Category Archives: When religion gets it wrong…

When God doesn’t make Sense

Once again, why is it bad things happen to good people?

Because suffering shows what we are really like–what we are made of–our characters. And character is simply the accumulation of many choices. How will I look at this situation? What perception will I choose?

And as previously mentioned, I believe, based on several instances in scripture, that Satan asks to test each of us. He knows where we are weak, our Achilles’ heal, our tragic flaw; and that is what he excoriates. He attacks us because we want to be with God, because we are His followers, and want to become authentic lovers. He wants to expose us as posers, phonies, pretenders. So I have imagined several of these counsels in heaven where he gets permission to test based on some “truth” he is presenting about us that makes us unfit to be used, unsafe to have around for eternity.

It’s been interesting and engaging, but if I thought Leviticus was difficult, it was easy compared to Numbers.

I understand there are rules of engagement in every war–the agreements to boundaries that are supposed to be adhered to, i.e. no attacks on civilians. What makes it difficult is that God takes responsibility for everything They allow, as well as what They decide and execute. So some of what looks like it’s coming from God isn’t Their ideas or actions; it’s just allowed. Sometimes it’s pretty clear. Other times, not. For instance, why 40 years in the wilderness?

I admit. I’m stumped. Ordinarily, I would say this is Satan’s engineering. And it could be, but it seems to be a theme that becomes the day for a year theory in prophecy after that. Would God go by something Satan demanded once? It seems unlikely. But as of yet, it doesn’t seem to make sense to me; and if you know me, God has to make sense: that is one of my tenants: Everything God does makes sense if you know Them and understand the big picture. That represents the revealed things, the actions in our world, the things we can understand–not the mystery that is beyond us. I’m good with that, but not good with being too lazy to try to understand.

But based on the first 5 episodes, even God’s strange acts make sense, if you think cosmically. That may not be a word yet, but I’m referring to thinking from a cosmic perspective. Knowing Him (Them) and knowing the people, I can’t figure out even from the big-picture, universal-war perspective,  why He would give them, in this situation, a year for a day. It doesn’t make any sense yet. So back to more time with God. I’ve been to this place several times, and He has always shown me something I’ve overlooked or didn’t understand. I’m sure Ruach will do it again!

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Filed under A God perspective, a perspective on evil, Love ed, Loved, Respect and disrespect, suffering, Uncategorized, What is God like?, When religion gets it wrong...

Got Laughter?

I have a new high: the joyful spontaneous laughter of a two-year old that roles up and out uncontrollably.

Yesterday, I was playing legos with him and his cousin. I made a truck that looked perfectly normal to me, and he thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen. His cousin (22 mo.) either agreed, or just got set off by him and they laughed till I was sure they would fall over. It was so funny I was in awe.

When the moment had passed I took my truck out to my daughter to see if my reality was that far off, and she didn’t see anything funny about it either.

Tonight he was in the bathtub and again that laughter got set off. I called him a silly goose and he thought that was hilarious and again that completely natural, unaffected, outrageous laughter rolled out of him. It was great. He loves to laugh, and once it gets going, it lasts a while.

I’ve been asking God for joy and humor (among other things) every morning. There it was in the eyes and voice of a two-year old.

It has made me think of one of my favorite hurmorists, who always said, “Laughter is a holy sound to God.”

Tim Hansel is dead now and I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful to hear someone died–because he was in so much pain. His body had been so broken up by two different accidents. And  still he continued to write and travel speaking before large and small audiences. I happened to be one of those privileged to hear him–a man so full of joy and humor it flowed out. Humor was certainly his gift, and one he used to cope with pain.

I remember hearing another man who cured himself by laughing. Norman Cousins came down with Collagens Disease in which your insides dissolve, to put it simply. He decided to use it as an opportunity to test a hunch of his–that laughter is healing. He did and it was. He got well and founded the Immunology Department at one of the California universities.

Humor and joy are not my gift; I’m made of much grittier stuff, but I love true stories like these because I love laughter and have always appreciated good humor. I love to laugh.

I love thinking of God laughing. I know all Three of Them have a great sense of humor–all you have to do is look at creation…especially baby anythings. And I love the fact that They never laugh at anyone’s expense, never make fun of anyone, never even shame anyone.

I’ve been spending lots of hours early in the a.m. just listening this vacation. And one of the things He told me is He never makes anyone do anything. I swung around that concept for a while. I knew it theoretically, but have never felt it before. Now that carries some awe! And it makes me laugh, just because it is so incongruous to me.

