sent in by Sharon
Loving greetings to all Christians and all others.
I offer a challenge to all Christians. This is not a new concept, it is in fact commanded in the Bible. Yet so few self proclaimed Christians ever do it that this fact tells a glaringly simple story all of it's own.
Show your love for your God and your maker. READ THE BIBLE! Yes, I hear you saying "I read my Bible every day!"
I mean read the WHOLE Bible. Cover to cover. I used to find it amazing that every self proclaimed Christian that I have ever known claims that he/she loves God, even that he/she KNOWS God and hasnt bothered even to read the entire body of what He supposedly gave to us his beloved children as his word in the Holy Bible.
Even on a human scale we are well aware that if we received a letter from the one person we love most in the world we would want to read the whole thing. Every last word! That we would be blatantly hipocritical if we read only portions of it and steadfastly proclaimed that every word of it was true.
To read anything less that the entire Bible, every last bit of your God's Holy words glaringly displays the truth of your own love for your God.
Oh, I have heard from more than a few Christians that they got to the 5th book or got stuck on all the "begats" or somehow feel that that part of the book doesnt pertain to them. "But I'm not Jewish. We dont believe that eating rabbit is a sin."
I have heard: "I just dont have the time." Surely if one has devoted their life to loving the Lord their God with all their heart, and with all their soul and with all their mind.....they could find the time somewhere in between praying and preaching to the non beleievers!
I understand. It's okay. Youre afraid. Afraid to read the entire thing. You might find something you cant reconcile with your own brliefs. One extra inconsistemcy, one extra vile act which might put you on the road to losing your faith.
Which is sure to send you to hell in a handcart for not believing in a God whose existence you cannot prove even to yourself. If you were to lose that belief the Bible IS quite clear that you will spend forever in eteral agony.
But should you fail to even take the trouble to read everything your God said to you...you have failed in one of God's commandments.
So go ahead, put your faith in God and do as he has told you to. After all, you were created to be obedient and subservient to him were you not? I dont believe that, but you do.
If youre afraid, and I know you are, that's okay. I do understand. But you must already know that fear is not love. That you cant love something and be afraid of it. Even God. And you are pretty darn sure that if you dont LOVE God that you arent guaranteed a place in forever heaven.
You may one day feel somewhat squeamish at reading how God commanded his prophets and kings to kill other tribes in battle, to the last man, woman and child, apart from the unmarried women whom they could keep for themselves. Giving always a portion of them as sacrifices back to Him.
You might wonder how many were allowed, even commanded to have multiple wives and not suffer eternal dammnation. You may be repulsed at God commanding his armies to even hamstring horses. What sin, you might wonder could they have commited against God to receive such treatment.
The thinking part of you might wonder how these could possibly be the actions of a loving God at all?
You might realize that if the story of Adam and Eve being the parents to all humanity were true that we must be the most inbred bunch of misfits. That even the lowliest pond scum has a stronger gene pool than we do.
And as you love your neighbor as yourself according to God's commandment, you might find yourself identifying with those poor Egyptian firstborns, some of whom must have even been infants who could not have a concept of your God much less the ability to sin. Infants who must, as written in the Holy Bible be consigned to hell forever merely because they did not have the ability to believe in such an abstract concept as an unconditionally loving God who is jealous, spiteful and just all at once. And who, although being Omnipotent and perfect needs your devotion anyway.
A part of you might even be hoping to find a part of God's word that says children dont go to hell. Read on, you wont find it. If you God wanted you to know that he would have mentioned it, rather than let individuals and churches dictate to God that this would be the way it is.
You might also wonder, or even tremble in fear at such anger that this God must have experienced as he, in 40 days and nights killed every living thing that he had created save for the inhabitants of Noah's ark. You might ask yourself if this could possible be this loving Father who wants only to save you from eternal dammnation. And you might wonder how perfect he could be if he gets angry at his own toys.
Christians of this age are all full of the concept that God gave us free will. That we can, if nothing else choose between an eternity spent in heaven with Him or an eternity in torment. But oh, my dear fellow beings; one day you might be reminded of the 30,000 or so children who die each day. And wonder where their free will might be, how they could get to choose something they cant comprehend, and likely havent even heard of. Wonder how well this eternally loving God is providing for them.
If you get a little confused about how you can follow the commandments; "Thou shalt not kill" AND "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live".
Or how you can follow the commandment to "Love they neighbor as thyself" AND kill any family member or friend who might invite that you worship another God.
You might also wonder how you can reconcile "Honor thy father and mother" with Jesus's words; "Unless a man give away all he has and hate his father and mother(and any other family members) he cannot be my disciple"
If you have the heart to read the entire Bible and still remain a Bible believing Christian then your faith is stronger than your common sense, which by the way God must have given you as well.
You might even insist that I am taking words out of context. How do YOU know what is to be taken literally and what is to be taken figuratively? Did God explain it to you while failing it to mention it to all the other Christians who choose which beliefs from the Bible they will follow and which not? Or are you relying on what other Christians, born sinners all of them, have told you which parts of the Bible are true and which are not?
If however you have managed to read the entire Bible while using your common sense you would have to logically agree that even beyond all the inconsistencies of:
who was Josephs father, why it was important to mention anyway,
how did God manage to kill the Egyptians horses twice, (Or did they manage to ressurect and it just didnt get mentioned)
what exactly did happen when Jesus was ressurected and hundreds of other glaring opposites, vulgarities and antrocities, you would have to make one of a number of conclusions:
1. I didnt understand the book.
2. It makes no sense in it's entirety.
or 3. There is more to understand.
If #3 was your conclusion you just might find yourself asking more questions. Wanting to read more on the subject, looking for historical books or information on other religions much older than Christianity. I heartlily encourage you to do so. There is nothing so tantalizing as a good mystery. You will find many wonderful jewels of understanding as you proceed.
Without the premise that God is omnipotent there could be no Christian religion. So what then is omnipotence? Of course you understand that. It is the property of having all the power. ALL the power. Right? Just so we can be on the same page, I will repeat it. ALL THE POWER.
Which means of course that no one, nothing outside of you has any power whatsoever. Keep in mind of course that even the tiniest atom, even the shortest ray of light has power. God's Omnipotence means that everything, EVERYTHING not only belongs to God, but IS God. There is nothing outside of God.
Everything that was created was made by God, and since there is no power outside of God, it must have been made out of the Allness of God. Either you accept that God is All, or you define him as a lesser God than an Omnipotent God, You must relegate your Christian God to the vengeful malicious tyrant who had to kill his own son....that is, himself, in order to appease his own anger at his own creation. If the thought of this timeless God killing himself, even temporarily makes your head spin.....welcome to the mystery.
In the understanding of omnipotence God can have no enemies. Everything is made of God, including the devil, including evil. There can be only God. So we must also be God. Not seperate from God, not mini Gods but God----being humans. Being trees, frogs, breath, ideas, everything. God playing all the parts. With God all things are possible.
Consider that we are not human things but human beings; Humans BEing.....Being human. That we are timeless and perfect. That we are, that God is BEing human for this space of a human lifetime which each of us experince, merely for the fun of it. For the experience. As we as God express ourselves for the pure bliss of creative expression and play.
Consider that a timeless unconditionally loving God who punishes himself for all of eternity cannot be omnipotent and that perhaps we as God wrote the Bible, the Rig Veda, the Popul Vuh and countless other "holy" books through history, full of archetypal characters, mysteries and seeming contradictions to help us wake from the seeming dream of human seperateness to our true nature. Or as a guidebook for this particular game of humans BEing. Or perhaps merely for the play of it. We have nothing to loose and as God we will never run out of time.
It' a great game! A great mystery! Oh, how we tie ourselves in knots of human agony! Towers of human joy, compassion and creativity! Ever creating new versions of our human society! Building new truths and concepts as we go.
What is the real and total truth? Who can know?
But if you as a Christian DO read the entire Bible with your own mind, free of guilt or fear you may well lose your love of this big parent guy in the sky who created evil and not only punishes his own creations forever for choosing his own creations but must kill himself in order to appease his own anger.
Seek God if you wish. You may accept that the Bible says that God made man in his own image.....Just breathe, feel the vastness of forever, the deep peace of unconditional love as it rests deep within your heart. You need no parent to command or punish you for you are already perfect.
I leave you with a portion of a lovely whimsical poem.
The stars in their courses have no destination The train of events will arrive at no station.
The inmost and utmost Self of us all
Is dancing on nothing and having a ball.
In Unconditional love.....God
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)