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We want to feel more of a connection with our Creator, but obviously God isn’t visible to communicate as we are used to in other relationships. How can we know that God is truly guiding us if we aren’t sure how they communicate to us?

The Bible records that God spoke audibly sometimes to give instructions or voice approval. God is said to have spoken to Moses where people could hear during the giving of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 19:9), and God’s voiced approval from heaven when Jesus was baptized (Mt. 3:17). Some claim today on rare occasions God has spoken audibly to them, but I am not sure how to prove that unless others are present to confirm it was a physical than psychological experience.

OT prophets write “God said” as if God had spoken to them personally. We do not know exactly how this type of revelation from God differs from simply impressions, thoughts, and feelings one may have as to what they think God has communicated to them. Prophets played a unique role in history in introducing God to the world. I do not believe any today can proclaim themselves to be like OT prophets where God is conveying new information.

Many would suggest God’s primary method of communication today is through the Bible.

The challenge is that literature is interpretation, and misinterpretations are often proclaimed to be the Word of God. It is not uncommon for different meanings to be expressed of the same passage and different applications suggested for our personal circumstances. Books written in the past cannot be definitive ultimately for guidance, as the writer is not available for clarification and explanation.

It is plausible if a God exists, they have communicated clearly to us through our moral intuitions.

It seems to me the presence of moral anger hints of a personal external force communicating through our moral intuitions that lead to outrage. How else do we explain a universal desire to treat others like we want to be treated? There is agreement on most moral matters. Nations can establish laws because there is almost universal agreement on stealing, lying, or murdering. We know God’s moral advice to us because of such intuitions. 

God gives us a sense of morality for our own good, but then sets us free to follow our desires. We are asking what God wants us to do; God is asking what we want to do.

God’s plan is not a detailed blueprint but a general one to set us free to love. The future isn’t already determined, making freedom an illusion. Many get frustrated with God because they assume God keeps information hidden from them. God can’t know an unknowable future. Which career or job do we pursue or any decision that is not moral in nature? God is like any good parent when it comes to future, amoral decisions – we are free to make the wisest decision at that time based on our gifts, past experiences, current circumstances, and future aspirations.

God has communicated – be free!

God has already communicated morally through our intuitions. How do we treat others? How do you wish to be treated! Should you forgive? Do you want to be forgiven! But, certain decisions depend on one’s personal circumstances. One may divorce or remain in a marriage for the sake of the children. God has spoken when we make the wisest decision we know at the time. Seek wisdom from others. There isn’t always one right decision as if the future is predetermined. God simply desires to persuade and empower us to do all the good we can, for the all the people we can.

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⇒Hell isn’t from the Bible but an invention over centuries to command obedience
⇒A Creator of Earth can create Heaven where decisions can be made even after death

Okay, I have a confession. I haven’t died yet so I can’t positively tell you what happens after life here on earth. I do believe there was a Creator as opposed to life originating by happenchance. If there is a Creator there is nothing irrational about hundreds of millions believing in an afterlife.

I have suggested in this series if a Creator exists, they have communicated clearly through universal moral intuitions. How else do we explain a universal desire to treat others like we want to be treated or our sense of ought or guilt? How do we know it is wrong to steal, murder, lie, or commit adultery? We can’t always know what is good according to a book such as the Bible or the Koran. Literature is interpretation and we claim our interpretation is the Word of God.

We know intuitively a loving God would not torture people forever for beliefs while living a brief time on earth. Unending suffering is pointless. God is a God of many chances.

God is fully aware beliefs are influenced by opportunities, role models, or misinformation, so it is suspect a loving God determines our destiny based on beliefs on earth.  Biblical scholars rightly debate that Scriptures teaches all enter Heaven after meeting their Creator – often referred to as universalism. God can’t stop being forgiving and merciful at the moment of one’s last breathe. I’m not sure anyone would choose non-existence as opposed to life with a loving Creator, unless they have come so harden on earth. God will not coerce anyone against their will on earth or after death.

It turns out the Bible appears to argue what we intuitively believe is most likely about the afterlife if we believe in a good God who is perfect morally.

Hell as we think of it simply doesn’t exist in the Bible. Gehenna is the Greek word translated as Hell in the NT. Gehenna was the name of a real valley nearby Jerusalem with a history of terrible slaughter. Jesus used Gehenna to illustrate that spiritual death can be as tragic as horrendous physical death. The Apostle Paul who wrote most of the New Testament never refers to Hell. Noah, or any prophet in the OT, never warned of Hell as a consequence for behaviors here on earth. Hell seems an invention over the centuries to scare people into submission and obedience

Heaven as we think of it isn’t mentioned as much as we might think in the Bible. The word “heaven” appears the most in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew doesn’t refer to the Kingdom of Heaven as a place after death. Jesus speaks of bringing heavenly love to earth – “on earth as in heaven.” The Apostle Paul, who wrote most of the NT, in his longest theological letter only mentioned heaven twice and says nothing about Jesus dying so we can go to Heaven (Rm. 1:18, 10:6). Eternal life in the Bible refers to a quality of life that begins here on earth, not a quantity of life after death. The Bible teaches forgiveness is unlimited (i.e. Mt. 18:21-22).

We know Hell doesn’t exist. The only reason we might believe in such a place created by a loving God would be if we thought such a Book taught such a horrific thing.  Also, there is hope for our loved ones who didn’t acknowledge God much less have an obvious trusting relationship with their Creator here on earth. For many God may bring to memory the pain and harmfulness caused for the sake of victims, but a good parent much less a good God is always seeking to restore than pay a price. God will always show grace and mercy whenever one decides to trust in the true God.

 

God is incapable of showing bias or favoritism since God is perfect
Moral intuitions and the Bible suggest roles are best determined by gifts not gender

I have suggested in this series if a Creator exists, they have communicated clearly through universal moral intuitions. Even if you don’t believe in a Creator, we might be able to agree that we can know what is good according to moral intuitions we share. By claiming to know what is good according to a book such as the Bible or the Koran, it is overlooked that literature is subject to interpretation. We end up claiming our interpretation is the Word of God.

God is not bias against gays, people of color, or women because that is what a perfect God must be like. Those who do or don’t read the Bible would insist a Creator be perfect to call themselves God. Bible readers will point to passages that say God is perfect thus not evil. The Bible’s challenge to be perfect like God is meaningless unless we can sense what perfection is (Mt. 5:48).

Most would agree, unless believing some book advises otherwise, that a good, perfect God is incapable of showing any bias or favoritism toward men over women.

I may be bias because I have two daughters and I am married to a very smart, independent, woman. I am convinced our hearts tell us that roles in personal or business relationships should be determined according to one’s gifts not gender. Who should be the CEO or preach? The most qualified of course. Who should handle the finances in the family? The one most gifted.

If you wish to determine God’s views toward females according to the Bible, since there is much debate by scholars, shouldn’t we choose the interpretation that seems more likely according to our moral intuitions. But, I am convinced the Bible doesn’t show favoritism when it comes to gender. I only mention a few examples though there are many more:

  • It seems unlikely God would suggest women be under the authority of men, especially when men are prone to dominate women anyway. The Apostle Paul who wrote most of the New Testament supposedly suggested wives are subordinate or under the leadership of their husbands in a way husbands aren’t to their wives (Eph. 5:22). Paul says in verse 22 in the original manuscripts: “wives to your husbands as to the Lord.” Translations often supply the very missing from verse 21: “wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Paul just said submission is a way of life for all (5:21). If wives are under the leadership of their husbands, then we must also say church members are in subordination or under the leadership of one another (v. 21). Women do not need male leadership in marriage; women need unselfish men who have the heart of a servant (5:28-29).
  • When the Bible says: “Women should remain silent in the churches” (I Cor. 14:34), maybe the writer would encourage men to be silent in certain situations for the sake of peace. The same writer had just assumed women, without condemning, could prophesize during worship (I Cor. 11:5). The writer surely had certain circumstances in mind when suggesting silence.
  • Women are denied the privilege to exercise spiritual gifts in the church because of one main biblical passage (I Tim. 2:11-15), which is highly debated among scholars. Those who suggest this passage teaches women can’t teach men often allow women to teach women and children as if they are less important than men! Paul has in mind false teachings when he says a woman must not teach or have authority over a man. The passage uses the analogy of Adam and Eve.

God is incapable or bigotry or favoritism toward non-Caucasians, gays, or females.  

Even if I thought truth was ultimately determined according the Bible, it is more likely the Bible reveals that roles in life are determined according to one’s gifts not gender (I Cor. 12:4-11). A good and perfect God is incapable of showing favoritism. God is the kind of Creator worthy to follow in becoming more the person you desire to be deep down.

TAKEAWAYS
√A good God by nature supports all loving, caring relationships
√Literature is interpretation; don’t assume the Bible condemns gay relationship

I have suggested in this series if there is a Creator, it is very plausible they have communicated clearly through universal moral intuitions. How else do we explain a universal desire to treat others like we want to be treated or our sense of ought or guilt? How do we know it is wrong to steal, murder, lie, or commit adultery? It is suspect a loving God only communicates what is good according to a Book such as the Bible. Literature is always subject to misinterpretation. The Bible in fact says that God didn’t promise to leave a Book but their Spirit to guide when Jesus’ person left this earth (Jn. 14:16). 

Most parents’ hearts break when they think their devotion to God requires them to give their child some version of “love the sinner, hate the sin” speech. Our moral intuitions tell most that God is not bias against females, people of color, or gays.

You don’t have to be gay to understand one can no more control their feelings toward those of the same sex than you can control your feelings toward the opposite sex. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel natural to you. You aren’t gay. Biblical scholars disagree on interpretations on this matter in the Bible so we mustn’t claim the Bible condemns gay relationships. If unconvinced God doesn’t condemn gay people, I would encourage you to accept one’s sexual orientation as personal between them and their Creator. 

We should look briefly at the main Bible passages used to condemn homosexuality. Seven main biblical passages are used to condemn homosexuals.

Who doesn’t condemn homosexual acts mentioned in the Bible involving violence such as rape (Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 19; Judges 19:22)! We can’t be sure why and what sexual acts are condemned in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, but if these two verses are used to condemn gays then why don’t we apply the laws that advocate the death penalty for cursing parents (20:2), witchcraft (20:27), or sex with an animal (20:15). We must look for clearer passages if we are going to use the Bible to condemn homosexuality.

Romans 1 condemns homosexuality activities, or any sexual activities for that matter, devoid of fidelity or love (v. 31). The writer surely didn’t have in mind consensual, loving, monogamous, gay relationships. When Romans was written it was common for masters to be involved in sexual acts with their slaves or men having sex with younger boys. Who doesn’t condemn abusive, controlling, unequal, relationships!

Finally, there are two obscure Greek words translated as homosexuality in I Corinthians 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10. Scholars debate if homosexual or what type of sexual relationships the writer has in mind (David P. Gushee, Changing Our Mind, Chapter 13). Other sins listed are seldom used to threaten Hell (i.e. adulterers, thieves, drunkards, slanders, or the greedy). These passages should not be used to condemn consensual, loving same-sex relationships.

Even if claimed truth is only determinable according to the Bible, interpretations that condemn homosexuality are highly debatable.

What does your heart tell you to feel and say when asked if you condemn them because of their love for someone of the same sex? Gay people don’t feel they have a choice to love any other way. The church should be slow to condemn faithful relationships when half their relationships divorce.

God doesn’t favor according to gender, race, or sexuality because every moral fiber in my bones tell me so. That is just the way God made us.

The only reason I might think otherwise is because I think a Book from God argues otherwise. A good God is only capable of perfect love. The Bible encourages loving, consensual, caring relationships to avoid heart-break. Any sexual behaviors that are abusive, unequal, controlling, mindless, selfish engagements, as opposed to consensual monogamous relationships, are wrong to any rational human being.

Next In This Series:
How We Know A Good God Is Not A Bigot Toward Females!
How We Know There Is No Hell And Hope Of Heaven For Loved Ones!

TAKEAWAYS
✓God is morally perfect humanly-speaking
✓Does your view of God lead to making God less or more of your life

I have suggested in this series if there is a Creator, they have communicated clearly through universal moral intuitions. God’s morals must be the same as perfect human morals. God can’t claim to not be evil unless God’s morals are the same as a perfect, loving parent. We may not agree what a perfect parent or God would do in each situation, but we may agree on many attributes.

God and loving parents are uncontrolling.

A God powerful enough to create obviously respects freedom because of not interfering in all the evil that is present in our world. Every instinct in me when raising children wanted to control their decisions when counter to my own. “Don’t you understand I have your best interest in mind!” But, I came to understand choices must come from within to be genuine and last.

God doesn’t control our moral or our amoral decisions. I understood it was my child’s decision who they chose as a partner, what career they wish to pursue, etc. God hasn’t mapped out what decisions you must make in the future. God advises morality through their example, but in amoral decisions God encourages pursuing our dreams with the gifts we have. Parents sometime need to accept God tugging on their heart to quit controlling their children.

A perfect God or parent never advises for self-interests reasons or how it makes them look, as opposed to what is in the best interest of who they love.

A perfect parent doesn’t utter the words “because I said so” because they are more concerned how certain actions will make them look. God only warns against immoral actions because of their consequences, which any loving parent would do. God’s always has our back. God only ask for faithfulness because trusting God is loving others to the fullest.

God can’t encourage us to be like God unless they are morally perfect and give us knowledge how to emulate.  

No loving parent lies, steals, or doesn’t always act in the best interests of others. We all have such moral intuitions, seemingly communicated by our Creator. Passages in the OT that suggest God encourages unnecessary violence must be the writer’s understanding of God at that time in their spiritual journey. But, no one is a true passivist as only coward don’t protect their family against those who intend to do harm. God surely seeks peace than war when possible.

A perfect God or parent is quick to forgive and begin anew.

A parent’s constant or subtle disfavor because of mistakes robs us of the encouragement we need. Why then would gloomy uncertainty as to God’s favor help us to conquer battles against self-centeredness or long-standing habitual sins in our life? God gladly provides relief from guilt so we don’t loss hope. Parents who truly forgive avoid the temptation to remind their children of their failures, as if they need reminding. All parents know what “piling on” means.

God is likely more the kind of God you imagined would be true of a loving God. Don’t let misunderstandings keep you from pursuing more of a spiritual life with the help and encouragement of your Creator.

  • What if God isn’t homophobic, even according to the Bible, who doesn’t say stuff like “love you, hate your behavior?”
  • What if God only encourages loving others without any hidden agenda to convert them?
  • What if the traditional understanding of Hell doesn’t exist. Like God is going to sadistically torture people forever for their beliefs while here on earth a brief time!
  • What if God and the Bible don’t advocate gender bias in male/female roles? Roles and responsibilities are best determined according to one’s gifts not their gender.
  • What if God doesn’t have hoops to jump through to have a relationship such as going to church or abiding by certain religious rituals or beliefs?
  • What if some plausible explanations exist as to how a good God and evil and suffering can co-exist? Even God can’t necessarily control freedom if they are to create true freedom.

I can only speak from personal experience. I don’t consider myself a bad person but I am absolutely convinced I am less selfish and a better husband, father, and friend because of my relationship with God. I feel God’s constant acceptance and encouragement to be less unselfish, despite my failures.

Coming In This Series:
How We Know God Is Not A Bigot Toward Homosexuals!
How We Know God Is Not A Bigot Toward Females!
How We Know There Is No Hell And Hope Of Heaven For Loved Ones!

God gets a bad rap when claiming we only know what is good according to the Bible. Over half the world born didn’t have access to such a Book, implying they couldn’t know good from evil. Also, claiming God only communicates what is good through a book such as the Bible or Koran has led to justifying immoral actions because of misinterpretations. Literature is  interpretation, thus why we have many opinions on the meaning of the same passage.

Evil can result when we claim we can only know good through a book – even if believing such a book is the Word of God – because we justify our personal interpretation of God. Since most believe the Bible is God’s direct communication to us, we may not wish to claim only God knows good. Humans somehow know it is wrong to lie, steal, or not treat others like we want to be treated.

We can know what goodness is or what a good God is like according to our moral intuitions.

You believe morality exist if you believe evil exist. If we say goodness can only come from God or a book and not intuitions, then we can’t really know goodness since God doesn’t speak to us audibly and books are interpretations. It seems to me the presence of moral outrage hints of a personal external force communicating through our moral intuitions that lead to outrage. How else do we explain a universal desire to treat others like we want to be treated?

Obviously, not all have the same moral intuitions.

I suggest there is universal agreement on most moral matters. Nations can establish laws because most agree it is wrong to steal, murder, lie, or commit adultery. We know terrorists are wrong because they do not wish to be treated by our imposing our beliefs on them. Just as we know it is wrong to steal because we do not wish to be stolen from.

A good God couldn’t ask us to believe something contrary to moral intuitions.

Such intuitions can guide when debating interpretations of the Bible. But, the battle is won when we stop imposing our beliefs on others. Only extremists don’t know that disputes about supposed truth are not more important than love when personal beliefs aren’t violating the rights of others. True religion doesn’t seek to be served but serve.

If I was female, non-Caucasian, or gay, I know God is incapable of bigotry or favoritism because a good God can only be morally perfect.   

Goodness is not determined according to a Book or even belief in God. But if God exist, I know they don’t favor according to gender, race, or sexual preference because my intuitions tell me so. One reason we may might think otherwise is because we believe a Supreme Being suggests otherwise according to a Book. A good God is only capable of perfect love.

Please see Good God: The Theistic Foundations Of Morality by David Baggett and Jerry L. Walls for insights into how can we determine goodness.

Coming In This Series

What Is God Really Like?

How We Know God Is Not A Bigot Toward Homosexuals!

How We Know God Is Not A Bigot Toward Females!

How We Know There Is No Hell And Hope Of Heaven For Loved Ones!

Most of us want to be a better version of ourselves. Societies and families are in desperate need of all striving for this end goal. We all know how we wish others treated us; that is how we wish we treated others. Most of us will admit we fall short of our ideal self. I suppose one’s goal could be to be “good enough,” but that isn’t enough in a broken world. Surely constantly striving to be our best brings the least regrets, the greatest satisfaction, and the best of worlds.

Most of us need HELP in striving to be closer to our ideal.

I don’t wish to say God-less people aren’t good people. We know many God-people that we wish had less to do with God, or least their version of the God they are seeking to please. Just think – they may be worse without God’s help! Many may have found their way in relationships in being all they can be without God. I have in mind those who recognize their need for help for more.

People may be less inclined to pursue a belief in God and for help because our mental views of God shape our attitudes toward God. Others may reject God because of poor role-models.  

Most people don’t reject God because they reject unselfishness over selfishness. The example you have had or what you have heard about God may not be true. If you have thought that there may be a God, I am convinced you will not regret pursuing more of a connection with your Creator than regretting having a closer relationship with your partner, children, or friends.

Consider if you want to be more of a spiritual person, which I take to mean becoming more the person inside you want to be toward others in good and difficult times.

We all benefit from relationships that guide and inspire us such as parents and bosses who are good role models. It may turn out that God is exactly what you thought a perfect God is like. Being a law-abiding citizen isn’t enough. The law can’t tell you to forgive or help a stranger. Challenge yourself to be the kind of person you wish your parents or children were.  You don’t have to attend church, synagogue, or mosque if such relationships don’t encourage you in your journey.

I am not challenging you to be more religious, only more spiritual for a better world.

God can provide insights into what true freedom is. God can help us to not fear death and look forward to being reunited with our loved ones. God can help suffering, that is inevitable in a troubled world, to not be meaningless by empowering us to help others facing similar undeserved sufferings. Personally, I can tell you I am a better husband, father, and friend than I normally would be because of the insights, encouragement, and forgiveness that I receive from my Creator.

 

Next In This Series:

How Can We Know What God Is Really Like?

What Is God Really Like?

How We Know God Is Not Bias Against Homosexuals!

How We Know God Is Not Bias Against Females!

How We Know There Is No Hell And Hope Of Heaven For Loved Ones!

 

 

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