The juxtaposition of incongruity is the basis of humor, and to me the knowledge that the All-powerful Ones in the universe don’t make anyone do anything is so contrary to the way I think, it’s funny! It opposes my very makeup.

And looking at the world, I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks and feels like that. I think there are a whole lot of religious people who won’t believe that–especially a lot of Christians! And that is not funny.

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A Perspective Excerpt from Love’s Playbook 5

I’ve decided to share a couple of pages from the book I’m working on. It’s book five in the series: Exodus and the plagues. This is a break in the story for a new perspective.

“Whether or not Satan can create brings up an interesting question. Does God create destructive elements—in this case flies? Egypt has historically had the dog fly. It is large and venomous with a painful bite. And this one God instructed Moses to tell Pharaoh would not come on the Hebrews because God would make a distinction between Egypt and His special people.

It’s possible the first three hadn’t affected them either, but this is the first time God specifically tells Pharaoh it won’t, to make sure he is aware of it. Does God protect his own people from God? Or from enemies?

Back to the original question. It is true Satan doesn’t have ability to create life from nothing. But we have all seen how he can twist God’s gifts to create aberrations. Look at the suffering and disease he has created from sex. Or just the diseases he creates in us from ignorance and from taste, let alone viruses he creates. Remember in this series how Lucifer was given the chance to study the laws of nature and see what he could create. No doubt, he learned a lot about nature and its laws.

At that time he was still under God’s influence, and getting to fulfil his dream. He had not yet defected and activated the law of sin and death. But imagine what he must have done in the lab after he had activated entropy. He is called “the destroyer” in Exodus 12:23 and also in the book of Hebrews (2:14). He would destroy all of us (or have us destroy each other) if God allowed. It’s who he has become.

This is the first plague where it says the land was corrupted—literally the Hebrew is “the land was destroyed.” Would God have done this? Or would he have allowed the dark side to do their thing? I think it is the latter. I don’t believe God is the creator of evil. I think it is the absence of good as death is the absence of life.

Yes, They allow it to exist for choices, but They are winning the “right” now to banish evil, keeping it only as a personal choice forever, because it brings death. God has allowed Satan to have the power of death as long as he is kept alive. When God stops shielding him, he and all of his will cease to exist. Evil can’t exist in God’s presence. Revelation 20 says death and hell will be thrown into the lake of fire which is simply a metaphor for the dark side rushing into God’s unbridled energy to take his new city. (See Rev. 20:7-10.)

So why haven’t we questioned this before? We didn’t have the perspective. Our collective consciousness thought God does what He wants to because He is God, and thought the fear of God was literal along with other metaphors. Most people served God from fear—not what God wants! Now we know that another translation is more accurate: fear is best translated reverence or respect.

So why did God allow this? Because to protect our freedom there has to be hooks to hang doubt on. God can’t make everything completely plain until someone asks. Some things had to be shrouded in mystery until we started questioning and searching for a better understanding.

I don’t suppose I am the first one to question or understand this, just one who dares to interpret scripture this way, write it down and publish it.”

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Boundaries

So ISIS beheaded another 21 people–Egyptians–this week. In the name of God? I think not. The one before that was an American woman. Before that burning the Jordanian pilot. They are going for reaction and intimidation. Notice how tall their black-clad executioners are compared to their victims. They are going for fear. It brings up some important questions:

How could they possibly think a God who died for freedom would approve? Or is that why they hate Christians–because we believe in a God who died to guarantee our freedom? Are these guys so demented that they actually think God rules with force? The word demented has ties with “demon” –have they been so pounded on by people who were controlled by demons that their boundaries cracked and they allowed evil to take over?

Were they so powerless, so mistreated as children and became so angry or were so hurt that they chose evil in the form of revenge? They have attracted many such “demented” people. Do they all really think God is like them? Or is this just an excuse to act out their rage?

What caused them to feed such rage? Helplessness? Powerlessness?

Have they thrown off their ties to their own religion in order to vent their fury? Or are they really deluded into thinking they are acting righteously?

I’ve read their holy book, and it says over and over–more than anything else–that Allah is most gracious and most merciful! Where is their disconnect?

I love it when the things I’m thinking and the things I read converge.

I’ve been working on God’s conversation with Cain in Genesis 4 for weeks, and was thinking the above this morning, when I went to God Calling for today. It said to be more afraid of disturbance between God and us than anything.

