Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Perfect God

(from a conversation with rsjm)
There's probably no way to express my thoughts on sin without offending, so I'm sorry in advance.

A perfect god doesn't need sin. Nor does god need worship or sacrifice or dietary laws any of those other things humans do to try and show god (and themselves) that they believe.

What most people think of as sins, are either just rules made by priests and leaders as ways to keep the population in line, making them think the way the people in power want them to, or rules we make for ourselves so we feel we're in step with 'God's Will'. Even the Ten Commandments boil down to the concept "play nice". It's a simple truth. Play nice.

Why would a perfect god care if you wear your hair long, or eat meat on Friday or not, or if you've ever been married before? Why would god care about my sex life? These things are so far beneath god. A perfect god takes us one on one, yet sees us as part of the whole. A perfect god has no need to judge or punish, because those things are human concepts. A perfect god sees and measures us in ways we can't possibly imagine. And a perfect god can reach into us, reguardless of what we believe.

I think what we, as humans, can do, is find that spark of the perfect god inside of us. Each of us will find it in different ways. R's found it in Christianity, and it's good for him. Even an internet bystander like me can see that joy and strength it brings to his life. He's reached the spark. And there are places you can go, churches, mosques, forest shrines, rivers, where you can feel the tangible warmth of that spark, even if it's not a place of faith for you.

I feel it is wrongwrongwrong to follow a religious path that brings you no joy, and doesn't cause that upwelling of spirit. If following your path's steps doesn't make you feel closer to god, on a personal level, then you need to re-examine your path.

Father Greeley talks about it in his books (from a Catholic perspective) as a "passionate love affair with God". If you're not feeling that, you've not found god.

When I touch that spark it is the most powerful, amazing, all encompassing sence of warmth, peace and perfection you can possibly imagine. My heart and soul knows I've touched eternity. I know, and I believe with my whole being in that spark, I'm just still learning how I want to express my connection to that spark in an outward way.


rsjm said...

Interesting your opinion...given your there a "heaven", or equivalent, and if so, do all people go there?

Haph said...

Let's see...

Your ideas are strictly opinion based. They hold no water once you apply them to the Holy Bible.

I encourage you to read the bible all the way through sometime.

Sin exists because it is the opposite of holy. If there was no sin, then there could be no holy. Everything would fall apart and there would no longer be a human idea of God.

Laws are created because it's the only way to keep us in line, if we had no knowledge of what was sin and what was not, we would choose the wrong path automatically. Sin is inherent in mankind.

Seriously, I can't even begin to debunk everything that you've said. You really need to re-evaluate the bible, not "figure it all out" using your mind.

Everyone has their own opinions on what God should be like, and when we hit death we're going to have to face the music.

EleriCooks said...

My own personal thought is that we all return to the source of the spark, but I can't begin to comprehend how that'll manifest.

This'll just have to be an area where we agree to disagree. For me, the Bible is a historical text, and a spiritual tool, just like the Koran, or the Vedas. I do believe that many parts of all those texts were written by people that have reached what we call god, and there are writings about people who touched that devine spark, but that there's been thousands of years for those texts to be edited and translated and retold and mussed with.
And just so you husband took religious studies in college, and I was raised Catholic, and was a Methodist as a young adult. So I'm not without some background. You should hear some of the discussions we get into around here! :)

Haph said...

Just a few more posts before I tell you who I am ;)

There is a scripture (I'll find it for you) which says that anyone who tampers with the bible to change it's meaning will go to hell. As in, not pass "go" don't collect your 200, straight to hell.

Not to mention other scriptural refrences that say that the bible remains a constant and has not been changed.

And I've grown up Baptist and later Foursquare Christian. I'm also planning to go to a discipleship training nextish year.

EleriCooks said...

But even Biblical scholars agree that the work has been changed over the millenia. Yeah, it may *say* not to mess with it, but it has been.

Haph said...

To what extent and who are these bible scholars?

VAXJedi said...

Haph: The issue here is that we have a difference of underlying principles. With mutually exclusive assumptions, you have to agree to disagree.

For example, the authority of the Holy Bible is an axiom for you, it seems. And for myself (and Eleri I'd wager) it simply isn't.

Also, the concept of Original Sin is an axiom - it is the assumption that we require the Law to manifest any sort of good because of our inherent inperfection and 'sinfulness'. Once again, that is something I would disagree with.

Eleri posits that our individual relationship with God is most important, not the doctrine of the Holy Writ. In that framework, personal opinion holds quite a bit of water because the relationship is personal. Which is, ironically, similar to the basic premise of Reformation, that the Divine Revelation does not require the intervening agent of the Church.

As for the variable authorship of the Bible and the biblical scholars, try starting here:
There is actually a rather extensive body of work on biblical authorship.

Haph said...

I agree whole heartedly on the statement of needing a personal relationship with God rather than a personal one with the church.

However I also believe whole heartedly in the bible, and the bible says to go through the word to get to him and that's what I am doing.

I'll agree to disagree, I'm just trying to explain that one can't go around making assumptions about God before they read about him through the one book that has remained a constant, and is directly about him.

EleriCooks said...

You yourself seem to be making the assumption that I'm unfamiliar with, and haven't read thoroughly, the Bible.

I have, both as a believer and a skeptic, and I found it to be a very interesting historical document, with insight into the beliefs and growth of Judaism and Christianity.

I DO believe that it's a valuable spiritual tool for anyone, and that it is possible to live ones life based on what's in there. But I'm also completely squicked by the idea of taking it as the be-all and end all of God's word. For me, it would be like handing over my right to think for myself, and never question, never explore, never challenge.

Vax posted a link to the Document Hypothoses, which discusses the authorship of the Books of Moses, I'll add this site:

Its a nicely layed out site for Biblical scholars.

is a well written essay from the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, on the different literary elements in the Bible.

is an article from Bible Review on the difference between what scholars have learned, and what it usually preached.

You'll also want to check out websites about "The Synoptic Problem", which discuss the similarities in the books of Matther, Mark and Luke.

Please believe that my intent in giving you these links is not to question or belittle your faith. It is, however, to show that someone can accept the Bible at face value, undertand its historical orgins as a work of man, and still be devout and faithful.

Haph said...

I understand, I bookmarked the links and I'll drop the subject.

The only thing that startled me is that a few of the opinions about God that you posted seemed a bit bold.

now... are you ready to see who this person is that has been posting?!

-M'buhir, as if you didn't already know! :)
Just testin' your faith Eleri ;) No offense or belittling intended, just trying to see where you get your sources of info.

EleriCooks said...

"I think I'm gonna have a heart attack and die from not surprise!"

*grin* Never stop learning and exploring, M'buhirling, it's what makes us human :)

rsjm said...

Eleri - you seem to know things that a perfect god doesn't need (for example sin and worship).

So, you have an idea of a perfect god. Since you do, what does this god require to go to heaven? Anything?