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WHAT I BELIEVE

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

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

Understandings About God That May Change Your Attitudes About God

What I Wish Others Might Consider True About God

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

  • God is not an angry, egomaniac lover. God’s love is the same as perfect, human, parenting, love. God’s anger is no different than a parent’s anger against immoral actions that harm their child and others. God’s desire for devotion (glory) isn’t to remind God of their greatness or we can go to Hell. Parents desire respect because they only want what we deep down desire for ourselves and others. God’s love is nourishment that leads to life transformations.
  • God is not dogmatic about spirituality. Suggesting a loving God demands one can only come to God through Jesus is to ignore the realities of our world. One’s religion, or rebellion against a religion, is often based on the family born into whether it is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. Spirituality should not be confused with religion or rituals. Jesus only wanted us to know God seeks to empower and encourage all in doing good and shunning evil by loving and forgiving us. That is the kind of person most desire to be deep down.
  • God is not dogmatic about certain beliefs. God’s only sacred belief is the Law of Love which is for our best interests and the interests of others. God doesn’t insist on many beliefs proclaimed by others necessary to be accepted by God, thus making the journey about certain beliefs than a relationship with God. God only hopes we may come to believe in God’s love for us so we might reflect such love back to others.
  • God is not a hellish, sadistic torturer if you don’t eventually believe in God. The Bible says nothing about our understanding of the word Hell. Hell, an invention over the centuries to scare people into submission and obedience, is not a translation but a substitution for certain Hebrew and Greek words. Hell is no more a translation of the Greek word Gehenna (the name of a real valley near Jerusalem) in the New Testament than Atlanta is for Chicago.
  • God is a giver of life after death to those desiring to live in Heaven and be reunited with loved ones. Many misunderstand God because of poor role-models or what others teach about God. God will eventually clear up any confusion when meeting. God’s grace and forgiveness doesn’t end on our last breathe on earth if we desire to live with our Creator for eternity. Jesus though spoke more often of a quality of life beginning on earth as a heavenly focus can lead to passive earthly living.
  • God is not mysterious but morally perfect. Some declare God is mysterious when their characterizations of God are incompatible with most people’s ideas of a loving God. The Bible makes no sense unless God’s love and perfect human love are the same: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). God doesn’t declare favoritism wrong (Jam. 2:1) but then act partial. We know what God is like because God’s love and perfect human love are one in the same. God is perfect humanly speaking.
  • God is not hidden but knowable. We can look inwardly to know how to be in family, work, or other relationships. How do you wish your friends would treat you? God’s direct communication doesn’t always produce the results we may think. Jesus’ miracles did not obtain the results some may suggest if God would stop hiding. God’s overpowering presence in our lives may only lead to consuming guilt or brief obligations to obey. God’s lack of interference allows us to make heart-felt, lasting choices. We know God is speaking when we hear: I love you; I forgive you; I won’t abandon you; I want what you want deep down.
  • God is not a Bible thumper or worshipper. The Bible does have an incredible unity despite containing writings over a thousand years by many different authors, but questions about God must be solved on biblical and conscientious grounds since there are no certainties in interpretations. Human reasoning is not the enemy. Our relationship is with God and not a book. The Bible was never meant to be a rules book for how to act in our unique circumstances. Bible stories were recorded for reflection upon one’s situation. To forgive one who denies wrongdoing depends. For some forgiving can cause feelings of further victimization and bitterness; for others forgiveness can control bitterness and acts of revenge.
  • God is not a friend with a hidden agenda to convert them. We have relationships to share life together. Friends aren’t evangelistic projects. Have open discussions when others are seeking a connection with their Creator. If your friends treat others like dirt, love them enough to tell them so. We simply are to love one another. God changes hearts.
  • God is not a sexist. God was a female liberator by proclaiming roles according to gifts not gender. God doesn’t favor men over women in leadership roles. Best friends, in marriage or other dyad relationships, don’t require a leader. Appointing men as authority over women can encourage dominance on the man’s part and dependence on the woman’s part, which can be conducive for domestic abuse and the other atrocities women face at the hands of men.
  • God is not a homophobe. The Bible doesn’t condemn same sex monogamous relationships. Monogamous relationships are in the best interest of lovers. Jesus never spoke about homosexuality and said when gone He would leave His Spirit to guide individual hearts. Gay people rightly challenge others to think why they would choose a lifestyle rejected by so many unless they can’t help feeling who we are.
  • God is not an evildoer by creating freedom or not controlling suffering. God’s uncontrolling love best explains the biggest challenge for the Christian faith – how evil, suffering, and God’s goodness can co-exist. Authenticity in relationships is impossible without freedom, and God could be accused of not creating the “best” world. Suffering resulting from evil isn’t created by God but originates from the human heart. Not even an all-powerful God can create and guarantee life without death, violence, suffering, and struggle and yet there be free will.
  • God is not a religious extremist or terrorist. God is a freedom fanatic who has never demanded certain personal beliefs or be killed or beheaded. God only seeks to persuade true love for the good of all, but genuine love must be freely chosen. You know religion is wrong when demands lead to being served than serving. Unselfish love is what will change the world.
  • God is not a blood-thirsty child killer. The story of Jesus’ death is not about a God who requires murder to restore their honor but about a Man who felt His message was worth dying for. Soldiers die for one another for causes they believe deeply in. Jesus hoped to convince us what He knew about God, who seeks to empower us to be the kind of persons we deep down desire to be. God went to great means to convince us of God’s unimaginable love and that God’s ways are in our best interests if we listen to our hearts.
  • God is not a genie who overrides freedom when we pray. Prayer is more about communicating for support than manipulating for gain. Prayer is less discouraging when we go from the mentality of “getting answers” to “finding intimacy and support.” Prayer is giving God permission in our lives to help shun evil and do good. We may have to trust that a loving God answers prayer how we would if we knew everything God knows and experiences in overseeing a free world.
  • God is not a doomsayer out to destroy the world. Jesus wasn’t misleading when advising followers to be ready within their generation (i.e. Mt. 24:34). Jesus seemed to not be speaking of a sky-opening, physical rapture, or Jesus wouldn’t have warned of the signs to not miss His coming (Mt. 24:3-4). Jesus’ coming has already happened when the new covenant in the New Testament replaced the beginning covenant. We mustn’t wait on God to ‘fix” things; instead, we must make for a better world for future generations.
  • God is not a church-going traditionalist necessarily. In the Bible “Church” was not a building or a place attended once a week. Jesus referred to His followers as being the Church.  Jesus did not specify where followers must gather or what they must do. Each is free to find environments where they feel encouraged and inspired to love others as radically as Jesus did. The presence of so many Denominations suggests followers don’t believe the same or get along. Paul warned against the harm of divisions among followers (I Cor. 1:12). It is best we seek more Who we follow than what we believe in.

 

 

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