I Don’t Believe Either

You don’t believe in God?

Funny, I probably don’t believe either.

You don’t believe in God because…

There’s exclusion, there’s rejection, there’s oppression, regression, hate, wars, blood, tears….

Because of THAT god.

Yea, I don’t believe either.

I don’t believe in THAT god.

A God who is progressive, open, loving, accepting, liberating, inclusive, peaceful…

That God… That’s the God I believe in.

Our youth group recently talked about the first few of the 10 Commandments found in Exodus chapter 20 and in those we talked about not using the Lord’s name “in vain.” Most of the teaching I have ever heard on this was “hey, don’t curse using God’s name” but there’s so much more meaning to these words.

First, these commandments were never meant to be a list of rules to follow so you can die and go to heaven. These things were given to paint a picture of what life would look like living in the freedom of what God designed. So that the ideal life God had in mind, would be lived out here among the people.  (Kingdom of God, here and now…for you church people) It’s about how to have a great relationship with God and other people. I think we can all agree that having healthy relationships with God and other people would be a good thing. But, for now, back to this “name in vain” thing.

The reality of this phrase is that using the name of God in a context that does not represent who God is, does not lend itself to this ideal life that God had in mind. Attributing things to God that do not represent who God is… Using the “God told me” line when it’s really just your selfish, self-righteous, arrogant, or lack of thought that’s coming to the surface…

That’s using the name of God, “in vain”

So the god who is exclusive, rejecting, oppressive, regressive, causes hate, wars, blood, tears…

is not the God who is

With us

For us

Among us

Who has plans for us to prosper (which doesn’t mean material wealth)

THAT god is not the God who heals the sick, welcomes women and children, liberates people from oppression, stands up for the outcast and burdened, brings people to love and peace…

God is constantly pushing people to a greater awareness of who they are and who we are as creation. God is constantly bringing us to a greater understanding of who God is. As we read through the Old Testament and into the New Testament, we find humans who have progressed in their understanding of God.

So, you don’t want to believe or talk about God because of the baggage and pain that is associated with that word, God?

Then don’t accept things as they are.

Start talking about God and believing in a God who is different and

Change

The

World

*

Peace

**Join the conversation in the comments below or by sharing this post**

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7 thoughts on “I Don’t Believe Either

  1. ..i can’t “be still” long enough to meditate in the sense you probably mean, but i do make a conscious effort to say thanks when i think that something good has happened. one of my most habitual failures is profanity. later, after calming down, i usually make a conscious effort to “mini-meditate” on the event. after doing so, i usually find that i actually caused the event that caused me to lose my cool. i also think about the nature of “good and evil” quite often, both in and out of church. that’s about the extent of my meditation.

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  2. ..yes, it is my belief that every birth and every death are part of God’s plan. could be for all those reasons except retribution. i can’t process how an all powerful God would stoop to the human-like need for retribution. not so sure about ending a life early before heartache either.

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    1. Totally agree with your thoughts on retribution! I would say give some serious thought to how each of these reasons, or other reasons, affects your concept/view of God. What does it say about the God we worship that would take a human life, or allow it to be taken, for….
      Also, what’s would you say is the proper way to view it? God took the life or allowed the life to be taken? This gives us an idea of our thoughts on the opposite side. Whether that be evil, satan, lack of God, or the human condition. This is what I will be exploring next.

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      1. ..more on the nature of God: i seriously question whether, as with retribution, God cares one way or another if we “worship” him. does he have an ego? except in the sense that he “gifts” some of us the illusion that worshiping him will give us some semblance of control over the forces that effect our lives, and that is fine, but i think he doesn’t care. he didn’t give me that illusion, so respect is my preference to ritual worship. since he already knows everything about me, he’s aware of that respect without the necessity of ritual. everything that happens does so because of un-countable actions and reactions, hidden from us but intimately known by God. we only can deal with our limited sphere of knowledge. so, when something horrible happens to us or a loved one, or even a stranger, we can’t get past the small picture. we only know “good” and “evil” as they effect us personally. to me, “satan” is another illusion. clarity is my goal, critique is welcomed. thanks for caring.

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      2. There’s a lot here and I hope to get to these in more detail in the future. I would agree that God does not have an ego and that, in the way you describe worship, God doesn’t care. God even condemns it. Western culture has tainted the view of worship and prayer. Here’s my opinion on it. If we were created in the image of God, it has to do with our desire for relationship. We date, marry, and maintain those relationships by being together and sharing with one another in life. I believe this is what God is after, simply sharing. Yes my wife knows that I love her but she still likes to hear it. I know that I am loved and cherished by the God that created me, but I still like to take time to feel connected and usually, that’s not at a church building. Private meditation is where that happens. The Old Testament gives us the earliest glimpses of God wanting to dwell with us and humans getting the wrong understanding of what that means. But humans are evolving in our understanding of God and what it looks like to be in relationship. The respect you speak of is paramount. Modern ritual worship and prayer is an illusion. However, I believe in some act of worship that indicates the mutual desire to be in relationship. Prayer should be about revealing your heart and putting words to your feelings. I think you have seen me write about that before. It’s not about stroking a cosmic ego but allowing yourself to be vulnerable and acknowledging your humanity. It’s certainly no way of controlling things. Seeing good, evil, right, wrong, etc is dualistic thinking that I’ll tackle later but I think you’re on to something there. The personification of evil has become a crutch for the church to stand on.

        Welcome to my non-traditional self.

        Thanks for acknowledging that I care and you’re welcome. I care deeply.

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    1. Nothing happens that is not God’s will.

      I’m purely probing here.

      So the murder of a human is God’s will.

      For what purposes would that be? What would be the reasons? Retribution? Balance? Ending a life early before heartache? Population control?

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