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Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

By Mike Edwards

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

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

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

Our moral intuitions aren’t the enemy!

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

What relationship give us the most insight into God? 

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

How Do We Best Determine What God Is Really 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

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By Mike Edwards

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

I have a hunch God especially loves skeptics!

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

Don’t believe everything you hear about God? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the risk of following God?

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

Are There Reasons To Pursue God Even If Skeptical?

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 Mike Edwards

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

The Bible doesn’t always help

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

Claiming certainty doesn’t help

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

Why not trust our moral intuitions?

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

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

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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 Mike Edwards

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

Does God love skeptics? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you lose taking a leap of faith? 

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

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

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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 Mike Edwards

National polls suggest the majority of people believe there is a God. I am not wanting to be judgmental, but I sense a large part of that majority don’t necessarily pursue a daily close relationship with God. I am not saying they don’t score higher on the moral scale than me, though I typically have daily silent conversations with God. I just am convinced an ongoing relationship with God can make us a better person and nation.   

Claims made about God keep some from pursuing God 

Many of us are into God but many of us left the institutional church because claims about God’s character was contrary to our deepest moral intuitions. Why believe in a God you can’t respect. 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.

Hidden agenda in relationships keep some from pursuing God

Conversations with God followers often feels like them trying to change your beliefs. That can stifle exploration. I hate to admit I use to have an agenda with those outside the institutional 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 in case others want to pursue God. 

Some don’t want to give up stuff or change

I suppose many may believe there is a God but don’t pursue because it would may require they consider changing some habits. If you know what you are doing is harming others and you don’t care, that is on you. But if struggling with habits that you know are hurting you and others, God doesn’t have a list for you to conquer before getting to know God.

Bible, church, prayer, etc.

Christians may suggest if you aren’t reading your Bible, going to church, praying daily, etc. that you can’t be close to God. Don’t buy it. If the Bible isn’t fun to read or leading to positive changes, put it on the shelf. If interested read blogs or books that get you thinking about God.  Not interested in attending the institutional church for whatever reason. Okay! See if can find relationships that share your beliefs through other means. It isn’t easy but worth a try. God doesn’t have a list of traditions to adhere to. God is willing to have a relationship on your terms.

Other reasons to not pursue God

I wrote on this topic a few months ago. See here  I suggested additional challenges to pursuing God more intently:  

  • Maybe because you can’t reconcile why God doesn’t intervene more with evil and suffering in the world
  • Maybe because of some trauma in your life
  • Maybe because God-followers as a group are poor role models

Do you want to think more about God daily? 

Find something that works for you – reading, writing, a brief prayer daily, whatever. Discover what works for you that gets you more on the path you want to be. I am a better person than I would be because of God’s influence in my life. I don’t always return anger with anger, sometimes I forgive when asked, sometimes I hold doors, or go the extra mile to be nice. Don’t believe everything others claim about God. I am convinced seeking God’s help in loving others is a life worth living.

Why Do Many Believe In God But Don’t Pursue A Close Relationship?

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

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 Mike Edwards

Confession – nowadays I seldom sit down and read the Bible as much as I did in past. I usually needed a commentary. God just wants a relationship whether spurred on by reading the Bible or other means. You may talk to God when exercising. You may be inspired by listening to certain music. I would like to suggest ways to make reading the Bible less complicated. The Bible is unique – the Bible remains a best seller year after year, not just the first year published. 

Interpretation challenges

Biblical scholars who respect the authoritative nature of Scriptures don’t interpret the same passage similarly. Ephesians 5 is interpreted to teach wives should be more submissive to husbands than are husbands to wives. Other scholars believe this same chapter teaches mutual submission among married folks. Many may be unaware biblical scholars who respect the Bible believe Scriptures don’t condemn gay monogamous relationships. See here.

