We cannot definitively say what an invisible, inaudible God is like or definitively prove that God exist or doesn’t exist. Millions if not billions are not insane for believing or at least hoping there is a Creator who can provide worth, perspective, meaning, and hope of life after death. If you are inclined to believe a Creator exist, why wouldn’t a Creator love us and others how we were seemingly created to love others? What do we loss striving to be unselfish and trying to be the person we deep down desire to be with the help of our Creator?
We can begin to understand God through our moral intuitions.
Over half the people born into this world never had a Bible or heard of Jesus, so the Bible can’t be the only way to know God. A universal desire to treat others like we want to be treated hints of a Creator who communicates through our moral intuitions. All intuitively seem to know how we “ought” to treat others. Godly and human perfection are surely identical.
We cannot definitely say what God is like because the Bible says so.
It doesn’t matter if you believe the biblical writers/editors didn’t always understood God perfectly, or whether you believe God inspired every word of the Bible. Literature requires interpretation of a writer’s meaning and application to personal circumstances. This is why there is disagreement whether one should divorce or not according to the Bible. Biblical certainty is an illusion. Laypeople, much less biblical scholars who respect Scriptures as authoritative, disagree what the Bible says about same-sex relationships or gender roles to name only a few critical issues. Something isn’t immoral just because we think the Bible says so.
Can’t we at least say God is like what the New Testament and Jesus say?
Many theologians rightly question if Old Testament writers always had a complete understanding of God. In OT times it was sacrilegious to not speak of God as being all-powerful and controlling even through violence. This may explain violent warfare actions in God’s name. It is suggested Jesus, who claimed to be God in the flesh, had a more complete understanding of what God is like. We still though have the challenge of interpreting Jesus’ words. Turning the other check is used to claim Jesus never advocated violence, but a possible literal translation of Mt. 5:39 is “do not resist by evil means.” Would Jesus say violence is never desired but may be necessary sometimes?
A God who is a moral hypocrite, humanly speaking, isn’t worth believing in!
All believe an evil God is not worth believing in. Such a statement is nonsensical unless we can distinguish evil from good. Those who claim God is sometimes a mystery do so because their interpretation requires an explanation of God from a human, moral perspective. If your view of God seems immoral to another, be gracious enough to let God reveal themselves to others unless others believe like a terrorist. Terrorists can only defend their beliefs because of a supposed inspired Book, and of course their interpretations are correct. Who can argue with a Book directly from God! We can’t know perfectly what God would do in everything situation but human perfection is our best starting point.
What are some beliefs about God that are common stumbling blocks?
God can’t be a hellish, sadistic torturer. Why would a loving God torture anyone forever since such pain serves no lasting purpose? Humans wouldn’t even create such a place for their worst enemies! Such a place may be only imagined because of a Book. It turns out the Bible doesn’t say anything about the traditional understanding of the word Hell. Jesus used the Greek word Gehenna that was translated into the word Hell in some of our Bibles. Gehenna was the name of a real valley near Jerusalem that was filled with garbage and even dead bodies. Fires were set to get rid of the garbage and smell. We don’t translate names of valleys with different name. Gehenna should be translated as Gehenna. Jesus used the word Gehenna symbolically to illustrate spiritual death is as horrific as physical death, not what happens to people in the afterlife.
God can’t be a homophobe. It makes no sense why God would condemn gays when they can no more choose who they love than straights can. Just ask heterosexuals or homosexuals. It can rightly be argued that not even the Bible condemns same-sex relationships. I have written here to please reconsider that the Bible doesn’t condemn gays. Some only condemn gays because they are convinced the Bible does. We know the psychological harm done when one must hide their sexuality because of bigotry and hostility. Shouldn’t we be guided by love – how should I treat others if I had the same non-choices?
Lack of certainty about God does not mean anything goes?
We don’t have to make laws against murder. Criminals don’t deny their actions are wrong; they deny they committed such a crime. It is universally accepted that it is morally wrong to behead people for their beliefs unless you are a terrorist. Unfortunately, Christians often claims certain morals are universal because of their personal beliefs based on a Book. Consensual relationships, straight or gay, are not violating anyone’s personal rights. It doesn’t matter if you think gay or straight relationships aren’t natural. You either aren’t gay or straight.
Some relationships, such as pedophilic relationships, are obviously not consensual. There are always exceptions to general guidelines. The Bible isn’t a rule Book or question and answer Book. We may have to kill to protect another life. Certainty has led to forcing “supposed” truths onto others because of our interpretation from a Book. Uncertainty allows different opinions to stand side by side as we continually evaluate the most loving approach. Differences don’t have to lead to chaos but to new understandings and creative solutions.
How we ought to treat others is how a good God treats others.
Common moral, loving sense is not the enemy. Don’t let your interpretation of a Book override the golden rule with others of different gender, color, or sexuality. Terrorists or extremists justify immoral treatment of other by hiding behind a supposedly infallible Book. A Book questioned if entirely inspired by God seems to lead to more open discussions. You can hardly ever going wrong treating others like you wish to be treated were you in their shoes. Actions of love are always more important than any beliefs you may have. Do not speak for God when biblical interpretation are debatable. Let people decide on their own what God is like. God can handle their own business.
What do you imagine God is really like?
You may be right! Listen to your moral inner voice. We just seem to know what is moral or immoral in most situations. Be guided by love in treating others like you want to be. We can imagine what God is like by discussing what human perfection is. Those who argue humans are created in the image of God usually accept that God created us to know and hate evil. If God sometimes is evil according to one’s interpretation of the Bible, should we hate God sometimes? A God who seeks a relationship is surely more understandable than mysterious.
Don’t we get closer to understanding what Godly love is by accepting that loving others like we want to be loved is the same as how God loves us and others?
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