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 the ‘Reflections’ Category

Why Doesn’t God Play A Bigger Role With Those Who Believe In God?

The majority of people according to polls believe in a Supreme Being or God. I am not talking about how many go to church or synagogue weekly but God being more of peoples’ daily conversation. I’m not being judgmental. I enjoy talking about God for my spiritual health but often struggle to always walk the talk. I begin blogging years ago about God, because I couldn’t find people who wanted to converse about God. We don’t often get personal with others, but aren’t conversations about God as important as family and work relationships?

Maybe because of what you think God is like

Now, many are willing to talk about God – churchgoers – 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. It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. Beliefs about God’s love that don’t match how you know you ought to love your neighbor may be amiss. Don’t believe everything you hear about God! See here.

Maybe because previous conversations have been “gotcha” conversions

Conversations with God followers often feels like them trying to change your beliefs. I hate to admit I use to have an agenda with those outside the church. I was taught God’s good news was saving people from Hell so they could get into Heaven. I was wrong according to Jesus. See here.   The ship may have sailed others trusting us to have open conversations. All I know to do is to focus on a life where actions speak louder than words and blog.

Maybe because God-followers make faith in God so complicated 

Many Christians insist on certain beliefs or saying a magic prayer to be a true follower. It’s said you can’t just believe there is a God; the Devil believes in a God! But the Devil was committed to opposing God. I’m not convinced the majority have such a commitment. The Bible even claims faith is what you can’t see, not a set of beliefs. (Heb 11:1) Why can’t a God follower be one who hopes/believes in a good God and seeks help being the person they deep down desire to be?

Maybe because it is said all of the Bible claims about God are true 

Scholars interpret the same passages differently – God condemns gays; God doesn’t condemn gays. We mustn’t act as if our interpretations are inspired by God. And we can’t prove the biblical writers always got God right. Don’t reject God because some claim the Bible doesn’t allow the possibility that God used evolution in the creative process. No one was there in the beginning. You don’t have to believe in Hell, that God is bias against women, that God condemns gays, etc. Don’t disregard your moral intuitions in discerning what God is like. See Rethinking The Bible

Maybe because so much evil and suffering in the world don’t mix with God

I don’t blame you thinking a God who can prevent suffering but doesn’t is no different than a parent who stands by and watches their child being physically or sexually abused. It is said “everything that happens is part of God’s plan” to supposedly protect God’s all-powerful character. We claim God is a mystery to justify God’s evil is sometimes good. Crazy talk! Controlling love is an oxymoron. God’s nature requires their love to be unselfish and uncontrolling. There may be plausible explanations as to why evils exist and God doesn’t intervene. God may only be able to intervene when there is human cooperation. See God Can’t by Thomas Oord.

Maybe because of some trauma in your life

A child sexually abuse by their father may struggle to accept a God betrayed as our Father in Heaven. Does God really judge them? As mentioned, some are open or desperately want to believe in God but can’t get their head around why a loving God doesn’t intervene more with so much evil in the world. Does God really judge them? I wasn’t close to my parents. I can’t explain why I accepted than rebelled against their beliefs in God.

Maybe because God-followers as a group are poor role models

We are all hypocrites, but God followers should at least admit and do something about their failings. Clearly Christians don’t get along as more and more churches and denominations keep forming that creates division not unity. Christian opinions should be able to stand side by side as we continually evaluate the most loving way. Religious leaders fail way too often only to deny their actions and act more authoritative than loving.

Maybe taking a leap of faith is worth it

I must admit I have no idea why many have an intuitive sense of a supreme power or being and other don’t. Let’s don’t accuse those who believe in a God as needing a crutch or those who question the reality of an invisible God as being evil. If wrong to doubt God exists, Christians sin if doubt God in tough times. It seems a loving God should be up to your challenging God to somehow prove they are worth following. Don’t believe everything others claim about God. If inclined, find a way to include God in your life and thoughts regularly. I am convinced believing in a good God and seeking help to pursuing a godly life is not in vain.

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 Know What God Is Really Like? So What?

Many are inclined to believe there is a Creator, but it’s understandable why many find it hard to believe in an invisible, inaudible God or Spirit. A major obstacle may be claims made about God, often according to one’s understanding or interpretation of the Bible. It is claimed God condemns gays, God is bias against women in roles in the institutional church or other settings, and that God has created a place such as Hell where unbelievers will suffer forever after their death here on earth. It is a hard sell to suggest God’s character is contrary to our deepest moral intuitions.