Inspiration challenges 

We can’t prove God inspired the writings of the writers to always portray God accurately, but if God did inspire all of the Bible which version or view did God inspired: 

  • Karen Keen in Scripture, Ethics, And Same-Sex Relationships points out that a scribe added sentences to the oldest manuscript we know of on Isaiah 2: 9-11. Our current Bibles read (The italicized words added to the original): “So people will be brought low and everyone humbled— do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from the fearful presence of the Lordand the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant will be humble and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (p. 59, 126). Later scribes intensified God’s anger which may or may not best portray God’s true nature.
  • 28:63 says God takes pleasure in destroying. But, Ezek. 33:11 says God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. So, which view portrays God most accurately?
  • It seems throughout the OT that animal, blood sacrifices are necessary for God’s forgiveness. But later OT writers begin to write that God doesn’t like animal sacrifices but contrite hearts (Ps. 51:16-17, i.e. Jer. 7:22, Amos 5:21, Micah 6:6). Why wouldn’t writers at least say both animal sacrifice and contrite hearts are necessary? So, did Jesus die to appease God’s wrath and need for sacrifice or to convey God’s love and inspire all to follow Jesus’ example?

So, how can we best decide what God is really like? 

See here: Your Moral Intuitions Best Tell You What To Believe About God!

Reading the Bible

The Bible is complicated. The Bible came together over hundreds of years. Books are not a single document written by one author but often shorter texts collected together with possible reworking by editors. We don’t have to decide if the David and Goliath story happened as exactly as it did. You can study resources for historical analysis, or enjoy reading the story and contemplating what God may be challenging you in how to love others like you want to be loved. Relax! Not even biblical scholars can claim to have the right interpretation.

We can’t be sure of Jesus’ meaning when reading a parable. Study other resources if your like. Me personally, I am going to read the parable and seek to discern the message God intends for me in loving others. Interpretations about God’s love toward others, that don’t match how you and most know you ought to love your neighbor, may be amiss.

How Can We Make Reading The Bible Less Difficult And More Enjoyable?

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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 Mike Edwards

Well-meaning people, especially politicians who represent those who believe in a God and those that don’t, say things like “we need to get back to biblical truths” as a nation.” But those who appreciate the Bible don’t all agree what the Bible claims God thinks about gays, women, destiny of unbelievers, etc. Different interpretations of the Bible are normal. We need to find a way to speak of our personal beliefs without assuming all are necessarily committed to the Bible, God, or agree what the Bible claims about God.   

Belief in God or unbelief is not an excuse for chaos

Politicians often claim or imply that our rights are given by God. Any such belief is personal not universal, or one is claiming God doesn’t desire a mutual relationship. Self-evident rights may be found in a Book or natural law, as we all have an inborn sense of good and evil. No rational being argues sexual abuse isn’t evil. We can though have healthy debates what climate policies are for the greater good. We can share our personal beliefs in God and other matters in the public arena without imposing or assuming we all agree what biblical values are.

Biblical truths are debatable

Hell is often used in religion circles to scare one into a commitment to God. Some commitment if just looking to avoid burning forever after death! Biblical scholars and laypeople don’t agree what the Bible says on Hell. Some argue unbelievers burn in Hell after death. Others believe the Bible reveals all when meeting God will become convinced their Creator is loving and desire to live for eternity with God. Circumstances here on earth may prevent such belief.

Religious folks often claim views contrary to their own views aren’t biblical. But even if you believe the Bible is inspired by God, the Bible requires interpretation. It is often said we best know God according to “biblical truths.” The truth is contrary biblical interpretations exist for many moral issues. No one can claim their truth is God’s truth according to the Bible. Yes, the Bible says murder is wrong but that is an obvious truth to those that don’t have a Bible.

Insisting on biblical truths often leads to misrepresenting God

It’s logical to suggest we can’t always be certain what an invisible, inaudibly God thinks, but supposed certainty has led to justifying slavery and other atrocities. Certainty has led to condemning gays, though scholars who accept Scriptures as authoritative, don’t agree the Bible disapproves of same-gender loving, monogamous, consensual relationships. Women, though gifted, are denied entrance into the priesthood or pastorate in God’s name. Often uncertainty, not certainty about God, protects against imposing possible false beliefs about God. God surely is able to reveal their Likeness to individuals who desire a relationship.

