If you come from primarily Christian, Jewish or Islamic backgrounds, God is an all powerful being. He is “omni” everything and predominantly masculine, especially in Christian and Islamic beliefs. Other religions are a little more generous with their idea of God and many have a whole heap of them.
Then there are those who prescribe to a less humanised type of God, who see God as a power that exists in everything. Some see God as nothing more than the power of love. Others see God as consciousness. In fact there are so many definitions of God that when we say “I believe in God” we could really mean anything!
Most traditional views, especially in the big 3, offer an anthropomorphic view of God as a single Deity who has complete control over everything. Others prefer something along the lines of Hinduism, where God’s are still anthropomorphic but there are millions of them, representing every aspect of life through metaphor and allegory.
I’ve found that when I talk to people as an “ex-Christian” they assume I no longer believe in God. They assume that there is only one type of God – their God. The same for all other major religions.
So when we enter into discussions, even outside of the traditional Christian/Abrahamic beliefs, we must remember that we all see a different God/gods. An atheist will scorn your belief in any god, but most assume you are talking about a type of Abrahamic God.
Many people who leave traditional religions recognise that there is the possibility of a power/force/whatever that is beyond our understanding. This relates to ideas such as:
We are all part of God
We are all gods
God is pure love
God is the innate consciousness of the universe
God is nature
And countless other variations on the theme
The thing is, no one is right OR wrong. We simply don’t know.
However! We owe it to ourselves, and the entire human race, to consider what our particular God is really good for.
Does our God:
Contribute to a better world, promoting peace, love and tolerance?
Teach us to accept others unconditionally?
Help us tend for the planet in all it’s beauty and bounty?
Give us real empathy for all people?
Fight for injustice and abuse without an agenda? and so on…
When I was a Christian I would have answered yes to all the above, but with the overall condition that Jesus must be at the centre of it all and you had to accept him as Lord and saviour. Only then could you truly love. I know many Christians (and Muslims and Jews etc) who genuinely don’t have an agenda, but the majority do. The genuinely loving ones hold a different foundational belief in the nature of God, often far more “mystical” – seeing the bible as metaphors, and doctrines as less important than inclusive love. This is also true of the other religions.
In summary, it comes down to what God have we created in our own minds? How have we shaped our beliefs to encompass something that includes all humanity in a way that brings unconditional love to all? We can’t simply say “there is no god”, because we don’t know. We can’t prove one way or the other. But we can look for beliefs that on the one hand, satisfy our need for love, acceptance and security, and on the other, are rational and not elitist/exclusive dogmatic systems.
If genuine, unbiased love is the “fruit” then go for it. Just don’t pretend that YOUR god is THE god.
http://www.itslifejim.pub/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/website-cloud-banner-300x37.jpg00itslifejimhttp://www.itslifejim.pub/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/website-cloud-banner-300x37.jpgitslifejim2018-02-01 03:35:212018-02-01 03:35:21What is God?