“When you feel the absolute calm has been broken–away alone with Me until your heart sings, and all is strong and calm. These (disturbances) are the only times when evil can find an entrance. The forces of evil surround the city of man-soul, and are keenly alert for one such unguarded spot, through which an arrow can pierce and do havoc.”

He had my attention; this is just what He had said to Cain! Then He said something shocking! “Remember all that you have to do is to keep calm and happy. God does the rest.”

What? No word about choice? It is only implied, but what a choice it is! And I know you experience it–when someone treats you meanly or rudely, or worse, scares you to death. And you choose not to let their arrows, poisoned by the dark side, go in.

Is that even possible?

It is! Listen to the rest: “No evil force can hinder My Power–only you yourself have power to do that.”

I think the next words are going to be about choosing because that’s what He’s talking about. But no–the last line is, “Think when all God’s mighty forces are arrayed to aid you–and your poor, puny self impedes their onward march.” He’s talking about how our emotions like fear and hurt get triggered. grabbed, and we run away with the wolves instead of sounding the battle cry, “Onward! Fight!”

There is a fight, a holy war, going on, but it isn’t about us killing each other, it’s about us choosing calm or trust and letting God fight for us. God’s boundary is our freedom, our boundary is not hooking in, not letting ourselves get carried away by fear, or hurt, or desire for revenge  but knowing our Helper and choosing to use His forces.

Right after that I read Psalm 4 and it’s all about the same thing! Wow! The last line is “Now I will lie down in peace, and sleep; for thou alone, O Lord, makes me live unafraid.”

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Why are You Afraid of God?

One thing really came home to me last weekend. Nothing that God is involved in can be bad, whether it is death or anything else. It might seem or feel bad, but His presence (Love) is such pure energy, even sad, hard things are filled with joy–such sweet bonding and connections came from the weekend of Rocky’s funeral. It was a celebration of her life: beautiful, inspiring and uplifting. I felt honored to be related.

How did we get so afraid of God?

Was it, as I have heard in therapy, that God didn’t answer childhood prayers the way we thought He should? One teenage girl prayed for her family as a child, and it came apart anyway, so she had no use for Him after that. She didn’t understand freedom.

Maybe, even as adults, we (like her) don’t understand that God doesn’t take away other people’s freedom to hurt us. Freedom is much more scary than God! But even that is tempered by His keeping power if you ask to be kept. He isn’t willing for anyone to lose his or her true self, even though you might suffer.

I wonder how many of us have been scared away from God by church teaching. The church has been very effective with marketing guilt, and a harsh, exacting picture of God. They haven’t done a good job of interpreting scripture. Not that there isn’t some support for fear there.

God has had to leave hooks for doubt in scripture so we are free to choose. People wrote what God communicated but often it was mixed with there own perspective, mixed with their own fear, guilt, anger–and not a clear understanding of God. Sometimes they were very close to God and knew Him well, but we bring our own fear etc. to their words, and misread.

For this reason I’ve decided to continue with Love’s Playbook II going through the Bible writing it as God’s love story. Making Him look as He really is–all good–a God of love. I’m about four chapters in and loving it. I can’t think too far ahead or I get overwhelmed.

But one thing I’ve realized is that early on I will have to deal with God’s wrath. I think our main problem with God (besides just wanting to do our own thing) is not understanding his wrath or anger. It’s a lot different from ours. And if we can get the very scariest part of God nailed down, you can’t help but see where we went off track, and why understanding wrath is so important.

This might surprise you, but according to the major Old Testament prophets, God’s wrath is letting go. Letting you do what you want when what you want is destructive to yourself and others. . .when God steps back the dark side steps in and it gets really scary. Not always right at the beginning, because they don’t want to scare you back to God, but they hate us and their self-control isn’t good.

God’s worst, worst wrath is when He comes into your presence with you unprepared because pure energy combusts disordered atoms. This doesn’t happen often because His self-control is very good. It did happen a few times with warning, but one day He will come here and whatever is out of harmony will go poof in flame and disappear for ever, but it won’t burn forever–big difference.

Everyone will have had the chance to choose being loved by God or doing your own thing. He won’t force you to love, and He will give you your way, but your way is fantasy, because you have no power against evil or the dark side. If you don’t choose love, they will take over. You live in a war zone.

That is scary, but God isn’t.

 

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Perspective Part 2

Is it possible that for all these years Greek scholars have been translating this passage incorrectly: “If you love me keep my commandments”? Is it possible that religion got it wrong?

