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WHAT I BELIEVE

What Beliefs Killing God’s Reputation Might Change Your View Of God?

Why I Don’t Insist On Certain Beliefs To Pursue God Or Spirituality

The following beliefs or convictions motivate me to write in case what you have heard about God make it difficult to have a relationship with your Creator. What you have heard may not be true! Understandings of God determine our attitudes about God. I hope the following will whet your appetite to read further what I have written as you consider your beliefs about God:

  • God is not a Bible worshipper. First, we can’t prove the biblical writers always understood God perfectly unless you take their word for it. Secondly, literature requires interpretation so no one can claim their view is the right one. We can’t ask the writers what they meant. Thirdly, the Bible isn’t likely God’s main communication, because the majority born into this world never had a copy or knew of Jesus.
  • God is not a hellish sadist. A God who teaches forgiveness seventy times seven couldn’t possibly create Hell to torture anyone forever. Such pain serves no lasting purpose anyway. Humans wouldn’t even create such a place for their worst enemies. The traditional understanding of Hell doesn’t exist in the Bible. The word hell, a substitution not translation for certain Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible, appears to have been invented over the centuries to scare people into obedience. God’s grace and forgiveness doesn’t end on our last breath on earth if desiring to live with our Creator for eternity.
  • God is not a religion excluder. A loving God wouldn’t only let Christians into heaven when the majority of people born into this world died without knowledge of Jesus the Christ. One’s religion, or rebellion against a certain religion, is often based on the family born into whether it is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. Is God a God of chance? God only wants us to know of their desire to empower and encourage all in doing good and shunning evil.
  • God is not a homophobe. A loving God could possible condemn gays when they can no more choose who they are attracted to than straights can? If you are a straight man, don’t you naturally have to fight not looking at naked women than men? Ask gays their battle! Who chooses to be gay when one has to hide their sexuality because of bigotry and hostility?
  • God is not a sexist. God wouldn’t put men in leadership position over women which has encouraged dominance on the man’s part leading to atrocities women face at the hands of men. Like many views about God, the Bible can also be interpreted to endorse roles according to gifts not gender. God can lead women and men in trying to out serve one another. Shouldn’t the most qualified or gifted, whether male or female, be appointed CEO, preacher, or priest?
  • God is not a religious extremist or terrorist kind of God. Terrorists seldom are Jesus-type individuals who seek to love others like they want to be loved. Doesn’t true religion seek to serve not be served? Loving spiritual or human parents bring children into the world hoping their children freely reciprocate their love for authentic relationships. Forced love is an oxymoron. God couldn’t possibly want to control beliefs through fear.
  • God is not a mysterious, hidden Deity. A relational God’s seeks to be understood. God dropped manna from the sky and separated the Red Sea to escape the enemy, but how did that work out? God communicating through the Bible has led to much divisiveness as evident by the tens of thousands of different Christian sects. A universal belief in and hatred for evil versus good suggests God has revealed themselves. God’s overpowering presence in our lives may only lead to consuming guilt or brief obligations to obey. God’s lack of interference may allow us to make heart-felt, lasting choices.
  • God is not a moral hypocrite humanly-speaking. Even atheists believe One claiming to be God must be perfect. We must question biblical writers’ understanding of God if interpretations are contrary to people’s ideas of a perfect, loving God. When the Bible challenges us to be perfect like God (Mt. 5:48), the assumption is we can know what perfection is. Godly and human perfect love must be one and the same.
  • God is not a controller of evil and suffering. The magnitude of evil in the world is a main reason people indicate they don’t believe in God. It seems God creating freedom necessitates one being able to do as much harm as they can do good. Authenticity, the highest good in relationships, is impossible without freedom. Not even God can force true love. It can be misleading when we say God “allows” evil, as if God stands by when God could stop evil. God can’t control or violate freedom and love perfectly. God can only stop evil with the help of others or not create freedom.
  • God is not a prayer genie. Praying doesn’t make God more caring. God is already doing all they can in a free world. Pretending God can simply heal without accounting for freedom can makes one’s suffering worse. Did I not pray or beg enough? Prayer isn’t about manipulating for gain but pursuing a relationship with our Creator for self-examination, sharing concerns, and not feeling alone in a chaotic world. God is not a Genie in a bottle who can singlehandedly all by themselves make things instantly happen without our help to change the world for good.
  • God is not a ‘hidden agenda” friend. It is wrong to engage in friendships for the purpose of manipulating them to your beliefs. God’s agenda couldn’t be wanting to save people from Hell, since the traditional meaning of Hell doesn’t exist in the Bible. Friends aren’t evangelistic projects. Jesus’ agenda was to simply love people in the moment. Jesus wanted others to know God loves them and seeks to help them be who they want to be deep down if desiring such help.
  • God is not an angry egomaniac. God doesn’t want to be feared as if that leads to inspiring relationships. If God was so worried about their ego, God would not have given us freedom to contradict their wishes. God’s unforced desire for glory is no different than a loving parent’s desire for respect. They only want what we deep down desire – loving others like we want to be loved.
  • God is not a blood-thirsty Jesus killer. Demanding the blood of an innocent party doesn’t legally resolve another person’s guilt. My going to jail for a friend’s wrongdoing doesn’t somehow clear my friend of their crime. God didn’t violate Judas’ freedom by requiring he betray Jesus. We killed Jesus. Jesus accepting death than powering over others may be the reason billions have been influenced to live unselfishly.
  • God is not a future fortune teller. Most probably don’t think much about whether God knows the future or not. The truth is not even an all-powerful God can do the impossible such as change the past, force true love, or know an undetermined future until it happens. God isn’t failing to communicate a “known future” so we can avoid bad relationships or decisions. God suffers with us rather than simply gaze into a future crystal ball. God created freedom and seeks to partner with us to make for a better world.
  • God is not an end-of-the-world doomsayer. God isn’t going to destroy the world in the supposed battle of Armageddon. One might ask if the Bible teaches God is going to destroy the world in the future, why did Jesus tell his audience that supposed predictions about the world ending would happen in their lifetime (Mt. 24:34). Jesus seemed to not be speaking of a sky-opening, physical rapture, or Jesus wouldn’t have warned of the signs to not miss His coming (Mt. 24:3-4). In the first century the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed and millions of lives were lost. Biblical Judaism ceased to exist. This could have been the end of the age that Jesus warned of.
  • God is not a church-going traditionalist. In the Bible “Church” was not a building or a place attended once a week. Jesus referred to His followers as being the Church.  Jesus did not specify where followers must gather or what they must do. Find environments to be encouraged and inspire others to love as radically as Jesus did. Paul warned against the harm of divisions, also known as Denominations, among followers (I Cor. 1:12). Let’s seek more Who we follow than traditions we personally think are important.

 

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