Archive for May, 2023

By Mike Edwards

The United States is often referred to as a Christian Nation or a nation whose rights come from God. The Declaration of Independence penned in 1776 gives good reason to suggest our founder’s belief in a Creator:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Is God a Christian nationalist?

We don’t all agree on a definition of this term, but those who believe in a God/Creator/Supreme Being aren’t always careful with their words. They are accused of attempting to establish a Christian nation, though they must agree we should respect one’s right to choose any faith or religion that doesn’t violate the rights of others (“unalienable Right to Liberty”). I doubt God is a Christian nationalist or sought to establish a Christian nation because of respect for freedom of belief. Besides, forced love is an oxymoron. Jesus came to influence others to love as they want to be loved, not to overthrow the Roman Empire to make it a God/Jesus/Christian empire.

Who do our rights come from? 

I happen to have faith there is a Creator, but faith is an individual decision. Regardless of one’s belief, we aren’t clueless right from wrong. Such clues don’t come just from a Book. The majority of people born into this world didn’t have a Bible, and people knew right from wrong before the Bible. Rights neither come from a few individuals that happen to be in Government. Perfect rights or laws are those that demonstrate loving others like we want to be love. Even atheists would agree.

How do we determine what perfect, loving laws are?

We don’t all agree what the most loving actions are. It is a bit naïve for any nation to claim our values must be biblically based, as if all agree what the Bible says about abortion, gays, capital punishment, etc.  See here.  The equal rights of women with men in many Nations are denied because of a Book. Regardless of your faith, most rational beings agree on many universal moral values (murder, stealing).  And no – climate control, immigration, taxes, health care, are not universal laws. The problem in the U.S. is debate is frowned up and attempts are made to quash contrary opinions.

How do we create a nation where “all are created equal with unalienable rights?

I believe the Declaration of Independence and Constitution makes the U.S. unique from most other countries. We all have “unalienable rights” and not rights according to Government or Dictators. In our Republic, the Government is limited in taking aways certain rights of the people. Our Democracy allows representation through voting, though the Constitution and Bill of Rights safeguard individual rights such as freedom of speech, thus protection from majority power over the minority. A true debate of differing opinions is out best chance at arriving at the most caring decision for all concerned. Until we all ask ourselves “am I acting toward others like I want to be treated,” we seem destined to fail.

Is The United States A Christian Nation Whose Rights Come From 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

Read Full Post »

By Mike Edwards

What we assume God is like may be why so many believe there is a God but don’t feel like they have a close relationship. We yearn for close relationships. What grown child doesn’t wish a close friendship with their parents? We don’t have a physical relationship with God, but most want God to believe in us, allow us to make our own decisions, to pull for us even when failing. Because I do the same for my children.

God must be Perfect! 

I don’t know one person, whether a church-goer or not, that doesn’t think any God worth believing in must be a perfect, loving God. Even atheists would agree if they thought a Supreme Being existed. The Bible even implies such an idea: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). We still must decide what perfect love is, but God surely didn’t create us to be totally clueless.

What is perfection? 

What human relationship comes to mind how a Creator might love their creations – the employer/employee relationship, the marriage partnership, or the parent/child relationship? I believe the latter. A parent’s perfect love is the same as God’s love. God may be different than what you have heard. God’s love surely is other-directed not self-consumed. We may not always know what true love is, but we somehow know we ought to love others like we want to be loved.

Can Hell really be true? No loving person would create a place of lasting torture that serves no real purpose. Does God really condemn gays when most would tell you they can no more control being attracted to the same gender as you are to the opposite gender. Could a loving God possibly believe women should submit to husbands in ways husbands shouldn’t submit to their wives? I believe I could win that debate based on the abuse resulting from such a theology. What God’s perfection is like must be an open discussion as we seek truth.

What about the Bible? 

Something is true whether in the Bible or not. We don’t need a Bible to know we should treat others like we want to be treated. The Bible can’t be an end-all 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 recording of the writers of the Bible, thus having a perfect view of what God is like.

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 according to the Bible was contrary to our deepest moral intuitions. It is hard to believe in a God you can’t respect. We don’t always know what perfect love entails but we seem to know the question we ought to ask ourselves – am I loving others perfectly or like I want to be loved? Our moral intuitions aren’t the enemy in deciding what views best described a loving God.

What about WJWD? 

It is argued, because of the challenges understanding what writers in the Old Testament claimed about God and violence, that Jesus is the final word in understanding God. Jesus claimed to be God and His moral legacy seems undeniable. But God-followers don’t always agree what Jesus taught because the Bible requires transmission, translation, and interpretation. People who love Jesus with all their heart don’t agree if Jesus would rule out war when evil is rampant and victims can be saved. We can’t know for certain by claiming What Jesus Would Do.

What is God like? 

We must stop claiming we are right according to a Book. 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 like. Choose biblical interpretations and understandings of God that don’t contradict your moral sense of a loving God. You may be right! We seem to know we ought to love others as perfectly as we can. I believe God is kind and relatable like the parent you always wished for. 

