Archive for April, 2023

By Mike Edwards

I am convinced that God likes you. God isn’t pissed at you all the time for not abiding by God’s standards. God desperately seeks a personal relationship with us all. “Religious people sometimes speak of God as if he were just another human magistrate who seeks his own glory and requires obedience for its own sake…God wills for us the very thing we really want for ourselves, whether we know it or not…” [Thomas Talbott, The Inescapable Love Of God, p. 185]

What does the institutional church say? 

I attended a lot of different churches growing up. It seems all God thinks about is our choices to sin. If you have any of my characteristics, God isn’t exactly in love with you all the time. But why would God be like that if earthly parents don’t stop loving their kid – they hate what sin is doing to the child; they don’t hate the kid. A relationship with God, rather than an emphasis on rules and obedience, is our necessary nourishment to conquer our battle against self-centeredness. The fear of God doesn’t lead to changed hearts. When we feel a meaningful bond with our parents, we are more motivated to follow their guidance which often is in our best interest. An intimate friendship with God can transform us into the kind of person we want to be.

How do we know God is like an earthly parent? 

Surely a loving Creator would love the way we were created to love. God’s love surely is the same as supreme parents – other-directed not self-consumed. Love gets excited when we do well and make a difference in the lives of others. Love anticipates, hopes for our success, believes in us. God is pulling for us, even when failing, because I do the same for my children. We doubt God but God still loves. We are dependent on our children for intimate relationships. An all-powerful God would only give us uncontrolled freedom if seeking a partnership and friendship with us. 

But what does the Bible say? 

I am convinced God only wishes for all to consider the possibility of a loving God who desires to help you in your journey of becoming the person deep down you want to become. Loving, human parents don’t require certain beliefs from their children before hoping they will consider if they love them. Are we better lovers than God? We can’t all agree what the Bible says, even on many moral issues, but the central message about God in the Bible seems to be to strive to love others like you want to be loved. Why would God be any different toward us? 

Your view of God matters!

We know God is speaking when we hear: I love you, I forgive you; I won’t abandon you; let’s see what happens, I want what you want deep down; I am not really like who some people say I am. Do you want to believe more in 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. If God is real, they should be able to make their case with each individual.

What May Be The Greatest Insight /Game Changer About God?


Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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Yes, but not for us

by Jim Gordon

It seems when I mention that my wife and I left the organized church, people assume something happened to hurt us or make us mad.

Just to be clear on this subject, neither one of us have ever been abused by the church. Neither one of us are mad about some event or some person at church. Unfortunately, abuse does happen in the church system and many people are hurt by others, but that was not the case with us.

After nearly sixty years in the organization, and after the last ten or so of those years feeling that something is not right with the system, we made the decision to leave and follow Christ outside the walls of religion. To be clear, that is our decision and we certainly do not expect everyone to agree and do the same thing. Many people are part of the organized religious system we know as church, and they truly love God and want to serve God.

We believe the Church is a community of people and not a building nor a service held one day each week with paid professionals leading the service. We believe the Church is each of us who follow the example of Jesus and see Christ as the head of his body. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and each of us are equally functioning members making up the body of Christ.

We believe that forsake not the assembling of yourselves means we need one another. We live each day having fellowship with those God brings together, no matter where it happens. We never truly found real fellowship when we sat in an organized service for an hour looking at the back of the head of the person in front of us. We believe true fellowship is not just sitting together with other people in a room, but it is daily loving, encouraging and praying for one another and meeting the needs of those we are able to help.

The temple in the Old Testament was only a shadow of what was to come in the New Testament. God now lives in us, and we are the temple. God is our leader rather than another human being we call pastor. There is no hierarchy in the Church today. Each of us are equally important parts of the body and able to teach, encourage, build up and pray for one another. It is truly a priesthood of all believers, not a one man or woman show.

Those with specific gifts for helping the Church are not better or more spiritual than the rest. They are brothers and sisters who walk along beside those who need encouragement. They are those who have learned a spiritual lesson and are there to help those who are still learning. They are servants and friends rather than spiritual authorities.

So, when I say that we have left the church, it is only the building and organization I am talking about. We left, not because we were mad or hurt but because we believe the religious system most people call church is far from what God is building. God is building a group of people who will daily follow the leading of the Spirit outside the walls of religion, loving God with all their heart, loving their neighbor and accepting all they meet along the way.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

We all are judgmental not just Christians. Christians have less of an excuse to be judgmental. After all, we are guided by the principle of loving others as we want to be loved. Jesus certainly didn’t seem judgmental. He hung out with all kinds of people who didn’t necessarily have His same beliefs. Jesus did get His dander up with religious folks because they were misrepresenting God. Christians may be doing God a favor if questioning certain claims made about God, and they stop trying to force their beliefs on the rest of the world.

Would you naturally assume if not for your understanding of a Book that: 

  • God condemns gays though gays no more choose to be gay than straights choose to be straight
  • God prohibits women serving as pastors or priests though my wife and daughters are a lot smarter and better leaders than a whole lot of men
  • God encourages wives being more submissive to husbands which is conducive to abuse
  • God judges based on religion when the religion the majority adhere to depends where born

Even if the entire Bible is inspired by God, interpretations aren’t inspired. It seems the most loving approach would be to claim uncertainty than to be wrong. Be careful judging others according to your understanding of a Book, especially if interpretation go against your moral intuitions. 

Should Christians ever judge?

I am not suggesting we shouldn’t stand up when children or women are abused. If judgment is necessary, shouldn’t we judge one by their character rather than their color, gender, religion, or beliefs in God? It shouldn’t be in our nature to unload on others because their beliefs aren’t ours. It’s hard to know why some believe in a God and not others. Neither is hardly a personality flaw. If God is real, God surely is big enough to make their case with each individual. But it is a universal principle, except for the selfish, that we ought to treat others like we want to be treated.     

Is God really all that judgmental?

If we think God is hard to please and pissed off about sin rather than what sin is doing to us, we may stop going to God when failing. God desires perfection for our own sake but surely celebrates our victories along the way. Our image of God can dictate our actions toward others. If we believe God really created such a place as Hell see here ,we may think we should emulate God in our attempts to judge and punish. If God punishes us forever (Hell) for sins briefly while here on earth, aren’t we teaching others to fear God? Help others to consider what a loving God would really be like!

Why Are Christians So Judgmental?


Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

We Christians seem to think that we can make everything better by voting the right politicians into office and passing the right laws. We seem to think that we can actually legislate morality. We have our pet doctrines and think with the right people in office or the right laws passed, the world would be a better place.

We think if we can get the democrats out and the republicans in, or the other way around, things will improve. Now that Roe v Wade has been overturned, and if they can get the ten commandments posted in every courthouse, put prayer back in school, or keep ‘In God We Trust’ on our money, things will be better.

The trouble with this way of thinking is, it does not work. We cannot legislate “Christian” values based on what we think is morally right. One, here in the USA we have freedom of religion. This means everyone is free to practice the religion they want to follow, and no one can force their particular religion on others. Second, rules and laws do not change the inner person. Only a life changed by God will make a lasting difference.

There is no political party that is going to make everything OK. It is so aggravating at times to listen to people condemn one political party or the other, when neither party is going to have the answers that makes everything better. If one political party was replaced by another political party, the only thing that would change would be the people who are complaining.

In his book, Jesus v. Evangelicals, Constantine R. Campbell states that “Political engagement is not wrong, but it is not a silver bullet to cultural transformation and renewal. Americans will live Christianly if they think Christianly, and that will happen only if their hearts are transformed by Christ. Laws do not transform hearts. Even less so political parties”.

We get so caught up on what a man or group of people can supposedly do, when actually no human can come up with all the answers needed to solve all our problems. We are to trust God and then do what seems to be the right actions for all people to help change our world.

We should be praying for our leaders, no matter which party they belong too. Although we pray for them and respect their position, we should not be placing our hope in any political party. Political parties are made up of human beings who are imperfect. Truthfully, most often they are only looking out for their political agenda and financial well-being.

Seek first the Kingdom of God. Realize the Spirit of God lives within us and we are actually living in the Kingdom right now. Listen for the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and love others no matter who they are or what they think. We are not going to change people by voting in specific politicians and making new laws. The only way to make a real impact on others and on our world is by loving people, accepting them as they are, and following through with actions that will be good for all people.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

Many insist that the Bible is inspired by God for various reasons. One podcaster couldn’t let go that the Bible is inspired but at least admitted we may get God wrong because of our interpretations. There are good reasons to suggest the Bible isn’t inspired. See here. Besides the challenges of interpretation, we can’t prove God controlled the thoughts about God written to never be wrong.  I have less issues if one means by inspiration that God moved writers to record history about God. I was moved to write this Post. Some of my thoughts may be right or wrong.

We believe we can only know God through the Bible 

It is doubtful we can only know God through a Book. As mentioned even if the Bible is without error what God is really like, our interpretations are not inspired. That is why many don’t agree what the Bible teaches about many moral issues – gays, women roles, hell. Also, over half the people born into this world didn’t have a Bible and have never heard of Jesus. Yet, billions have believed in a Creator and have lived according to what they felt a loving God would desire.

It is only intuitive that a Creator loves the ways their creations ought to love one another. One reason to believe in a Moral Lawgiver is that we all 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? Perfect Godly love surely is the same as perfect human love. 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). It isn’t presumptuous to imagine what a loving God is like through our moral consciences. See here.

We worry what else we have been told may not be true   

We have been told everything the Bible claims about God is true because God inspired it. Questioning supposed biblical beliefs can cause anxiety due to uncertainties about God. That may not be such a bad thing. Many have been turned away from God because of claims made about God according to the Bible, such as God tortures forever one for beliefs held while living on earth a short time. Claiming certainty rather than being openminded may not always be God’s wish.

How does one have a relationship with God despite an uninspired Bible?

Faith in God or what God is truly like isn’t much different than faith in general. We still get on an airplane, not because we can always be certain it is safe. It takes faith to believe there is a loving God or not. Surely a loving Creator loves the way we were created to love. A God worth believing in surely desires to inspire and encourage you to become the person deep down you want to become. Choose biblical interpretations and understandings of God that aren’t contrary to your moral intuitions, regardless of what others claim the Bible teaches. The central message about God in the Bible seems to be to strive to love others like you want to be loved. Why can’t we have open conversations about the Bible while trusting God can influence each in their own spiritual journey?

Why Is One Defensive If Suggested The Bible May Have Errors?


Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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by Michael Donahoe

Many people talk about the problems we have in the schools today. Often we hear the reason being that God and prayer have been removed from our schools.

Actually, this could not be further from the truth. God and prayer have never been removed from our schools. As believers, the Spirit of God lives within us and is available to hear our prayer anytime, anywhere.

What has been removed from schools is a set, standardized prayer by a teacher or someone leading the whole class. And quite frankly, this type of prayer should have been removed from our schools. Our public schools are made up of children from many beliefs, many faiths and many religions. We cannot nor should we force one religion’s views on everyone.

As Christians, we believe that through the Spirit we have the presence of God with us always and we can pray anytime we feel like it. Prayer can be done silently and internally, so no one needs to be distracted or forced to listen.

God and prayer cannot be removed from any place. We just need to remember the fact that the Spirit of God is within us and available to us each and every day.

Michael Donahoe was added as a writer as his views fit perfectly with those of Done with Religion. He also writes on Substack at https://myopinionblog.substack.com/

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by Jim Gordon

As someone who has grown up in organized religion and spending many years in the traditional church, I can honestly say that the institutional church has fallen way off course. What we call church today seems more like a large corporation run by a CEO and executive board.

We seem to be more focused on our programs, building bigger buildings, having a bigger and better worship band, getting on radio or TV and being a step ahead of the church down the street.

Our churches today are so divided by denominations, doctrines and biblical interpretations that it seems we fight among ourselves more than anything. In many cities, there is literally a church building every mile or two from each other yet we cannot come together to share the love of God with others. As we worry about our buildings, doctrines and organizations, our world continues to get worse and worse.

It amazes me how upset and defensive people can get when you mention that going to church is not a requirement. They seem to forget that the Church is not a building nor a place we go, but is the body of believers. The first verse that is quoted when we talk about not going to church is Hebrews 10:25, not forsaking our own assembling together. Nowhere does this verse say that we have to assemble in a building on a certain day at a certain time. Nowhere does it say we have to have a pastor to teach us, or a worship band to lead us in praise and worship. It does say that we need one another for fellowship, encouragement and godly love.