As a former high school English teacher, I say yes! On two counts: the context and the collective consciousness.

First, the context: Jesus has just said some of his strongest words to Peter, one of his closest friends, “Get behind me Satan!”

Peter and all the disciples are shocked. Peter was simply saying what they all felt and believed. “God won’t let this happen to you!” But Jesus needed them to hear him and understand. He wanted and needed their support. He wants to get them ready for the pain that is coming.

He leaves the topic of his crucifixion and tells them that soon he will be leaving them. They are so sad. They are still hanging onto the idea that he will be crowned king. They don’t understand. They ask lots of questions which he is answering, trying to comfort them and reassure them that everything is unfolding according to plan. So it is highly unlikely that he would throw in a challenge and say, If you love me, keep my commandments.

Especially since his very next words are. “And I will ask my Father and He will send you another comforter.” (emphasis mine) He is still comforting, and if the true translation is, “If you love me, my commands will keep you,” his commands or commandments would be the first comforter.

How do his commands comfort? In much the same way that a child or a dog are comforted by knowing who is in charge. Then they can relax and calm down. They are safe. It’s one of the functions of boundaries. We know what is truth. We know what to believe. We know true north. No more running down blind alleys.

There is security, peace and comfort in knowing the truth about God.

Secondly, the collective consciousness couldn’t have wrapped around “…My commands will keep you.” It made no sense to them. God was a God to serve, as in slaves obey your masters. They had no concept of God’s ways keeping us. Don’t ask me why—the whole Old Testament is full of,  “If you will keep my laws and walk in my ways, none of these curses will fall on you…but you will be my special (favored) people–blessed beyond belief.”*

I can only think it was because they feared God rather than loved Him. They thought He brought the curses. Fear filtered their perspective. It kept them from seeing Him as Love. They had a dualistic picture of God: He was both good and evil.

Many people suffer from that perception of God now: God is scary, demanding, and vengeful. Others see him as ok with anything–He just hopelessly loves.

But the whole of Scripture shows a balanced picture of Almighty God. He isn’t scary but he is all-powerful. He isn’t vengeful, but he does have good boundaries. He isn’t weak, but he loves freedom. He has no evil; he is love, a love strong and wise enough to end evil when every question is answered and everyone has clearly chosen one side or the other. In the end everyone gets what they really want–based on their choices.

*Deuteronomy 7:12-15

For the best picture of  God, go to http://Godhelps.net/God-in-a-Box

 

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Is It Hollywood? Is it Noah? Or Us?

My reaction to the movie “Noah” intrigues me. As a therapist I’ve had a bit of vicarious experience with violence. I know how addictive, how destructive to the human psyche it is, how quickly it can take over mind and emotions. So when God says, “Man has filled the earth with violence…Every thought of his heart is only evil continually,”* why do I, along with many of my friends, want to soften “Noah”? Saying, “It wasn’t like that!”?

Are we in danger of pacifying evil so we don’t have to look at how destructive, how bleak, how sick and bad it really is? So we dismiss this dark, bleak picture by saying, “It’s Hollywood, what do you expect?” And we go back to our sweet focus on the toy ark with its colorful animals and a rainbow over it.

I really do hate watching or hearing about violence, but our culture doesn’t seem to. I was happy the director muted it as much as he did. I’ve heard of much more graphic depictions in the name of entertainment. And with the perspective and the story-line the producers went with, they had to get creative to fill in the gaps. They made it work psychologically. I don’t have a problem with poetic license, people can read the real story, so what is my problem? Why did I find the movie so disturbing?

Maybe it’s that we don’t relate to that kind of barbarianism any more. We don’t think it could happen to us. Kill all the trees and all the people that don’t agree with us? Yet both are happening.

For sure the picture of God portrayed leaves me wanting more, but I did like that even Noah wasn’t immune to twisting the message, getting it straight in the end. And choice is shown as pivotal, powerful, progressive, sometimes painful, and permanent.

I think it’s deeper. I think the movie’s perspective of evil is too obvious. I think evil is more deceptive than total smog, a bare earth and primitive, blood-thirsty people. I think it’s more insidious.

For example, do you know that sex addiction can go into violence addiction very quickly? Just had another client struggling with that. Or that grief or loss or anger can mask as sex addiction? (Have one with that too.) And what about making everyone think like you do? Or worse, like the church does? That’s created evil and violence.

