Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 04:58:57 AM EST
"Now, if you are fine with reducing your deity of choice to a purely personal and subjective experience that does not necessarily have any more applicability to my life than my love has to your life, then I have no particular quarrel with your god. But if you make arguments that rely on your god as their premise, then I will feel free to point out that those arguments are inapplicable to anybody who happens to not agree with your personal, subjective faith." (JakeS in reply to Lynch)
Negative experiences with The Church have made of some, private believers in their personal God. But the question remains: Is God more than ones personal goblin? If yes, say something!
This is a fast-forward of my view of the God-reality.
To begin with, I don't argue about Creation versus Evolution. The debate is outright silly since `Creationists' cannot scientifically argue their point, and Big-Bang-Darwinists will never come up with an explanation for intelligence or love. It is not possible to have a rational argument about fuzzy `facts'.
I have come to accept the limits to my rational understanding of the world. When we become aware of this limitation, everything becomes possible.
Where do we come from? Scientists begin explaining the world with prehistoric archaeology. There's no spiritual depth in their findings. I got to the Book of Enoch which is not included in our Bible, except for the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible that includes this book. It contains fantastic tales about heavenly beings getting married to humans, and the descriptions are not far off the Greek's old myths.
There's a free online version available here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe004.htm
The introduction begins like this, "The Book of Enoch, written during the second century B.C.E., is one of the most important non-canonical apocryphal works, and probably had huge influence on early Christian, particularly Gnostic, beliefs. Filled with hallucinatory visions of heaven and hell, angels and devils, Enoch introduced concepts such as fallen angels, the appearance of a Messiah, Resurrection, a Final Judgement, and a Heavenly Kingdom on Earth. Interspersed with this material are quasi-scientific digressions on calendrical systems, geography, cosmology, astronomy, and meteorology."
So, there's a text that speaks of weirder things than alchemy. It gave me a sense that, maybe, the world hasn't always been the way we know it now. Maybe it was different before the deluge whenever that was and however it happened. Amazing that this old book already introduces the concept of a Messiah, a Heavenly Kingdom while also `explaining' evil!
Then comes the Bible itself, Creation, Paradise and Paradise lost. Paradise lost means that we're no longer together with God. It means pain, suffering and death. And people don't manage to be nice with one another. It brings the great deluge but not the end... God has a special connection with his Chosen People and they're given the Ten Commandments. With Jesus Christ, everyone's chosen but since we've left Paradise, Jews and Gentiles are free to choose. Will they walk on their own or seek God? The Bible describes a `fallen' people in dire need of God. It describes the relationship between man and God, both ways. And since Jesus Christ, we're all given clear hands-on as to how to find our way back into oneness with God.
This is the era we're living in now. Churches are but crutches to help our faith. Communion with other believers is all that `church' needs. I have experienced a great variety of Christian churches which has sharpened my sense of what is essential and what is not. But I don't feel bothered by what I don't consider to be essential but what is mostly essential to people's culture and tradition.
Now, there are others who also claim that they have found the Truth, and the Hindu or the Buddhist or the Muslim will also experience God and spiritual reality. Their experiences are real, though we can also spiritually experience what is not from God. Jesus saying, "I am the way", means that, well, HE IS the way. It does not say that following him would be the only way to have a transcendental experience and it doesn't put me in a position that allows me to judge the faith of others. "I am the way", means that He contains All Truth. He's the ultimate reality that explains the world. I know that I don't have to force-feed truth to anybody because it simply is. I feel no inclination to judge someone who will say that the mere idea of a spiritual reality of any value would be hogwash or that we're living in an emerging world. I believe that these views are a (fatal) illusion, not reality. The reality that I'm speaking of is not of my making and not just my own imagined ideal world.
I believe that we're called to seek the Truth = God. Truth reveals itself to the believer now and it will be revealed to everyone at the end of times, as promised.