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

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

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

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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 Mike Edwards

God commanding violence in the Old Testament makes no sense in light of New Testament emphasize on non-violence. Check out I Sam. 15:3 where God says: “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them: put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” Many OT passages advocate violence in God’s name.  If you don’t think this is morally shocking to many, think how you would react if you read this same command in the Koran. How do scholars justify these commands by God in a book God supposedly inspired thus seemingly approved how God is depicted?

Bible inspired view #1

Many scholars may hold on the idea that God inspired the Bible because if not inspired we can’t know then what God is truly like. Those who suggest God approved or agreed with every word declared about God defend violent passages in several ways:

  • God is God, these are special circumstances, so God at times may make commands that seem contrary to human moral intuitions. The Bible advises we should imitate God but how can we do that if God’s actions seem evil at times? Are we to imitate those actions?
  • Warfare rhetoric was common in ancient literature to induce fear and victory. But, even if God wasn’t meant to be taken literally, why would God inspire violent metaphors to specifically include women, children, infants, and animals? Even human leaders don’t use such rhetoric.

Bible inspired view #2

Some scholars suggest that God inspired/influenced the Bible, but sometimes God allowed the writers to get God wrong to contrast with Jesus’ teaching about God. But “inspired imperfection” leads to guessing what passages are true views of God and which ones are not. Even if you believe in “inspired perfection,” you still must interpret if the language is warfare rhetoric or exactly what God meant to be carried out. Using our moral intuitions in deciding what God is like and would do is unavoidable.

An uninspired view of the Bible may be a better option

I think most would assume God approved what the writers penned if God inspired or influence such a thought. God either controlled the writers’ thoughts and writings to perfectly represent God, or God did not control writers reporting their views of God even if false portrayals. Writers/editors of the Bible didn’t intentionally lie but were honest about their understandings of God at the time. This may explain violence wrongly contributed to God. I doubt God inspired any writings contributing acts of violence to God in the OT. 

Why it matters?

People read the OT and since it contradicts their intuitions of a loving God, they tune out God. Who blames them! How do you follow One you don’t respect? Also, the Bible says: “Follow God’s example…” (Eph. 5:1). We know evil people are looking for an excuse for violence; good people may be trying to be obedient to God and sincerely believe their circumstances may warrant what God commanded in OT times. After all, God inspired such views. We might know God better if we assume the Bible isn’t inspired. One cannot avoid using their moral intuitions when it comes to interpretation or statements made about God in the OT. Do you have a hard time believing the OT’s God at times? I got a hunch you are right! Don’t leave your moral brain at the door!

Was God As Violent As Old Testament Claims?

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

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 Mike Edwards

We must first accept something to be questionable when rational people have a different opinion than yours, whether it be scientific or biblical truths. Many have insisted on a literal Hell according to the Bible and suggested you must repent and have faith in Jesus to go to Heaven or then you go to Hell. But many who respect the Bible don’t believe the Bible confirms a literal Hell. See here.  The Bible may not say as much about Heaven as one may think. See here. Is it more comforting to believe what our leaders are teaching than to question and be uncertainty about such matters as the afterlife?

Leaders insist on certainty 

We hear all the time we need to get back to biblical truths. The problem is leaders and churches don’t agree on moral issues according to the Bible when it comes to Hell, gays, women, those of other religions, etc. There is is less certainty according to the Bible than acknowledged. We are told God and the Bible condemns gays. Many scholars are convinced the Bible doesn’t condemn monogamous same sex relationships. See here. The truth is leaders must stop being so damn certain despite what anxiety or challenges that may cause themselves or others! 

Followers expect certainty

Certainty rather than uncertainty comforts individuals psychologically. One may believe the seemingly certain narrative because unknowing can create anxiety. Who doesn’t want to know Heaven is real when actually the Bible says very little about heaven after death but about heaven here on earth. Besides, disagreeing with church leadership and others can lead to isolation and loneliness. It doesn’t matter if those who proclaim certainty have good intentions or believe their ideas are right about God. They may be wrong!

What are the consequences of avoiding uncertainty?

When only one side is presented, control and power grow intentionally or unintentionally. It should be intuitive denying diverse opinions is unloving and controlling. Most don’t except such behaviors in their personal relationships. Having good intentions by believing you are right for the whole doesn’t matter when certainty isn’t obvious. A refusal to openly discuss or defend one’s views suggests an unhealthy dependency on “certainty.”  

Is there any Truth? 

Certain absolutes are universal and obvious to all rational beings. Does any reading not believe physical or sexual abuse is wrong? No reasonable God or non-God person doesn’t respect the golden rule in relationships. If one insists they are right and you are wrong, the discussion may need to end. Not all laws are necessarily universal truths such as length of punishment for certain crimes, but at least in a democratic society laws are voted on. Chaos results if the law isn’t followed, though laws can be changed through representation or vote.

How do we deal with uncertainty? 

Leaders must be empowered to be open-minded than certain. I left the institutional church due to dogmatism, then constantly be divisive. We can try to engage with those who insist on certainty when it doesn’t exist, but in time one may need to move on. We can stop labeling those who disagree with our biblical interpretations as heretics. We can stop calling those who disagree with our views of science as conspiracists. Imagine how different as a people we would be if religious and political folks were open to discussions for the common goal of pursing the greater good!

Why Do So Many Believe Something To Be True That Is Debatable?

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

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 Mike Edwards

Polls suggest a majority of people believe there is a God or Higher Power, but we should be careful in our words assuming all have such a belief. Besides, many believe in a God but don’t agree what rights a God may bestow such as for gays. I cringe when those in the public arena claim our inalienable rights come from God. I find such a statement disrespectable to those who aren’t convinced there is a God. Even God respects one right to believe or not.

Not even the God of the Bible demands belief

If we didn’t have a Bible, we wouldn’t expect a loving God to force beliefs on others. Parents bring children into the world hoping their children freely reciprocate their love for authentic relationships. Evil clearly exists today but God doesn’t annihilate immediately those who oppose God. God doesn’t demand belief but desires a relationship. And scholars don’t agree the Bible teaches a literal Hell as an eventual consequence for unbelief. Some biblical scholars believe the Bible reveals all when meeting God, if God exists, will be convinced their Creator is loving and desire to live for eternity with God. Circumstances here on earth may prevent such belief.

Do our rights come from man or government? 

I am opposed to politicians not being more careful in their language that implies or assumes all must believe in God to be on the straight and narrow. It is said we need to get back to biblical values but not all agree what those values are. Similarly, those who claim man or government give us our rights is just another version of required religion. We do not need to proclaim to all that our rights are given by God or Government.

Where do our rights come from? 

We all should have the freedom to establish our own beliefs. But there are universal self-evident truths. Even terrorists believe in the golden rule in relationships for themselves. They can deny your rights due to your beliefs but don’t dare deny their rights to their own beliefs. Self-evident rights may be discovered in a Book or natural law, as we all have an inborn sense of good and evil. No rational being argues for the right to sexually abuse or murder others. We can though debate what climate or immigration policies are for the greater good. A democratic society best allows making policy decisions that impact more than the individual.

How do we communicate our rights? 

We can share our personal beliefs in God and other matters in the public arena without imposing them on others. 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 assume all believe in God. Determine what are self-evident truths and those that aren’t such as climate control or immigration policy. Fortunately, in a democratic society non-self-evident, beliefs are determined by vote. In other societies, those in power determine policy.

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

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

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

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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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

Intermission

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

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