Jesus’ worst problems came from his own church. They killed him because he bucked the system, he didn’t live by or teach all their rules. He taught that God is love and the best love relationship we can have–that God will meet all our needs–emotional, spiritual, physical. He said God’s way is the only way to life.

In some wierd, understated way, that was the message of “Noah”.

But I’d like to see someone picture it as more “civilized“, more advanced than we are, and yet stuck in the violence of having our own way, ignoring God. Because Jesus said that when he comes back it will be like the days of Noah–“eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and didn’t know they were in danger until the flood came and swept them away.”** Noah didn’t need protection from the people because they thought he was crazy…until the flood came.

The scariest evil is two kinds: mindlessness, and destruction that masquerades looking good, tasting good, feeling good to us, or destruction judged righteous by us.

*Genesis 6:5 , **Matthew 24:37-38

For more on deceptive evil see my book: The Worst Evil–Losing Yourself http://amazon.com/author/arlacaraboolad

 

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God has a sense of humor.

I’m sure of it!

For the past few years He has been taking everything I thought I knew and turning it upside down. The crazy part is, it’s not so that it makes what I believed wrong, just so much smaller than reality. I look at myself and my beliefs and am embarrassed.

One of His first tricks was leading me to a Taoist author that I was in awe of because of her Christ-like life. I’m a deeply committed Christian, but I couldn’t get over how she out-Christed me at every turn in her life. While I was whining and worrying, she was accepting with joy whatever happened, believing Love would use this… and blowing me away.

I was puzzled.

Then we became close friends with a couple who lived and worked most of the time in Africa, and they saw Muslims totally differently than everyone around me. You mean they aren’t all terrorists, full of Holy War? Could Allah and Abba be the same? Then God sent me a Muslim client that I truly enjoyed and bonded with, and we were both amazed at how much we had in common.

There were a few other such anomalies but I’ll skip to my latest one that really has my head stretching. I’ve just spent a week with my daughter who clearly spent the last 9 years of her life doing what she thought was the right thing to do. She was back in my church, her husband even joined, they made good friends, dedicated a baby–and got divorced there. She had been working hard to make a perfect life, but God had other plans.

He wanted her to admit she couldn’t “fix” her marriage, become real, and have a much broader influence.

It is so hard to watch and trust the messiness that comes with it.

But here is the kicker: today she said something that made me wonder if I think I can only love perfect people. My head begin to spin. Theoretically and theologically I know that’s wrong. But I found myself washing lettuce in her kitchen tonight saying to God, “Jesus, I know you weren’t rigid, but yet I think I should be? How crazy is that?”

This is the second year I’ve been writing a short blog on Jesus life that publishes every week-day and takes you through his life in a year.* I’ve loved it. I feel I have gotten to know him so much better. It’s very clear that his life was “messy” to everyone in his church and his culture. Even his closest friends didn’t understand him until he was gone. Yet I believe he was God in the flesh–the only perfect man.

What a conundrum this poses for Christianity! In one ditch we want to proscribe how everyone should live and act. On the other side we say it doesn’t matter how we live because Jesus “paid the price,” He took care of our disobedience. But does this make sense?

Jesus lived in God’s presence; getting every day’s plans from the Father–total communion. And mostly it shocked the religious community and looked messy. Our world could only tolerate such a pure heart for three years before we killed him for being too messy–way too messy.

Does this mean that we have to trust that God is leading those of us who want to be led by Him even if it looks and feels messy?

Do we have to let go of controlling others, and trust what God is doing with them? Trust their relationship with God and not try to correct it?

*http://Godhelps.net/God-in-a-Box–Your Inbox

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Downton Abbey, Really?

I spent way too much time being angry at the writers of Downton Abbey this week. Julian, you there? I was so angry that Matthew dies in the season finale, I said I was done. And even though it’s our favorite show, I skipped the replay.

My husband commented that we didn’t really know–the last scene was Matthew bleeding from the ears, the car on him.

I replied, “That was pretty intense, and misleading foreshadowing, if not.”

It made me mad that writers can’t let anything be happy and good. Yes, life has death, but we had barely gotten over Sybil’s! That was certainly enough to keep it real.

So do we really stay hooked by drama? They had to concoct something horrendous so we’d come back? Really? If it gets too happy we get bored?

What does that say about our society?

I also recoiled at hearing Downton Abbey called a British soap opera. I thought it was much more character driven and real than the high drama of soaps, and I was offended, even though angry myself.