The Bible can’t be the authoritative guide about God

Biblical scholars with a deep respect for Scriptures don’t interpret the Bible as opposing women priests or preachers or that God condemns gays. See here. See here.  Scholars don’t agree that a literal Hell is a reality in the Bible. And we can’t prove God inspired thus controlled the thoughts of the writers to always portray God accurately. It is just as likely that the Bible is uncontrolled writings that encourage contemplating what a loving God is really like. See Rethinking The Bible

So how can we know what God is like? 

It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. Beliefs about God’s love that don’t match how we know we ought to love our neighbor may be amiss. Even the Bible implies perfect human love and God’s love are one and the same: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). “Follow God’s example…” (Eph. 5:1). It isn’t too presumptuous to imagine what a loving God is like though our moral consciences. Don’t believe everything you hear about God! See here.

Why would a relational God be a total mystery? 

The universal compulsion to treat others like we want to be treated hints of a Creator’s influence through our moral intuitions. Even those who claim God is a mystery judge God according to moral human intuitions. They claim God is a mystery because their interpretation of Scriptures suggest God appears evil from a human perspective. (Crazy talk to suggest God can do bad but then call it good). Christians speak of the Holy Spirit guiding them. Unless the Spirit talks to us audibly or visibly, we must discern the Spirit’s guidance by examining our intuitions.

How can we have a relationship with God if we can’t be certain?

God’s plan isn’t a detailed blueprint, to let us in on future secrets, but a general one to set us free to love. A free future can’t be known. God doesn’t have to speak directly about moral decisions. Some decisions are clearly immoral – murder, stealing, adultery. Many decisions aren’t clearly moral. God joins us in an unknown future to take risks to change the world.

So what? Our mental images of God can make a difference in our relationship with God and how we treat others. The more you respect your earthly parents or God, the greater their influence. God’s influence is the only way I know to explain my constant desires to be a better husband, father, and friend. I don’t fail as often as I think I might on my own. Why is God so hidden? God may communicate in less demonstrative ways to allow for non-coerced decisions that 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 Good Reasons To Follow God If A Skeptic Or On The Fence?

I bet I know what most readers of this blog hope their legacy to be. They will say something like “I want to be known for treating others well.” Few if any will wish they had been a little more selfish. I have a hunch on my deathbed that I will be reminiscing how I hope to be remembered in my relationships. Who doesn’t need help in being who they want to be deep down? 

God may be who you hoped for 

God can help! No, God isn’t audible or visible but God somehow has found a way to be a quiet influence in billions of lives. It is natural to tune out influences that you don’t respect. No adult child is going to listen to their parents if they don’t “walk the talk.” No God is worth following if they aren’t the perfect lover. Don’t believe everything you hear about God! See here.

Hope for life after death 

I use to think I would age like good wine, but then I aged and begin waking up sorer and sorer. Faith in God doesn’t necessarily keep one from thinking this aging process sucks. Is their hope after life on earth? I can’t prove there is a heaven. But you can’t prove there isn’t a heaven. If there is a God who can create, I have a hunch God can offer life after death. Faith isn’t knowing but hoping. I draw great comfort that I may be reunited with my loved ones without limitations of this old body. Seeing isn’t always believing; believing is seeing! 

Meaning and a moral compass for life 

Believing there is an actual Creator can suggest we were created for a reason. It sure seems we were created to love one another. It doesn’t seem we were created to simply chant God is great all the time. God obviously created us with the freedom to follow or rebel against God and their ways. Forced love isn’t genuine. The God I know gives me a purpose and morals to live by.

Following God isn’t complicated 

If you want your legacy to be that you were selfish and treated others like dirt, why are you reading this? I bet you want to be more like the person you desire to be deep down. I am convinced God can help with that. You may have heard that you have to say a magic prayer and have certain beliefs to follow God. I doubt it. Even the Bible in one passage doesn’t declare faith a set of beliefs but hope in what you can’t see. (Heb 11:1) Why can’t a God follower be one who hopes/believes in a good God and seeks encouragement to be a better person? Challenge God to be make themselves more real. Consider the journey that can result in a life of quality lived here on earth!

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  

Should Politicians Talk About God In The Public Arena?

Spiritual leaders and politicians say we must turn to God as a nation. But believers and unbelievers in God don’t share their understanding of truth and God. Moral truths can be pursued through one’s understanding of natural law or God, depending on their beliefs. Natural law truths are inherent in nature. Godly truths are inherent by understanding God. Truths are not based on one’s personal feelings or one’s understanding of God through a Book such as the Bible. Truths can be pursued by open debate and common moral sense, not canceling different opinions.