How Can We Know What God Is Like?


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


Read Full Post »

By Mike Edwards

This phrase is often used by Christians or God-believing people. One’s motive may be to support that God is in control, thinking “how can a God be all-powerful if not able to control everything that happens.” But perfect power is uncontrolling. A perfect God’s love can’t be all-powerful. See here.  A God who supposedly can stop suffering but doesn’t is no different than a parent who stands by and watches their child suffer.

A controlling God leads to believing God chooses or allows everything

It is only logical to suggest that if God is all-controlling, God is responsible for everything good as well as bad that happens. Is every rape, every family member murdered, every person who has experienced evil at the hands of others because God allowed it to happen. If God allows something to happen, that means God could have stopped evil but choose not to. What loving parent or God would do that! We must think more carefully about what we mean by God is all-powerful.

A controlling God leads to wondering what God is trying to teach us

It is hard enough believing a good God would allow a child to be sexually abused for some greater reason. A surgeon may have to break open your chest to save your life, but what purpose is served from rape, torture, betrayal, murder, deception, corruption, incest, and genocide as if part of some grand plan? From this twisted perspective, evil is good! A woman desperately desires to have a child all her life. She can’t at first but a miracle supposedly happens. But then nine months later the child is stillborn. God is supposedly wanting to teach her something; yet, God never communicates the lesson. No wonder people loss faith in God with such advice.

What if God isn’t in control?

Evil and suffering in the world may be because God cannot intervene single-handedly without being controlling. God can’t interfere in suffering without human help. Imagine what God could do if an entire world sought God’s guidance! God creating such freedom makes it possible for true, authentic relationships to develop. Forced love is an oxymoron. God has to be true to their loving nature. God is always doing all they can to stop suffering with the help of others.

But what hope is there if God won’t eventually control the battle against evil? 

If God cannot control and be loving, the logical question is how can we hope that God and goodness eventually win out. Many Christians believe the Bible teaches that God will one day come down to earth and wipe out evil. But such end-times spoken of in the Bible may refer to times only in the first century, not suggesting the earth as we know it coming to an end. See here.  Another possibility is that one day we may all meet our Creator, after life here on earth, to discuss our afterlife. Many may freely choose to live a life under God’s guidance. Freedom here on earth may be the necessary first step to prepare for such a decision. Jesus suggested what life lived here on earth best prepares us for such a decision.

Consequences Thinking “Everything Happen For A Reason” By A Controlling 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

Read Full Post »

by Jim Gordon

It seems most of us Christian people are quick to say we are accepting of others. Yet, we often find that we are only accepting of those who believe the same way we do.

If we meet someone from a different faith, different nationality, different political party, we would rather argue with them and defend our way of thought just to prove they are wrong or unworthy of our acceptance.

When looking at the way Jesus lived, we see a life of loving others and accepting those who the religious crowd did not like. He was kind, loving, forgiving and caring to all he came in contact. It seemed his main conflicts came from the religious self-righteous leaders.

Jesus walked with the prostitutes, the demon possessed, the heathen, tax collectors and people who the religious crowd felt they should stay away from. Today we seem to think we have to stay away from those who are different or doing things we disapprove of to prove how righteous we are. We never see Jesus doing such things. He enjoyed spending time with people from all walks of life. He got in trouble with the religious people of his day for living this way, and we find this still happens today when we accept people just the way they are.

Rather than being judgmental and unaccepting, we should be kind, accepting and sharing the love of God to everyone we meet. After all, we are not called to point out the sins of others and say what is and what is not sin. We are called to love God and love one another.

Jesus never said to separate from people. He said to go into all the world and preach the gospel. The gospel is the good news that we are loved and accepted by God. We can do this by living a life of love, acceptance and allowing the love of God to touch people right where they are.

It seems to me rather than fight and argue over doctrine, interpretation and belief we would do better to love, accept and show compassion. This certainly does not mean we have to agree with everyone, but we do not have to be unaccepting nor always defend our way of thinking.

Many of us think we have it all figured out and our way of faith is the only way. We think we have to persuade others to come to our way of thinking or they are doomed to hell. As we grow in the Spirit, we come to see that some of our interpretations and beliefs were wrong, so why should we tell others what is right and wrong and tell them how they should believe? This should be something between the individual and the Spirit within.

I am not sure any of us have it all figured out, in fact I know none of us do. We all have room to question, learn and change. I know my wife and I are doing more questioning than we ever did and we are finding new truths as we walk daily in the Spirit.

When it comes down to it, we should be open to accept others no matter what their way of thinking. People want to be loved and accepted, they want to be happy and get along with others. When we get all religious and defend our point of view it does more harm and drives people apart more than anything.

My wife and I have been asking God for strength to accept and love everyone. No matter what they believe, no matter what their faith or doctrine, no matter their religion, nationality, sexual preference or color, we want to see them as Jesus sees them. This is a type of love we cannot do on our own. It is only possible by the love of God within us. We want to love, accept and care for people. Naturally we will not always agree, but we want to look past those areas and love them in Christ. We feel this is the way that others will come to see the love of God, not through unacceptance, not through condemnation, not by trying to prove we are right and they are wrong, but by accepting them and loving them with a godly love.