I find that the most emotion-grabbing movies are the ones where unexpected good things happen–Mr. Holland’s Opus. And some of the best “good” movies are true stories: Chariots of Fire, The Blind Side, Invictus. What story is more powerful than Nelson Mandella’s?

Are we really more taken with fear and drama than issues resolved in happy endings? It was enough to go through all the turns and disappointments of Mary and Matthew, Anna and Bates; can’t we have some good things for awhile?

It makes me wonder if we are becoming addicted to violence and the macabre. Have we become so dark and cynical that we can’t relate to happiness?

I wonder too, if this comes from not being able to get our picture of God straightened out to one of an all-Loving Being. I don’t mean so loving anything goes. Obviously, real love has boundaries. But I am finding more and more beliefs we have misunderstood from Scripture.

For instance, blaming God for killing the first-born in Egypt, when I am convinced it was Satan, the Destroyer. The Destroyer isn’t God. But people will argue over it. Do they want a vengeful God?

God doesn’t have to kill anyone, if he came here, not human, we would combust immediately in his energy. He has to stay away physically so we aren’t killed by His presence. Ergo the Holy Spirit.

Is our need for revenge seeking expression? We want God to kill those who hurt us, rather than wanting God to eradicate evil and those who get off on it.

What does it say about us? It’s scary. I’m concerned about our appetite for violence. We need violence control more than gun control.

And since violence control just focuses us on violence, making it worse, we need people making better choices about the movies they watch and those they produce. Choosing what our kids watch and “play” if you can call video games playing! Setting “good” boundaries.

Make joy real and attractive. Get to know the God of happiness and peace–the One who turns everything into good if we trust. Take children’s lives–put some work in; they need challenges they can work through and succeed at so they get good at choices.

We are changed by watching. We are. Research and Newtown underscore it.

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A New Perspective on Hell

I promised to say more about hell.  Sorry it has taken so long.

I believe the penchant of some Christians to want God to be the heavy who carries a big stick and wins because he is the biggest, has the most power,  (actually comments I get) comes from the need for security.  Maybe they never knew the feeling of safety from having a strong father or mother who was for them.  Or had a parent who was too weak to say “No”, robbing them of security.

We need safety, it’s one of our basic needs according to Maslow.  The lack of it, of course, leads to insecurity.  We want someone to value us enough to whip the bad guys for us. We want someone with power to care enough about us to champion us.  Someone we can brag about.

I listened to my grandsons playing soccer last week, saying, “My dad can…” And then the other chimes in “Well my dad…”  I love it that they have dads that they feel secure about.  Little boys have always bragged about dads they love.

But would those same proud little boys champion a dad who beat up their mothers?

I can tell you unequivocally, No!  I’ve listened to people tell me these stories and they always want to rescue her, and if not hurt him, at least stop him.

My six-year-old grandson didn’t like the way his Dad was talking to his mother and said, “Daddy, why did you marry mama, if all you wanted to do was talk bad and be mean to her?”

So then why would we who are secure in God’s love want him to torture people forever?  And since one meaning of forever is “as long as a thing can last,” He would also have to work a miracle to keep these puny bodies alive in flames forever.

When I ask how we could burn forever, people tell me that our “souls” are immortal.  That is from God’s arch-enemy, and started in that primal garden, “God knows you won’t die, you ‘ll be as gods knowing good and evil” –the first lie.

He was right about knowing evil, but lying about God stepping in to change cause and effect.  He knew better by experience, and he knew that God didn’t make immortal souls from his own deterioration.  Besides most people think of souls as spirits anyway.  Do spirits burn?

The Hebrew concept of a soul was everything about you, right down to the blood in your veins.  But God’s enemy wasn’t trying to spread truth or information.  He was trying to cause doubt about God’s goodness.

Hard to believe he has been so successful with that lie, that he has most Christian churches teaching it!  And the tandem effect he has caused is fear of God.  And we aren’t talking about reverence.  If you look at the history of religion, this idea has been it’s nemesis from the beginning of recorded history.  Is God really good?  Is He really love?  Can you really trust Him?

I hear so many people who either charge God with evil (reading the Old Testament) or they excuse Him because He’s God and they don’t know what to do with it.  Are those our only choices?

Maybe we need to think bigger, understand, stretch…  Perhaps hell isn’t something God imposes.  I’m pretty sure it doesn’t go on and on.  That doesn’t make any sense, and as I said, above all God has to make sense.  You can use scripture to prove almost anything you want if you are selective.  But does it fit with God’s character of love?  (to be continued…)

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