Believers in God must appreciate that God doesn’t force beliefs on others

If God imposes beliefs on others, why doesn’t God annihilate immediately those who oppose God by choosing evil? God hasn’t. Why would God’s love be any different than human parenting love. Parents bring children into the world hoping their children freely reciprocate their love for authentic relationships. God doesn’t assume or seek to impose beliefs. I am convinced that is how politicians must communicate who choose to represent all their constituents. They may share their personal beliefs but not communicate to imply God commanded a new world order.

Don’t natural and godly principles have commonality? 

Do you know any rational being who doesn’t accept we should treat others like we want to be treated? Certain behaviors are universally immoral to all rational beings such as physical or sexual abuse. Criminals often deny not justify their actions. We seem to have an inborn sense of good and evil, whether believing in a God or not. Political views such as health care, taxes, immigration, etc. are often not black and white and demand questioning. Those who don’t believe in God must stop demonizing by moralizing their personal opinions. God-followers must stop claiming their view is morally superior according to their personal interpretation of a Book such as the Bible.

Assumptions God believing folks make for all

Well-meaning people passionate about God say in the public arena “we need a biblical worldview.” Are they unaware that their understanding is according to their interpretation of a Book? See here.  Those with different interpretations or doubts about God aren’t rejecting morality. Politicians and citizens can speak of God in their personal lives without implying God forces beliefs on others.

It is often said God blessed the United States as opposed to other nations, implying God withheld blessings from others. One who claims to be God can’t bless arbitrarily. For Bible folks God blessing Israel was an act to bless all nations (Gen. 12:3). Maybe God’s blessings result from accepting God’s influence personally or by striving to treat others like you want to be treated. See here.

How can God-believers speak of their faith?

In a free country, as opposed to a dictatorship, people should be able to talk about their personal beliefs openly. If you believe your personal view of climate change is natural law, reconsider. If you believe those who don’t agree with your interpretation of the Bible are wrong, reconsider. Open discussions are vital to strive for the greatest good. Politicians represent both God-folks and non-God folks. I am the former but I am offended by all this God and Bible talk by politicians as if the public arena is their private church. Talking about God collectively than your own personal experience fails to represent those who don’t believe in God or may not share your views on God.

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 Is The Only God Worth Believing In This Easter?

Andy Stanley’s recent series on Jesus on the North Point Community Church Podcast provides a relevant point applicable for Easter. What if the Gospels are historical reliable and telling the truth about Jesus’ resurrection? Were there actual eyewitnesses? I am inclined to believe One that says they are coming back from the dead the third day and does so. Many of us are just as inclined to believe there is a God or Creator. Witnessing the birth of my children convinced me. Some may hesitant to live a life of faith in God because of what some claim about God. They may be wrong! 

Doesn’t one claiming to be God have to be good?

If God exists even atheists agree God must be morally perfect or a perfect lover. A lesser God isn’t worth believing in. Saying One must be perfectly loving is senseless if we are clueless what “to love” means. Many may argue God can do whatever the hell God wants to defend their understanding of a biblical passage that makes God seem evil. Rationalizations that suggest evil is good sometimes is nonsensical. Is God our role model or not that we should imitate?

We can’t definitively know what God is like according to the Bible

Many interpret the Bible to say women can’t fulfill the same roles as men in the worship or home setting. Personally, I can’t imagine a good God is bias toward men being appointed CEO or to preach. Many scholars who believe in the inspiration of Scriptures don’t agree that a literal Hell is a reality in the Bible. Humans wouldn’t even create such a place to torture their enemies after death. Many biblical claims about God may be false. See here.

What is God really like? 

How would a Creator love? It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations feel compelled to love one another. Godly love and perfect human love surely are one and the same. No reasonable human or Supreme being doesn’t respect the compulsion to treat others like we want to be treated. We were born to use our moral sense whether reading a Book or not. Beliefs that don’t seemingly lead to loving others as you wish to be loved if in their shoes may be amiss, because they are contrary to our moral intuitions of perfection.

Are you inclined to believe in a God?

The only God worth believing in seeks to influence to do all the good we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can. Such a plan leads to true individual and worldly happiness in the long-run. God through their influence has made me a better man, husband, father, and friend or at least better than if on my own. I have experienced God’s encouragement to continually strive to be better. I got nothing to lose except selfishness and a lousy legacy by living a life of faith in God. Consider what God must be really like!