Love does not mean seeing eye-to-eye, it does not mean we agree or always like some of the things people do, but it does mean we look past the differences and love them as Christ loves them. We see them as human beings equally deserving of love, respect and acceptance.

Let’s try to look past the labels and see people who have feelings, who want love and friendship, people we can get to know, learn from, share thoughts and ideas and accept as human beings who were created in the image 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

Read Full Post »

By Mike Edwards

One may claim God is all-powerful or Omnipotent to show respect toward God. But perfect power is uncontrolling.  A perfect God’s love can’t be controlling. How can a God be all-powerful if not able to control everything that happens? Our understanding of God’s power matters. A God who supposedly can stop suffering but doesn’t is no different than a parent who stands by and watches their child suffer. 

God can’t be all-powerful! 

Thomas Oord in his new book defends ably that the Bible doesn’t necessarily claim God is all-powerful and can do anything. See here. God can’t tempt others (Jas. 1:13). God can’t lie or be unloving. In Chapter 2 Oord gives many great examples where we must be more careful claiming God is all-powerful or can do anything. We all have heard examples such as God’s can’t make a married bachelor, or God can’t make a round square. God can’t make one believe or freedom would be a farce. It makes no sense to say God can exert all power and creatures can exert some power. Oord points out that “qualified omnipotence is an oxymoron.” Thankfully, there are limits when we think of God’s power. 

God can’t be responsible for evil

I have never understood why God doesn’t stop evil if God can do anything.  If “everything happens for a reason” because of God, this would make God responsible for all goodness and all evil. It is claimed a mystery how God can cause or allow evil but not be evil. This isn’t true for humans. Some claim all evil eventually leads to good as if some grand plan by God. Hardly! Ask sexual abuse victims or family members of murdered victims.

Perfect love isn’t controlling. Ask any adult child. Evil and suffering in the world may be because God cannot intervene single-handedly without being controlling. Such freedom by God is necessary for authentic relationships to develop. Forced love is an oxymoron. God is surely doing all they can to stop suffering with the help of others. 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.

What about prayer?

Many prayers asking for healing are obviously not answered. I doubt God is arbitrarily choosing to bless some and not others. Are miracles arbitrary? Conditions in our body may not always be right. Various biological and environmental factors are involved such as cells, organs, etc. If God wouldn’t take away your human freedom, it may not be a stretch to say God has to account for natural freedom as well. Miracles can happen when God’s uncontrolling love aligns with countless factors known and not known. God surely intervenes when circumstances will allow. See here.

What can God do? 

God can be loving. The only God worth believing in or having a relationship with must be a perfect Lover. God can’t be all-powerful or controlling and be true to God’s nature. Oord says it best in his last Chapter – Omnipotence is dead, Love is alive. Oord goes on to say that so many positive elements can come from affirming a universal, divine Lover. Such a Spirit empowers, inspires, and accompanies us in our relationships with others. God knows and empathizes with us in our suffering. God obviously grieves due to all the evil in the world. God suffered when Jesus was crucified. God suggested through Jesus’ example and words what kind of life lived here on earth can make for a much grander world.

God Can’t Be All-Powerful!


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

Read Full Post »


Desire freedom? I welcome you.

Michael Daly CJ Blog

A Companion of Jesus

Randy Scobey

Let's have the courage to be ourselves, together

The Sons are Free

Matthew 17:26

Frozen in the Fire

Rising up through Grace

Writer Dylan Morrison

Fascinated by the Nazarene but unimpressed by religion!

Follow Your Arrow

Unashamed of who God made us to be, and unapologetic in our pursuit of God and our purpose in His kingdom

Blind Injustice

Injustices we may not be aware of

Sophia's Essays

This is where I post my essays, primarily about LGBTQ+ issues, politics, and Christian theology.

DB Art

Our natural world has a unique beauty to behold. I bring it to you in a perspective you've never seen before.

Hazy Divinity

Welcome To The Party

Candice Czubernat

A leading voice in the LGBTQ and Christian dialogue

Our Journeys Matter! - Posts

Done with Religion ... Not Done with God

Ally's Notebook

Thoughts To Share

Life of a Prodigal

Searching for Truth outside the church walls

What God May Really Be Like - Misbeliefs About God

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)

Christy Lynne Wood

Looking for the Real God

Confessions of a Recovering Churchboy

What I bought before, I just can't sell


Reflections in the midst of life.

She Seeks Nonfiction

A skeptic's quest for books, science, & humanism

The Wild Frontier

The search for infinite Truth and the invincible Love of an incredible God.

A Wilderness Voice

"The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, says the LORD of hosts." (Hag 2:9)

What does the word God mean to you now?

It's been a long journey - so far!

Entering the Promised Land

by walking in the Spirit

Beyond Church Walls

Done with Religion ... Not Done with God

Escape to Reality

Explore the wide spaces of God's amazing grace

%d bloggers like this: