To those done with religion but not God and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

Archive for January, 2023

How Do We Best Determine What God Is Really Like?

I write on this subject ad nauseum. In fact, years ago I named my site  What God May Really Be Like.  I used the word “may” because I didn’t want to do what frustrates me most about the institutional church. They act as if they are certain what an invisible, inaudible God is like, yet there are thousands of denominations with difference understandings of God. What one believes about God may be a main reason many don’t purse a closer a relationship with God.  See here.

The Bible can’t be the only source to know God 

The Bible can’t be an end-all. The Bible as literature has to be interpreted and many disagree claims made about God regarding moral issues – gays, women, and the destiny of people of other religions. See here. To claim the “Bible says” is frankly a little naïve.  Besides, even if we agreed on interpretation, we can’t prove God controlled the thoughts and writing of the writers of the Bible in conveying a perfect view of what God was like. But I’m grateful for the recorded history of God with the Israelites as it gets me thinking about what God is really like.

Our moral intuitions aren’t the enemy!

It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. Many of us are into God but many of us left the institutional church because claims about God’s character was contrary to our deepest moral intuitions. Why believe in a God you can’t respect. We may not always know what perfect love entails but we seem to know the question we ought to ask ourselves – am I loving others perfectly? Or am I loving others like I want to be loved? Any God worth believing in must be a perfect. What might that perfection look like?

What relationship give us the most insight into God? 

What human relationship comes to mind when thinking of a Creator’s relationship with their creations? Is it the employer-employee relationship, the marriage partnership, or the parent-child relationship? I think the latter. Perfect love from a God or parent is surely one and the same. God’s love surely is other-directed not self-consumed. It is true we don’t all agree or know how a perfect parent responds, but a perfect parent or God surely hopes for my success, believes in me, pulls for me even when failing. Why doesn’t God make it crystal clear what God expects from us? God’s overpowering presence may only lead to fearful obligations to obey. The road traveled of learning and reflecting about God better may lead to lasting convictions. God may speak to us in non-dramatic ways out of love!

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

Are There Reasons To Pursue God Even If Skeptical?

National polls suggest the majority of people believe there is a God. Many seem to have a strong inclination that there is an afterlife after time here on earth. I’m all “in” with God for some reason, but we all have different journeys. I may be needy, scared to accept reality, etc., but how do you explain billions believing in a God. Many would admit they believe in God but don’t have a close relationship with God. I wrote possible reasons why  here .

I have a hunch God especially loves skeptics!

Most agree an unloving or tyrannical God isn’t worth believe in. It is only intuitive, if a Creator exist, that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. A parent obviously loves a child who finds it easier than their others children to accept them and their ways. But we don’t unlove our skeptical children. A greater pain may be when our children ignore us. Spiritual or human parents don’t desire forced love, which isn’t genuine, but hope for consideration and to prove the possibility of a better relationship. 

Don’t believe everything you hear about God? 

Many may be skeptical about God because of claims made about God which are contrary to our deepest moral intuitions. One’s understanding of the Bible may be the reasons some Christians seems unloving. But biblical scholars who have a deep respect for Scriptures don’t agree that the God in the Bible condemns homosexuality, that God forbids women in leadership roles, or that the Bible teaches there is a literal Hell where unbelievers are tortured forever. Don’t believe everything you hear claimed about God! See here

 Do I have to believe in Jesus’ resurrection or that Jesus was both God and human? 

I am convinced Jesus’ resurrection isn’t legend but others may not. Jesus told followers He was coming back from the dead and they didn’t believe Him despite witnessing Jesus’ miracles beforehand. They only believed after witnessing or hearing Jesus resurrected. I would like to think more of us if we witness a man or woman coming back from the grave, after killed on a cross, would be convinced of their message. But none of us lived during biblical times. 

Some can’t logically wrap their heads around Jesus being both man and God. Exactly how does one do that chromosomally? Isn’t it logically impossible to be God and not God? Some may be willing to accept that Jesus was an extraordinary man who epitomized who God was. Why can’t we begin there discussing what teachings of Jesus seem to represent what a loving God is like? 

Don’t we want the Jesus story to be true? 

Jesus didn’t use His power if really God in human form. Who doesn’t respect Jesus was willing to hang out with those despised by society and take on the snobbish religious and political leaders? Jesus, when ask what was the greatest commandment, simply said love others like you want to be loved. Try it! You might have fewer relational regrets. Jesus risked being crucified by the powerful and didn’t bother to save himself from pain on the Cross, though reported capable of miracles. Maybe Jesus wanted other to consider His message. If the biblical writers were making up stuff, you don’t report your leader was crucified, rejected by your family, and followers doubted Jesus’ claims including being God in flesh. Jesus simply was not the stuff legends were made up.