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  

Is God Hiddenness A Good Thing?

Would we really be better off if God communicated audibly or visibly? We still would have to make choices to do what God advises. Doing is more important than believing. You may believe the stories in the Old Testament. God dropped manna from the sky and separated the Red Sea to escape one’s enemy, but the Israelites didn’t instantly put their total trust in God forever. Jesus’ miracles did not obtain the results some may suggest if God would stop hiding.

God may not speak to us demonstratively out of love

Just because earthly parents sometime know and advise what is best for their older child, such advice doesn’t always work out. In fact, overzealousness can lead to feeling controlled, thus rejecting what is best for one’s own good. God’s awing or overwhelming presence may only lead to fearful obligations to obey. The road traveled of learning, reflecting, and not being pressured may best lead to lasting convictions and more meaningful relationships.

Besides, God can’t make future decisions for you

It is natural to think an all-knowing, powerful God has special insights into future outcomes. But to say God knows the future suggests a predetermined future which makes freedom nonsensical. Not even God knows how current decisions will turn out for you or God. God joins us relationally in a free, unknown future. God’s plan can’t be a detailed blueprint but a general one to set us free to love. God hopes as we do that our actions make a positive difference in the world.

Does God really have to tell you what to do morally?   

A Creator surely doesn’t create their creations to be clueless about love. Rational beings know they should love loves others like they want to be loved. Many decisions are obvious wrong – murder, abuse, adultery, etc. God doesn’t have to speak. Many decisions aren’t black and white, even for God. Do we speak up about one’s behavior or risk driving them further away? God joins us in considering risks to change the world for better.

God doesn’t have to speak to influence

Influences in our life don’t have to be audible or certain. My parents aren’t alive, but I still sense their influence. God can’t tell us either that our decisions will work out. God deals with a free world also. God is hoping with us that our decisions will make for a better world. Don’t we sense God’s influence when we have thoughts to be the perfect partner, parent, or friend we desire to be deep down. I sense God’s encouragement to continually strive to make the best decisions I know at the time. God isn’t as hidden as we might think and it may be for our own good.

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 Are Some Of The Worse Beliefs About God?

God views you as scum and is pissed

I only know what a loving God may be like according to how a parent should love their child. I figure God didn’t create us to be better lovers than God. My kids weren’t always saints but I hated their behavior, not them. Participating in bullying activities disgusted me. Does one passage in particular really claim we are born evil in God’s eyes? See here.

God hates gay people and is bias against women 

Those who read my blogs often are probably sick of me ranting against those who condemn gays or women in God’s name according to the Bible. Biblical scholars who have a deep respect for Scriptures don’t agree what the Bible says about these and other moral issues. Let’s stop being dogmatic. Since interpretations aren’t infallible, we can use our moral intuitions as well to understand what God is really like.  See here. See here.  

God demands we bow the knee or burn in Hell 

Biblical scholars also don’t agree a literal Hell is a reality in the Bible. See here.  Terrorists demand belief in their God or they don’t even wait to kill you in the afterlife like the God of the Bible supposedly does. The God I believe isn’t a terroristic God. My God gave me a brain to imagine what a loving God does to those who don’t believe while living a short time here on earth.

God only lets Christians into heaven

The majority of people born into the world didn’t have a Bible or know of Jesus. Most people accept or rebel against a certain religion based on the family born into whether it is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. A child sexually abuse by their father may struggle to accept a God who is most often betrayed as our Father in Heaven. No human or spiritual parent brings children into the world requiring their eternal destination be based on circumstances out of one’s control. A loving God can’t be a God of chance!

God thinks you are ape-stupid if you believe in evolution 

No one was there in the beginning. I don’t have to believe those who insist on a literal interpretation of Genesis, that Adam was a literal than representative of the first human. I don’t have to believe Christian scientists who believe that there is overwhelming genetic evidence that the human race couldn’t have originated from a single couple but through a population of some thousands of individuals. See https://biologos.org/ I can believe God didn’t or did use evolution in the creative process. We can examine all the evidence for ourselves, without imposing our beliefs on others.

God is all-knowing and all-powerful so stand down 

It is natural to think an all-knowing, powerful God has special insights into future outcomes. But to say God knows the future suggests a predetermined future which makes freedom nonsensical. God’s plan can’t be a detailed blueprint but a general one to set us free to love. God joins us in all the pains and joys of an unknown future to risk changing the world for good.

