Can the church explain the “Will of God”? How does that work?
I’ll agree with “Junk” there also…
Can the church explain the “Will of God”? How does that work?
I’ll agree with “Junk” there also…
Long winded but my experiences may have value to you.
I’m 38 and was born into an evangelical household… in NYC. I even went so far as to go to seminary though I did not follow through. My falling from faith, surprisingly had little to do with science, logic and reason but everything to do with the question you’re asking. Observable reality has been in conflict with strict interpretations of the Bible, especially the Old Testament for at a minimum hundreds of years if not millennia. I’m fine with God existing, doing whatever he did, cause, it’s God and it would seem logical that the imperfect humans will continue to screw up the story, it would seem the “infallible text” itself indicates we’re always doomed to do so. I don’t see the New Testament claiming perfection in man in the physical now, so, how could we be the sole guardians of infallibility? It’s this understanding that’s always allowed me to get along with organizations run by Dawkins as I’m not in disagreement with any of his big picture arguments. A bit of a digression, but I think is important considering I think this speaks to the cognitive dissonance you’re having a problem with in terms of practicing what is being preached.
What kept me around was the underlying message of Christianity and even Judaism (they would just word it differently) which is that God is a God of love and mercy and that we should receive that love and redirect it towards our fellow man (don’t read into the pronouns). Give forgiveness for those who have wronged you who and in turn seek forgiveness in humility for those who have wronged you (like Yom Kippur, but every day.)
Around 2008 the political positions being held by “my people” if one could generalize, reached fever pitch and I could no longer associate myself with either them or my then political party. Up until then I could point to actual concrete things like Medicare Part-D that “my people” and “my party” could admit when their philosophy of pure capitalism fails and needs a guard rail. AKA the last manifestation of “compassionate conservatism.” The clincher was believe it or not, Sarah Palin. Whether or not she held any worldviews that I also held she was clearly unqualified for the position but yet received popular support from “my people.” It was clear then that the common ground of spreading love was dead as “my people” were no longer honest brokers. We sacrificed everything for a few wedge issues, most notably abortion.
That wedge issue needs to go away and it’s sorely outdated. First off, abortion is a question of bioethics and not a religious one. The Bible’s only mention of abortion is in Jewish law in the Old Testament, you know the law that would kill you if you got a tattoo and the penalty there was less than a murderer. It would then be illogical to assume that God would and does treat abortion on that same level. Second off, in the past decade abortion as a means of birth control has taken a nose dive, by liberal efforts.
And that’s the thing I wish I could get the American Christian community-at large, not just evangelicalism could wrap their head around. Liberals don’t want abortion, they want the least amount of abortions as possible. If instead of trying to usurp the will of the majority through manipulation of the courts, Christians focused on caring and providing for pregnant women and ignored the abortion issue, we would have less abortions and healthier families in this country and less emotionally damaged women. Wins all around and you didn’t even have to sacrifice your own personal ethics.
In a vacuum abortion would be considered medically unethical but we don’t live in a vacuum and Christians need to take seriously the oath medical doctors take, because they take it seriously and have dedicated their lives to it. You can meet these people where they’re at and find common ground if you’re meeting mutually in love and understanding. That’s a biblical and secular proclamation we can all agree on.
So my advice would be to tackle each one of those wedge issues and gain nuance and perspective. It’s not an easy journey and it’s not easy to give up the core of what you believe, it would seem we’re wired against it. Try and keep your anxiety level down and speak to people who don’t believe in what you believe, like maybe a Unitarian. Getting an outsiders perspective, even if they don’t believe in things like the deity of Christ as you do can help.
I personally find the generalized American version of Christianity in most forms to be completely incompatible with progressive politics but I would also say it has literal nothing to do with Jesus, whether or not he existed and what he believed and is now instead tied completely to mob mentality, ignorance and tribalism. Sorry to bear that opinion, but I’m still alive and had a pretty rough go of it myself over life’s lessons and being un-brainwashed.
Edit: Ugh, I lost what I was responding to, whatever, hopefully my long winded experience contributes to something lol.
All reasoning humans are welcome to CFI…
Thanks for dropping in on us.
Hope to read more from you.
My God. I would have to say that I choose to go with the oldest god. The term god meant “knowledge”. So, you could say it was a religion of science. As Jesus said in his gnostic religion. God is in all of us. When they put the NT religion together they hinted around at this.
Psalm 82, You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57:1-4 The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us share in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.
This is how I would logically like to answer your question. “So your God sits outside of nature and stirs the pot?”
I would like to get it into the correct timeline. So your teacher of knowledge sits outside of nature and stirs the pot?
Now go to the next step. So your teacher of knowledge teaches you that when mankind choose the domestication pathway that life on earth would some day be driven by domestication and not nature.
Point being. Yes, knowledge is part of domestication and not nature. The sad part is that people can spend a lifetime chasing false knowledge. Such as deities and ideas that don’t past the tests of logic. Knowledge by itself is useless. Wisdom is the skill to use knowledge.
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
Does that sound like nature to you?
As far as you comment. I hope that I was able to demonstrate that people view God differently than we do today in America. Just replace “God” with the term “Knowledge”. …universal moral law founded on nature, reason, or the will of God. Will of “Knowledge” would be closer to the understand at the time of the Great Awakening when this was written. Written by deists that reason could find evidence of God in nature and that God had created the world and then left it to operate under the natural laws devised by God. You see “the will of God” fits right in. Written by deists, which I believe was politically correct name for atheists at the time. The goal behind the writing was in fighting the Church and its teachings and this movement ended up starting the dechristianization of France. That killed hundreds and exiled 30,000 priests.
That said, yes, you are correct.
Edit: Crap, that’s the second time I responded to a much earlier post and thought it was the last post, ignore me.
If you hit the reply arrow on a post, it shows which one you are responding to, I did it for this post. If you select text, you get an option to quote it and start your post.
Hmm, I guess I didn’t do it correctly above. But notice the icon in the upper right of this post
I highlight what I want to quote and then hit the Reply button. This is the result.
Hmmm, it didn’t show the quote and author. let me try this again.
Ahhh, highlight and hit Quote shows author
In response to the terrible way some conservative Christians treat homosexuals, I tried doing an LGBTQ+ positive reading of Christian origins in a blog post today. It’s pretty progressive. Check it out and let me know what you think! LGBTQ + Rights And The Birth Of Christianity
The best I know is by Steve Chalke’s Oasis. Converts from evangelicalism are always the best.
The history of liberation theology
Dorothy Day, she is far from perfect, but she can be called a christian progressive.
I am all in favor of a reference manual on “morality” , such as identification of
fundamental human “sins” and “virtues”, but religion is always founded on some invisible agent in the sky and that is just a primitive interpretation of a “logical” universe.
Can non-religion be progressive? Actually address not just the equality of all before the law which religion has more than failed to do, which non-religion has succeeded in doing, but in changing the deeper social injustice in the West, the laws which have created poverty?