It is not simple to decide what to believe about God. Afterall, an invisible, inaudible God doesn’t speak to most of us. It is argued we should believe what the Bible says about God. But scholars and laypeople who respect the Bible as authoritative don’t always agree what the Bible claims about God. At least non-Bible folks understand no Book can be proven that the writers’ thoughts or words were supernaturally controlled, much less be perfectly interpreted. We must use our moral intuitions when deciding what views best described a loving God.
Where has depending on a Book lead us?
Supposed certainty has led to condemning gays, though biblical scholars don’t agree the Bible condemns same-gender loving relationships. See here. Some religions defend killing homosexuals because of their unprovable assumption that every word in a Book was inspired by God. They of course don’t question if their interpretation is inspired. Many claim the Bible says that women can’t fulfill the same roles as men in the worship or home setting. Yet, it can be interpreted that Paul, a main writer of the New Testament, thought roles should be based on one’s gifts not gender. See here. We cannot rely solely on a Book to understand God.
Even the Bible implies to trust your moral intuitions
Only a perfectly good or loving God is worth believing in. Such a statement is nonsensical if we are clueless about perfect love. Even the Bible implies we can understand God’s love because perfect human love and God’s love are the same: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Christians often say God’s spirit (aka Holy Spirit) does or can reside within you. Unless the Spirit talks to you audibly or visibly, we can’t avoid examining out intuitions when discerning the Spirit’s voice. We can’t always be certain how to best love, but unless you are a totally self-centered human being, believe about God what makes perfect loving sense to you!
Whose intuitions should we trust?
It is often claimed there can be no absolute truths about God, if we can’t rely on the Bible. No reasonable God or non-God person doesn’t respect the golden rule in relationships. We can’t understand perfectly, but it seems our understandings must lead to loving others as we want to be loved. Certain laws are just common, moral sense. Who doesn’t believe sexual abuse is absolutely wrong? Not even terrorists would accept their wives and children being beheaded for different beliefs from another group claiming a Book is direct God-speak. All want to be treated with loving kindness.
What would a loving God be like?
Believing God exists or doesn’t exist requires faith, but surely a loving Creator would love the way we were created to love. Is love controlling or manipulative? Then, God can’t be controlling or manipulate. It matters what you think God is like. If God really created Hell, we may think we should emulate God in our attempts to judge and punish. If God condemns gays, we will condemn gays out of devotion to God. If we believe God thinks men have authority over women in some positions, that will filter down to your wives, daughters, and friends and stifle their gifts. Choose biblical interpretations and understandings of God that don’t contradict your moral sense of a loving God. You may be right!
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