God allows evil and suffering so pray up

Is everything that happens really a part of God’s plan? A good God’s love must be uncontrolling. Love cannot insist on its own way. (I Cor 13:5) A God who allows evil but doesn’t do anything to intervene is no different than a parent who stands by and watches their child suffer. Evil and suffering in the world may be because God can only intervene when there is human cooperation, both by evildoers and non-evildoers. See God Can’t by Thomas Oord. 

God is only known through the Bible so leave your brain at the door 

The Bible can’t be the only guide about God because we disagree what it says about many moral issues including Hell, gays, women’s roles, etc. And even if our interpretations were infallible, we can’t be sure the biblical writers always knew or portrayed God accurately. Those who insist the Bible is infallible also advise we are made in God’s image. Perfect human love must be the same as God’s love, or how can we know God? Our moral intuitions about a good God aren’t the enemy. 

God can answer any prayer so behave

Let’s stop pretending God can wave a magic want and always heal in a free world. It isn’t that God had the power to do something about it, but chose not to; it’s that God can’t. Divine love limits divine power. Are healings really arbitrary? Various biological and environmental factors are involved such as cells, organs, etc. God may have to account for both human and natural freedom. Healing can happen when God’s uncontrolling love aligns with countless factors known and not known. A truly loving God is doing all they can before asked.

God is going nuclear so up-up we go 

Literal rather than metaphorical readings of the Book of Revelation lead to claims that God is going to end in world with Bruce Willis in the Battle of Armageddon. Descriptions of dragons with seven heads may be a hint. I admit I wasn’t too excited as a believer going up in the air toward heavens not in a plane. That is the Rapture for non-Bible readers. Anyways, another reading of the Bible suggest God wants to help us make this a better world, not look to escape it. See here.

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  

Can We Stop Saying “Biblical Worldview”?

I cringe when well-meaning people passionate about God say in the public arena “we need a biblical worldview” or start conversations like “according to the Bible.” Are they unaware that their understanding is according to their interpretation of a Book? Those with different interpretations aren’t rejecting God. Besides, God in the Bible sought to convince not force. We can speak of God in our personal lives without implying God commanded a new world order.

Truths aren’t hidden in a Book

No reasonable human being doesn’t respect the universal compulsion to treat others like we want to be treated. Moral truths aren’t hidden in the Bible or any Book. The Bible certainly can be a resource to explore what God may be like, but we were born to use our moral sense whether reading a Book or not. We must be careful what we claim are Truths. Most rational people would surely agree sexual abuse is immoral. We can’t declare certain immigration or climate matters are Truth. We must have open discussions which laws are the most caring for the greater good.

Proclaiming a “biblical worldview” is misleading 

God loving people don’t agree what the Bible says for many moral issues. Your biblical worldview may be wrong. Besides, we can’t prove God controlled the writings of the writers to always portray God accurately. It is just as likely that the Bible is uncontrolled writings in hopes to encourage contemplating what a loving God is really like. Writers may have wrongly contributed certain actions to God. Did God really approve of laws burning alive sexual offenders (Lev 20:14, 21:9)?

It matters what we claim the Bible says 

Biblical scholars don’t agree the Bible condemns same-gender loving relationships. A biblical worldview doesn’t necessarily condemn gays. See here. Many claim the Bible says that women can’t fulfill the same roles as men in the worship or home setting. This mentality can filter down to our wives, daughters, and friends and stifle their gifts. Scholars don’t agree that Paul, a main writer of the New Testament, thought roles should be chosen based on gender than gifts.  See here.

Uncertainty can lead to acting more loving 

Continually evaluate the most loving approach is better than claiming certainty and being wrong. See here.  Stop demonizing by moralizing. God-followers must stop claiming their biblical view is morally superior among the religious or non-religious. God never attempted to force a worldview on all. God may not speak to us demonstratively out of love. The road traveled of learning, reflecting, and not being coerced may best lead to lasting convictions and more meaningful relationships.

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  

Why Can’t We Disagree About God And Religion?

I posted last week why we can’t seem to have discussions with others about politics if have a difference of opinion. See here. There are differences in the political and religion arena, but politicians and religious folks have many similarities when it comes to disagreeing.  

Is the problem about power and control? 

Some just aren’t prepared to defend their viewpoint or hearing disagreements may undermine what they have believed for a long time. They don’t seek to push their beliefs on others but many seek to influence because they assume their truth, or their interpretation of the Bible, is God’s truth. We know control and power are intoxicating and a part of human nature. Quashing dissent allows one to be more in control which happens to enable job security in the institution. 

