Most agree an evil or less than perfect God is not worth believing in. We all assume One who dares calls themselves God must be perfect. We mostly get our ideas of what a good God is like from either a Book such as the Bible or from thinking alone or discussing with others what we imagine a good God is like. The majority born into this world only has the latter option because they never had a Bible. It is possible God’s Spirit communicates to all somehow, with or without a Bible, due to the universal belief that we ought to treat others like we want to be treated.
Moral intuitions or imagination are often downplayed based on assumptions about the Bible.
Many of us has been taught that God inspired every word of the Bible, so that is our definitive source for knowing what God is like. Many theologians today, who respect the Bible as authoritative, are advising the final word on what God is like is through Jesus’ eyes than Old Testament prophets because of OT challenges. Even if you believe the Bible is inspired, a Book cannot be the only or final word. Literature requires interpretation. Scholars disagree what the Bible says about homosexuality, gender roles, the afterlife, etc.
Even the Bible implies we can know God without the Bible.
The Bible says we are made in God’s image or are God’s representatives here on earth. This implies we have much in common with God or can have some understandings of God. Parent is the most common analogy to describe God in the Bible. Godly and earthly parents must have traits in common. The Bible says to be perfect like God (Mt. 5:48). The Bible doesn’t spell out what total perfection is but assumes we know. When two plausible interpretations exist, chose the view of God that seems more loving humanly-speaking.
Does anything go just because the Bible isn’t the definite source for who God is?
The truth is there is agreement on most moral matters such as murdering, lying, stealing, or not treating others like we want to be treated. It is universally accepted that it is morally wrong to behead people for their beliefs unless you are a terrorist. You can’t debate with a terrorist because their source is inspired by God thus the supposed truth. Terrorists won’t admit their interpretation is debatable, or they can’t prove every word by a prophet was inspired by God. We will always have to work with one another about what we think God is really like, and stop claiming we are right and others are wrong.
How do we proceed when there are differences?
Assumed certainty covers up what we all know – there will always be disagreement whether about God, politics, or marriage. You handle differences in any arena like you would in a partnership. Don’t assume you are always right. Don’t violate anyone’s physical or emotional rights. Find common grounds. Learn to live together happily incompatible. Not taking these steps means you think you are morally superior.
What do you imagine a good God is like?
Chances are you are right, especially if told something about God that suggests you treat others better than God. God is Perfect Love. This is very good news if told something about God you heard you knew couldn’t possibly be true. The other good news if you are already a God-follower, you don’t have to convince others what God is like. Let God do their own work. My views of God have changed from what I was taught growing up. My views now match more what I knew deep down to be true about love. Turns out that God is understandable and not some mystery.
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