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Archive for January, 2017

The Bible May Defend What You Believe Must Be True About God?

I don’t quote a lot of bible verses because the Bible can be used to defend almost any point of view. Sentences are taken out of context to prove one’s point of view. I may speak about couples forgiving, but the audience knew I had in mind couples concerned for each other’s well-being. Forgiving can cause more bitterness when wrongdoing denied; for others forgiveness controls bitterness. The point is to avoid bitterness to stop further victimization. Seek God’s guidance.

Does the Bible really declare some are in danger of going to a fiery pit such as Hell after death? If such a place exists why didn’t Paul who wrote the majority of the New Testament never once warn this dire fate? Why didn’t Noah who had to warn of tragic consequences for evil not warn people at least once of the danger of Hell? It turns out there is no Hebrew or Greek word that pictures what our word Hell suggests.

If God and the Bible teach that God proclaims women’s roles are based on gender than gifts, why did the Apostle Paul assume that women could prophesy just like men during worship (I Cor. 11:5). When the Bible says: “Women should remain silent in the churches” (I Cor. 14:34), maybe the writer would encourage men to be silent in certain situations for the sake of peace.

If the Bible teaches God is coming again to destroy the word in the future as some doomsayers suggest, why did Jesus tell his audience that supposed predictions about the world ending would happen in their lifetime: “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass way until all these things have happened” (Mt. 24:34)?” If Jesus is coming again down from the sky why did the disciples ask Jesus: “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age” (Mt. 24:3)? Only non-visible, spiritual comings are missed.

If Jesus’ death was to appease God’s sense of justice rather than God’s desire to relate and influence, why did the Apostle John say: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (3:17). Why does the Bible say: “God doesn’t delight the most in sacrifice or burnt offerings but a broken and contrite heart” (Ps. 51:16-17)?

If God only lets certain people get into Heaven, why does the Bible say: “For as in Adam all died, so in Christ all will be made alive” (I Cor. 15:22). That would only exclude those who have never died, but last chance I checked all have or will die. The Bible clearly teaches forgiveness is unlimited (i.e. Mt. 18:21-22), but is that not true of God?

So, how can we know what God is like?

The Bible can’t be God’s only form of communication because the majority born into this world didn’t have a Bible. Besides, there are no certainties in interpretations. Those who disagree what God is like would agree that God is perfect. If I have an innate sense of what a perfect lover, parent, or friend is like, why wouldn’t I have a sense of what a perfect God is like? A perfect God would only suggest we love how God loves us. Imitation is flattery. Our interpretations and views of God best then err on the side that portrays God as more relational and moral to the human mind. God may be like you thought all along.

 

Trust Your Gut Or Others About God?

The truth is we can’t avoid trusting our gut about God. Many discuss views about God according to their interpretations of Bible passages. It is seldom mentioned in conversations that one’s interpretation of God could be wrong. No one can claim they know for sure the author’s intended meaning. The fact that many sincere people have different views of the same biblical passage or topic clearly suggests that discernment and a flexible attitude is always necessary.

How then can we know what God is truly like?

Human reasoning is always necessary in getting to know God due to lack of certainty in interpretations. A loving God couldn’t possibly demand certain morals from us that God doesn’t live by. Why would God create all to innately believe in the importance of “walking the talk” if God doesn’t? God’s ways are perfect humanly speaking. Does your gut tell you than when two debatable interpretations in Scriptures exist, err on the side that portrays God as the most moral to the human mind?

How can we know what God truly wants?

An all-powerful, creative God surely doesn’t need more people to bow down to them. Humans who have it all simply long for meaningful relationships. Why would God create us without giving us an innate sense of what God wants? God surely only desires what we all seem to innately desire from one another – a genuine friendship. Please tell me gently what you are thinking about me so you don’t end up talking behind my back. God simply wants us to love others like God loves us.

But, aren’t some views wrong?

Most know in their gut which views are erroneous. Isn’t the only time I need to do more than politely disagree is when one’s views impose upon another’s freedom. We know when parents or government exercise their authority wrongly. We know terrorists are evil because they oppose personal freedom and seek power to be served, not to serve others. A loving God knows that demanding beliefs, rather than one freely choosing, don’t lead to true personal, transformations or authentic relationships.

Did Jesus’ ways seem to suggest trust our gut than certain beliefs? Jesus’ interactions with others rarely demanded certain external beliefs. Jesus led others to consider their heart – treating others with the same love they desired – while implying God’s friendship could empower us. Jesus did oppose the religious of the day who insisted in certain rituals to be really accepted by God. Jesus constantly fought with the religious elite putting obstacles in the way of following one’s heart.

If you are inclined to believe there is a God, I am convinced God will guide you in your personal beliefs about a relationship with your Creator.

When you hear views from others that opposed your gut feelings, don’t be convinced. Don’t shy away from conversations as you work out such beliefs and what implications they have in your life. Do shy away from people who don’t listen carefully and respond respectful. What beliefs about God do you question that may keep you from leaning toward as opposed to away from God?

 

God-Followers Don’t Have To Be Awkward Or Defensive Talking About God!

I write for those that may want to pursue more of a relationship with God but have been turned off by disputable teachings about who God is. I also write to those who already have a relationship with God but don’t feel as connected wondering if certain teachings about God are true. It also can be uncomfortable discussing God with others when appropriate if we think we have to defend certain aspects about God.

I am not saying new understandings about God will open the floodgates for others to want to talk about God, which stinks because we can talk about other things we are interested in, but at least you can feel freer to talk about God. You don’t have to secretly feel defensive about God. I use to think twice sometimes talking about God, but new understandings about God make such discussions natural. I have defended the below views about God elsewhere so I won’t do here.

What beliefs about God make discussions uneasy or just not natural?

God doesn’t torture people after death for beliefs while living on earth for a brief time.

You don’t have to believe in or defend such a God. Our word Hell is not a translation but substitution for certain Hebrew and Greek words. Hell, as a torture chamber, has turned out to be an invention over the centuries to scare people into submission and obedience.

God doesn’t reject people from Heaven after death because of certain beliefs here on earth.

God offers life after the grave to all. All have their reasons for rejecting God here on earth, especially because of certain understandings about God. God will clear up any misconceptions. God didn’t create to judge but to empower all to love one another in this world. I can only imagine those who don’t want to be with God forever are those who still think only they matter.

God doesn’t advocate saying to gay people: I love you but hate your actions.

Gay people rightly challenge others to think why they would choose a lifestyle rejected by so many unless they can’t help feeling who we are. If people have questions about their personal lifestyles and God, God can handle such conversations with that person. God simply encourages monogamous relationships for the sake of lovers.

God doesn’t encourage engaging in relationships with hidden agendas to convert them to our beliefs.

We have relationships with others like normal people to share life together. Open-ended discussions about God can be had when others want. God only came to convert people from relational thinking that is harmful. If your friends treat others like dirt, love them enough to tell them so. God can change hearts.

God isn’t some crazy talking, doomsayer that is going to come down and destroy the world.

Take care of the world for the next generation. God tried to create heaven on earth but freedom was necessary; God has given us the hope of life forever with God in Heaven after death. Freedom on earth may be necessary for authentic love and moral growth, so that Heaven can be a place without evil.

God isn’t gender bias or a sexist that declares roles based on gender than gifts.

Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

If God ____­­­­­­­­______ it would be easier talking about God when appropriate?

We can listen to others’ thoughts about God and not be defensive about our views about God. We may discover God is no different than what we imagine a perfect God would be like.

 

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