What is the risk of following God?

It’s okay to be skeptical and take a leap of faith. Faith is a part of life. We still get on an airplane, not because we know but have reason to believe it is safe. A God worth believing in only desires to help you in your journey of becoming the person deep down you want to become. I am not sure there is anything to lose in beginning a journey of faith if the desire is to live life with fewer regrets. Personally, the biggest reason for being a God-follower is the inspiration and encouragement I sense in striving to be a better human being than I would be otherwise.

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

How Can We Get Our View Of God So Wrong Or Right?

There are so many views of what God is really like. Many picture God as this angry, judgmental God whose character demands that God is deeply offended when we sin (I hate that “sin” word). See here. The only way God can supposedly like us is to look through their Jesus-colored lens. Others picture God as graceful and loving, ready to forgive on a dime. Where do we get such views?

The Bible doesn’t always help

Both views mentioned are often claimed according to the Bible. The Bible can’t be an end-all. The Bible as literature has to be interpreted and many don’t agree on how God is portrayed in the same passage – even moral issues regarding gays, women, destiny of people of other religions, etc. To claim the “Bible says” is frankly a little naïve.  Besides, even if we agreed on interpretation, we can’t prove God controlled the thoughts and writing of the writers of the Bible, thus having a perfect view of what God was like. But I’m grateful the recorded history of God with the Israelites gets me talking about God. 

Claiming certainty doesn’t help

Many believe the Bible is only how we can know or best know God. This can lead to being dogmatic about one’s views of God. The Bible says God condemns gays. I don’t believe it does but I will except your “maybe” it does. See here.  It is better to be uncertain than wrong about God. One can’t be certain about an inaudible, invisible God. Allow open discussions what a loving God is mostly to be like.   

Why not trust our moral intuitions?

Let’s assume a God exist and created us human beings. Any God worth believing in must be a perfect, loving God. Wouldn’t such a God create us to be perfect, loving humans? Even the Bible implies such an idea: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). This passage also agrees with our intuitions – we must have some clue of what true love is. We may not always know what perfect love entails but at least we know the question we ought to ask ourselves – am I loving others perfectly? Or am I loving others like I want to be loved? God’s character surely isn’t contrary to our deepest moral intuitions.

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

What Beliefs Does God Demand To Be “In” With God?

What loving parent demands love. Forced love is an oxymoron. If you believe in not loving people like you want to be loved, good luck in life. I am convinced God only wishes for all to consider the possibility of a loving God who desires to help in our journey to become the person deep down we want to become. Loving, human parents don’t require certain beliefs from their children before hoping they will consider a closer relationship. Are we better lovers than God? 

Does God love skeptics? 

Most agree an unloving or tyrannical God isn’t worth believing in. It is only intuitive, if a Creator exist, that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. A parent obviously loves a child who finds it easier than their other children to accept them and their ways. But we don’t unlove our skeptical children. A greater pain may be when our children ignore us. Spiritual or human parents are always hoping for consideration to prove the possibility of a better relationship. 

Is believing the resurrection of Jesus and Jesus is the Son of God a non-starter? 

I am convinced Jesus’ resurrection isn’t legend but others may not. Jesus told followers He was coming back from the dead and they didn’t believe Him despite witnessing Jesus’ miracles beforehand. They only believed after seeing Jesus resurrected with their own eyes. I would like to think more of us if we witness a man or woman coming back from the grave, after killed on a cross, would be convinced of their message. But none of us lived during biblical times. 

Some can’t logically wrap their heads around Jesus being both man and God. Exactly how does that happen chromosomally? Isn’t it logically impossible to be God and not God? Some may be willing to accept that Jesus was an extraordinary man who epitomized who God was. Why can’t we begin there in discussing what teachings of Jesus seem to represent what a loving God is like? 

You don’t even have to believe the Bible or what it teaches

You certainly don’t have to believe in magical trees and talking snakes. The global flood story could describe a regional flood in hyperbolic terms to convey moral, spiritual food for thought. God doesn’t require literal belief in any event in the Bible or else! Be careful thinking you have to believe what some claim the Bible teaches. Scholars disagree what the Bible teaches about many moral issues, including if there is really a literal hell. See here.  Now if God physically appears before your very eyes, you might want to consider what They claim.

What do you lose taking a leap of faith? 

No one can prove God exist or doesn’t, but billions in the past have believe in the possibility of a Creator. They couldn’t all be lunatics. Do you want to be more in with God? I am not sure there is anything to lose in beginning a journey of faith if the desire is to live life with fewer regrets. Personally, the biggest reason for being a God-follower is the inspiration and encouragement I sense in striving to be a better human being. Give God a chance to influence you positively. 

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

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