Thursday, July 24, 2008

God as Perfect Love, and the Bible


The Bible is a collection of sixty-six small books that span many centuries. Its writers did not always know one another, and so, had some different ideas. For all human beings are unique, and each is a little different from all others. Just as the fingerprints, retinaprints, and bloodprofiles of each person are unique to that one, so are her thoughts and ideas.

I respect the fact that you are a "believer" in the Bible. I also use it almost every day, and have studied it for over thirty years.

But I know that people who are deeply religious often interpret natural events as the "actions of God." When you and I communicated recently about disease, remember, I said that they were usually simply the product of nature and behavior, and usually were not caused by either God or devil.

So, I believe that the story of Annanias, found in the book of Acts, and his wife, was a story of this kind. He suffered from a heart-attack, and died. The early Christians knew that he had tried to cheat, and so they superstitiously ascribed his death to God.

My God does not kill-- anyone,ever! For my God is Love plus nothing. The god of the Old Testament was always killing people. But this was the Jewish god, Yahweh or Jehovah. Since I am not a Jew, and certainly not an ancient Jew, I do not worship the Jewish god of ancient times.

If we trust that God is Love (and I do), then we can never be misled by the statements and interpretations of human beings. And while there are parts of the modern "Bible" that are inspired by God (Love), there are also parts that contain only human ideas. This is what Paul meant when he wrote, "This I say, and not the Lord..." This was a clear statement of what I have just said: Parts of the Bible reflect accurately the Mind of God, and parts contain human ideas about God or religion.

You already agree with part of this. For example, when one of the ancients committed a serious mistake ("sin"), Jehovah commanded, in the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament") to slaughter a bull as a sacrifice. This was a Jewish law, and appears in the Jewish Bible. But Christians do not follow this law even though it is commanded in the Bible!

Why not? Because they realize that some things said by the ancients about their god, Jehovah, do not apply to the Christian God, Who is Love. So, in reading even the Christian Scriptures ("New Testament"), we must use our God-given gifts of discernment, wisdom, and understanding. Just because someone (even a Bible-writer) says that something is from God, it does not mean that it was truly from God. If we are going to believe most fully in a God of purest Love, then we cannot accept the god of the Hebrews, who was constantly killing, committing murder, genocide, and much violence. I choose to believe in a God of purest, uncontaminated, undefiled Love. A God Who is Love cannot hate, and is never harsh towards his own children. For Love is a Fountain of infinite forgiveness; and no sin in the universe can ever be greater than God's Love (including perfect forgiveness).

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