God as being angry, egotistical, and demanding obedience or else. I am convinced the Bible teaches that God only hates behaviors that harm us and others, God cares a lot more about our happiness than their ego, and that God gave freedom because they are well aware that demanding obedience doesn’t lead to real relationships or changes.

Don’t use possible wrong interpretations as an excuse to not pursue a relationship with God. 

We may not believe all the things suggested about Jesus according to some’s interpretations of the Bible. Ask God to help you understand what God is truly like and how you can have a relationship. Any loving parent would salivate if a grown child made such a request. Why wouldn’t God? Consider what aspects about God you believe are true according to your understanding of what Jesus proclaims, that might inspire you in your desires to live a more loving life toward others. I can think of no greater legacy.



What Is God Saving Us From If Not Hell?

Many of us have been taught growing up in the church that Jesus came to save us from Hell. I have written a great deal about the myth of Hell. Like a loving God is going to sadistically torture people forever for their beliefs while here on earth a short time! Salvation in the Bible is not about dropping to your knees and saying a one-time prayer to avoid the wrath of God.

God is often portrayed as caring only about their reputation.

Jesus didn’t come to save us from God’s wrath. Did God really need Jesus to die in our place so God could love us and save face? This view suggests God loves themselves more than God’s loves their children. Earthly parents aren’t more loving than God. When our children disobey our guidance we aren’t most concern how their actions make us look but that our child is heading down a path of destruction.

The fact that the Bible talks about being saved (Rm. 8:24), we’re being saved (I Cor. 1:18), and we shall be saved (Rom. 5:10) suggests salvation is not a dropping to your knees, bowing your head, one-time experience. 

I am focusing on what God is presenting saving us from, but I will suggest saving in the past in the Bible relates to what God intended to do if we used our freedom to hate rather than love ourselves and others. God can’t control our decisions but God is always prepared with a loving response.

God only cares about saving us from ourselves.

God continually seeks to encourage taking actions that lead to true joy in a free but imperfect world. When we don’t act in our best interest, of course we hurt God. But, God isn’t offended because we simply disobey. God hurts because we are hurting ourselves and those around us. All God’s actions are about trying to convince us that God’s unselfish ways are in our best interest in the long-run.

God doesn’t encourage us to fear God as if they will keep all on the straight and narrow.

God like any parent knows that fear of possible consequences isn’t what changes hearts. Loving parents only try to put the fear of God in their children to deter them from going down the wrong path. Fear doesn’t inspire love and respect so one will want to follow one’s guidance. Fear and threats of punishment can only deter one from evil choices. Love is what inspires one to make real changes. God’s continual love, encouragement, and mercy – not fear – is our necessary nourishment for true changes of the heart. There is no fear in perfect love (I Jn. 4:18).

Jesus came to inspire following in His footsteps through expressions of radical love.

Punishment doesn’t restore that which has been taken away. Jesus encouraged mercy, forgiveness, and going the extra mile in relationships when possible. We can hope our betrayers seek to understand our pain, accept the harmfulness of their actions, seek forgiveness, and make amends when possible. Jesus sought changes of the heart for the good of the world. If you don’t forgive there may be no possibility of healing in certain relationships.

I am convinced when we know God the way Jesus knew God, we will sense God’s love and support and pursue God’s desires for us that lead to less regrets while here on earth.

I don’t know what to say to those who believe a life of not loving others like you want to be loved isn’t worth living. Striving to love family and friends in such a way can inspire them to live lives worth living. God seeks only to earn your love for a perfect God knows loving God is loving others to the fullest.




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