We can’t claim our truth is God’s truth 

Religious folks hide behind their interpretation of a Book as politicians hide behind their interpretation of science. Opposing views are said to disagree with God or be immoral. But even if you believe the Bible is inspired by God, the Bible requires interpretation. We don’t all agree if the Bible opposes women priests or preachers or condemns gays. Not all scholars who believe in the inspiration of Scriptures agree that a literal Hell is a reality in the Bible.   

Not even God imposes beliefs on others

One might think a God powerful enough to create may annihilate immediately those who oppose God by choosing evil. God hasn’t. God’s love in the Bible is frequently compared to that of a human parent. Why would God act any different than a loving parent? Human or spiritual parents bring children into the world hoping their children freely reciprocate their love for authentic relationships. Forced love is an oxymoron. God doesn’t seek to control beliefs through fear. 

This doesn’t mean we can’t cooperate with God in intervening to make for a better world. Jesus’ good news wasn’t to believe or eventually be blown up in Hell. See here.  Jesus only sought to encourage people to shun evil and do good for self-interest and the interest of others. Belief in freedom respects challenges. Meaningful, long-lasting change isn’t reached by controlling love.

There are absolute truths of course!  

Certain absolutes are universal and obvious to all rational beings. Who doesn’t believe physical or sexual abuse is wrong? No reasonable God or non-God person doesn’t respect that we ought to treat others like we want to be treated. Criminals don’t defend their murders or thefts; instead, they deny committing such crimes. Adultery is only not wrong in the eyes of the betrayer. The Bible doesn’t make such offenses immoral. They are immoral due to our inborn sense of good and evil.

We must have rules for conflict

Continually evaluate the most loving approach is better than claiming certainty and being wrong. We must learn to respond not react over our differences. Look for areas to agree first. Both parties must seek to understand before being understood. Stop demonizing by moralizing. Handle differences with physical and verbal civility. Imagine the impact the religious could have if those who believe in God “walked the walk” when have differing opinions. God-followers must stop claiming their biblical view is morally superior among the religious or non-religious.

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  

 

Why Can’t We Disagree About Politics?

Why can’t we have discussions with others about politics and religion when disagreeing? There are differences in the political and religious arena, but politicians and religious folks have similarities when disagreeing. I will discuss religion disagreements more in my next post.

Could the problem be about power and control? 

There may be an elephant in the room. Not all but many seek to impose their beliefs on others without debate. I can’t read the hearts of individuals. I do know control and power are intoxicating and a part of human nature. These internal forces flourish when others are not allowed to discuss alternative opinions in the public arena. When only one side is presented, control and power grow intentionally or unintentionally. A free, democratic society requires debate.

Recognize your opinion may not be the more moral view 

Politicians and religious folks often hide behind either science or a book such as the Bible. Opposing political views are often said to disagree with science or be immoral. But science is not black and white and demands challenge. Most admit science can change, revealing claims should always be open to debate. Refusing challenges can suggest some underlying fear or dysfunction.

Your view of climate control or immigration, whatever side you stand on, must be open to challenge. You may be right; you may be wrong. Yes, expert opinions exist on both sides of the aisle. Different opinions must be allowed to stand side by side as we attempt to come to an agreement which actions may be the most caring for the greater good. Can you imagine how different our nation would be if all politicians were open to such discussions?

Accept disagreeing about most issues is normal

My wife and I didn’t argue much when dating, which didn’t exactly prepare me for the first years of marriage. Love doesn’t make go away having to share bathrooms, finances, closets, in-laws, etc. Love requires learning to disagree well so to live happily incompatible. Partners begin falling out of love when each assumes their way is right. You don’t have such intense conflicts with others friends because you don’t live with them.

We must stop hiding behind science or a Book. I bet I can get all politicians to agree that murder or sexual abuse is wrong. We make decisions how to punish such offenses, not whether such actions deserve punishment. Science or the Bible don’t make such actions immoral. Murder is immoral due to our inborn sense of good and evil. It is a dictatorship not a democracy when we impose our will on non-moral issues such as health care, taxes, climate change, immigration, etc.

We must have rules for war – I mean conflict 

We must learn to respond not react over our differences. Begin conversations by looking for areas you agree. Both parties must seek to understand before being understood. Stop demonizing by moralizing. Handle differences with physical and verbal civility. It does take two to tango in politics. When the other side doesn’t act cooperatively, one behaving doesn’t always win the other side over in politics. Different actions may be required. Cancelation of different opinions is disastrous and unacceptable in politics or any relationship.

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  

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: