Friday, September 20, 2013

..Make Believe..

I've joked that I never learn the references to the scriptures I know because the references weren't inspired. But its true, by no stretch of the imagination are bible chapter & verse separations inspired by God. Adding chapter & verse separations took away the story of scripture & made it into a reference book, similar to modern law code. The mere existence of references gives people the impression that the bible is a legal moral code book. Thus many christians act as lawyers, simply comparing bible references. Jesus didn't speak kindly regarding lawyers (aka "teachers of the law"). "Turn your bibles to Luke 11:46."

Even when stories are being read preachers must insert a principle or moral or way to avoid sin into them. So even the structure of how the bible is taught & studied is done in a legal way. Let's teach our kids to memorize the 10 commandments, lets memorize verses. It's all Godless religion & it's stupid.

Christian "debate," discussions, & apologetics are often people acting as lawyers trying to prove the other guilty, guilty of being wrong. They are being devil's advocates because the devil is the accuser & an accuser is DEFINED as someone with the goal of charging others with guilt or error.

Sure Jews did the same things in Jesus' time & before that but at least they read the whole thing. Many verses are simply sentence fragments. People will quote a verse without even quoting an entire sentence. The ever popular "forsake not the assembling of yourselves" is 1/3 of a verse & that verse itself is already a sentence fragment.

I'm sick of playing scripture tag & seeing legal style biblical arguing. Of course it is right to love. But love either has to be the sole goal or the natural course of life. The goal preached of always being right & doing right seems like a good goal but it is self-centered & makes an enemy out of all who we view as wrong. When you are always seeking to be right a single wrong idea or wrong action from anyone (including yourself) demonizes or at least stains that person in your mind. This leads to inner turmoil or outer disrespect & combativeness.

One thing seldom realized is that "earning righteousness" can not only be attempted by our behavior but also by our knowledge, by trying to "believe" all of the "right" things. Of course people want to know & believe truth but to box yourself or others into an imaginary expectation of no mental error is a terrible goal because it cannot be real. None of this was even supposed to be academic to begin with.

Jesus came to introduce us to our real loving Father. Instead of relating to our Father & receiving His love many of us seek to have all of our intellectual questions satisfied. Let me tell you I didn't set up a classroom in the hospital when my daughter was born to teach her everything I know. Why should you expect the same from God when you're reborn? A baby needs to understand trust, love, & security before anything else. Why would it be different between you & God? And when do our needs for trust, love, & security leave our lives?

We want God to be Quiz Master G the host of The American Bible Challenge on GSN & give us all the answers regarding what the bible says & means. A good father wants to be with & enjoy His children & he will teach them as their lives go on.

How most of Christianity teaches a "relationship with God our Father" boils down to learning the bible & trying to act perfect. Thus No Real God Interaction is Necessary. So all this self-righteous intellectual bull crap that church teaching squeezes us into leaves us living as abused orphans so traumatized that we're always getting into fights with one another regarding who is right about the facts regarding our daddy who is nowhere around. Feeling smarter & morally superior to others is our replacement drug for actually knowing our real Father with our bible knowledge & bible obedience being how we take the dosages.

I've heard several Christian authors admit that their "belief in God" or the reason they "follow Jesus" is because the bible has the most logically viable worldview or that Jesus had the most loving ideals or moral code. There is nothing spiritual or personal there.

This Spiritless religion that is out there is based on "Make Believe" in 3 different ways.
1. It is false, it is made up, not true.
2. It requires us to imagine its descriptions of God such as viewing our feelings of guilt & shame as "the Holy Spirit's conviction" or viewing our sense of obligation to "biblical" teachings as "God's guidance."
3. Its main goal is for you to MAKE yourself believe & MAKE others believe. Often "believe" means nothing more than to mentally agree.

The image of God we've been sold has almost nothing spiritual or fatherly about Him yet those were the aspects Jesus emphasized. I hate that churches have turned so many head thinkers into orphan lawyers fighting about the book of their make believe father & heart thinkers into children that are manipulated into being convinced that their perfect father abuses them for not meeting his expectation of flawlessness.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wondering About How We Relate to God...

Here are 3 concepts I've dropped from my life since June:
1. Learning or contemplation about God = a relationship with God.
2. Reading about God = relating to God.
3. Enjoying ideas about God = intimacy with God.

I had great joy & peace when doing those 3 things but there is something inauthentic about them, something I can't stand.

You can enjoy a person by learning about them, thinking about them, reading about them or from them, & enjoying ideas about them, but it is not direct. It is not a relationship. You don't have to know them. The closest is reading something from them, particularly if it is to you.

God is in us & always with us so..
When we learn about Him we can be learning from Him if we're learning truth.
When we enjoy thinking about Him it is sorta like talking to Him. Though I can attest that there is a big difference in thinking about God & directly thinking to (talking to) God.
You can take things in scripture as written TO you but that can get muddy fast. Obviously IF it is written to you in the bible it is to you in a universal sense, ie God loves all His children. There is nothing personal personal. Only the Spirit can introduce such a thing.

So a relationship with God can easily be imaginary for these reasons.
You can use the bible &/or facts/truth/ideas about God as a replacement for knowing God personally.
You can think about God without talking to God.
God is integrated with our spirits so the manner in which He relates to us is deeper, more frequent, & more complex than that of how we relate to other people. Because of this & God's invisibility/inaudibility we usually end up imagining a god who fits into our ideas about God. We try to create a relationship on our terms & thus end up with an imaginary friend with the real God breaking through to us whenever He can manage to. God sometimes breaking through & our imaginations about Him tend to be enough for us to minimally satisfy our qualifications for a relationship with God.

So to some degree, as far as I can figure, a "relationship" with God is like a relationship with ourselves. He is one with us, there for all of our thoughts, feelings, & experiences. While God is a person, "God is love" describes Him even better. "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us" (1 John 4:12). God is the giver of & a participator in every bit of love & joy & peace we ever experience.

It is Jesus the light who shines into our hearts allowing us to recognize God as the giver of all good things. But we have the option of closing our eyes. God won't open your eyes for you. And the complexity of what these figurative eyes are is staggering. God is the power of love & you have to let love. But love is patient & does not demand its own way thus you can't rush God's love or force it to come to you in a certain way. Learning to relate to God is personal & while there are necessary similarities our Father relates to His children differently. But that is when you get to the other side of the circle again. If He is different with all of us then we can easily justify our imaginations of Him. Having previously lived in confinement, shame, & fear thinking it was God's will & way for many years & seeing so many still do it I can easily say that you can imagine 99% of your god & never think once about that being a possibility.

Thus some say you have to have the bible tell you who God is. But twisting of the scripture is how most people end up knowing nothing about who God is. And the bible never claims that it will help you know God. Jesus said the Spirit would lead us into all truth & Jesus never once commanded or even promoted the reading of the scriptures.

Where does this all leave us then? As Jesus said, we become like the wind, blowing wherever we want to, being heard by those around us but never being pinned down. People cannot tell exactly where we've been & even we ourselves cannot tell where we are going. The wind concept Jesus taught is as far from the curriculum based, goal making, oath taking, charted out Christianity we've always known. Typical Christians are taught to have predictable routines that turn "relating" to God into a religious practice of "pray at this time & study this much." These hallowed practices are hallowable. They require no actual God or sense of reality, just a belief in a god & a perception of reality. Yet the wind is different every single day. So I guess this isn't something to "figure out."

Jesus essentially says, "You're free to do whatever you want, even lock yourself up, but staying free removes predictability. Staying free means the Spirit teaches you all things with limited use of men & books. Our Father is not hiding or pushing a grand goal. Yeah you'll learn to be loved & to love but this isn't about the learning, it is about the loving. If learning to feel my love & learning to give my love is your goal then you're missing the love altogether. You're trying to become something more when you are already everything to me. Our Father just wants to love His kids. That's not complicated, so don't complicate it. We're together, let's BE together. It's love. Love's free.. & so are you."