I feel that sometimes we Christians want to go to church to be entertained and told what to believe, then go home feeling satisfied that we have fulfilled our duty until next Sunday. We have become lazy and do not want to spend the time with God, studying, meditating and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us. After all, we really do not need a pastor to teach us. It states in 1 John 2:27 that the anointing which you received from Jesus abides in you through the Holy Spirit, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as Christ’s anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie, just as it has taught you, you abide in Christ. Abiding in Christ is a daily way of life, not once a week in a building.

Jesus said where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them. That can be in a restaurant, in a home, in a park or any place believers join together. Many people put more emphasis on where we meet and not enough emphasis on spending time with the one we love. Why is it we feel the need to go to a building anyway? God said we are the house of God. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and God is always with us.

Going to an organized religious building is not wrong, but we should call it what it is. The church building that people go to is a place where the body or members of the Church get together with like-minded people. It should be a time of encouragement, uplifting one another and praising God. It should be a place that when we come together, each one has a song, has a lesson, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Each one of us participating in these things for the strengthening of one another. Sadly, most often in the traditional church building, it is a planned service directed by a select few while everyone else sits and listens.

The true Church are those of us who are saved through faith in Christ. It is not a building nor an organization. We Christians seem to get more involved with the things about Christ, the services, the meetings, the up-keep of a building and the money to keep the bills paid, that we lose sight of our first love, who is Jesus. Jesus is the head of the Church and is to have the preeminence. We should be putting our focus on Christ, loving God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and loving others.

We need to stop the arguing over different interpretations, denominational doctrines and when and where to meet, and start loving others even with our differences. We can attend a building to meet with others if we desire, or we can stay home, go for a walk, have dinner with friends or whatever helps us have meaningful fellowship with God.

Fellowship with God and with one another, encouraging one another, uplifting one another and truly loving one another with a godly love, will show the world that we are disciples, they will see a difference in the way we live as Christians, and hopefully they will come to share in the love of God.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

When a death happens because of a tragedy, often well-meaning God folks will say “God took them in God’s time.” Does this mean that God caused or allowed one but not another to be killed by a drunk driver? I cringed when I read “by the grace of God there was a doctor running by at that exact moment and started CPR and the guy survived.” Was God ungraceful when there was no Doctor in other situations to save a life?

Does everything really happen for a reason?

Well-meaning people passionate about God often say things like “it’s all part of God’s plan” or “everything happens for a reason.” It implies evil is some grand scheme by God. How is a God, who supposedly can prevent evil, any different than a parent who stands by and watches their child being physically or sexually abused? Evil and suffering in the world may be because God cannot intervene single-handedly. God can’t interfere in evil without human help. See here.

What bother to pray then?

See here.

God’s uncontrolling love can be freeing 

Can there be true freedom if everyone’s future is determined or known? Even God can’t know a unknowable future. God isn’t hiding a “known” future for important decisions. God joins us in an open future. God wants us to feel free to pursue our own dreams without strings attached, unlike some earthly parents. God only desires to influence us 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. The future is open to God as well. God joins us in a true friendship by sharing our joys and sorrows in our journey. 

Please stop rationalizations 

Are you dissatisfied with answers to your questions such as: “God wants to make you stronger;” “God’s ways are not our ways;” “You didn’t have enough faith.” If evil is some grand scheme God can control, why then does the Bible says God hates evil so much? Does God hate God sometimes? See Thomas Oord’s book GOD CAN’T for further insight about God, evil, and suffering.

Imagine the perfect friend – that is God! 

God loves like how you wished you loved others. God hates when prayers can’t be answered. God feels the same pain you are experiencing. God shares the dreams you have for your future.  Conventional thinkers don’t like to suggest God has feelings of vulnerability, but they don’t mind talking about God’s wrath. If a God can be angry, a God can be sad. God hates when we are suffering. A truly loving God, like a friend, hurts when you hurt. We may wish God would just intervene but there may be legitimate reasons why God can’t. But God is with you each step of the way as we reach out to others for help as well.

Can We Stop Saying Our Rights As A Nation Come From God? 

Can We Stop Saying “Biblical Worldview”?

Can We Stop Saying “Everything Happens For A Reason”!

Can We Stop Saying “Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin”!


Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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