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Posted by markdohle , 13 August 2006 · 126 views

I have had over the years, trouble with Christian hard liner's, in the way that they not only use scriptures, but how they actually treat others in using the Bible in attacking others.  I have always found this interesting, since attacking only raises up defenses, and in the end, nothing is accomplished.   I suppose the main problem with this approach is that certain scriptures are gathered together, lined up, loaded, and then used as an arsenal to blast others.

Christians aren't the only ones who do this of course.  Some Muslims use the Koran in this way, and in the past I have seen some Hindus do the same thing.   Followers of certain philosophical schools of thought will also follow this route.   I have encountered at times followers of Ayn Rand, who will quote from either her Novels, or her philosophical works, as if they were scriptures, and then,  surprised when their quote had no real effect on me.

The most common fault of believers of any kind is their misuse of their holy books in trying to reach others.   Some believers seem uncomfortable with the thought that perhaps others have come up with different answers to life's questions.  Or perhaps that they were born into a different religion, hence they will have a different understanding of the meaning of life, and its purpose.   I suppose one of mankind's greatest faults, is the thought that whatever I happen to believe at this moment, is somehow true for everyone.

I have known people who changed their religion, or philosophical stance, like other people do their clothes, and each change is presented as the truth, forgetting how often this has happened in the past; not understanding why others will not take them serious or listen to them.

Just because I am a Christian, does not make it necessary for me to condemn others who follow another religious path.  How it is possible, to think that we can know the mystery of God's interaction with the world, by lifting simple quotes from scriptures, is something that I have never been able to understand.  A bible bashing Christian, in my opinion is no different than a Koran bashing Muslim.  I am not taking about all fundamentalist here, but about fanatics, who actually feel that they are speaking for God.   Bashers tend to make God into just another human person, just bigger, meaner, narrower and more condemning.  Sort of a big me on a bad day; believe me not a pretty sight. I shudder to think how awful it would be if God were just a bigger version of whom we are.  We are made in God's image, not the other way around.

If the God of our understanding is the only true God, then I feel we are all in trouble.  No matter how elevated our understanding of God is, that understanding is limited.  Most people as they grow older find their understanding of God broadening, which happens because they grow, and mature, not because God in any way changes.   We can only understand God through the lenses of our own maturity and understanding, just as we can only know others in the same manner.  The more immature the person is the more black and white they can be in judging others.  So it is understandable that their understanding of God would be a projection; in other words, they are worshipping themselves.  I suppose the old saying: The more we know, the more we understand how much we don't, does not apply to people who do this kind of thing.  Since I suppose the opposite is also true: "The less we know, the more we think we do".   A little understanding is a dangerous thing if thought to be the whole.  I suppose, on our faith walk, we are hopefully finding the courage to discard limiting ideas of God, who is beyond all ideas and form.   Our ideas of God only become an idol when they are clung to after they are no longer useful.    The revelation of God's love is reduced, to belonging to an exclusive country club, with only few members allowed.

In the epistle of Timothy it says God wills the salvation of all men, and that they should come to the truth.  If that is true, why is it believers of all strips want to spend so much time trying to prove that in reality the opposite is true?  It is an enigma to me.    For many it is a numbers game.  I am saved; you, you, and oh yes you, are not unless you conform to my own comfortable idea of who God is.  I remember in the Navy the first time I was given a pamphlet from Chicks publishers.  I could not believe how ignorant it was, and how anyone could believe the nonsense it was purporting to be the truth.

My faith in Christ is absolute, but for me Christ is God, and God, is in the end the ultimate mystery.  A mystery is something eternally knowable, but not something simply known, boxed in, and understood by some scripture quotes that are interrupted on a subjective level.  Many believers complain about the Pope and his infallibility, but the same Christians will constantly make infallible statements, and condemn anyone who disagrees with them, and their understanding of the scriptures.  In fact they take infallibility to and all together different level than any Pope would dare do.   Making sure that only those who agree with them will enter the gates of heaven.  Such a childish understanding of God is amazing to me, and for the most part I don't even try to communicate with people like that.   I suppose because I am Catholic they would not try to talk to me anyway. Well they would if they only wanted to attack.  I am just too tired to respond, why bother.  By the way, Catholics also have people like this in the flock.

Only God is the judge. Mercy and justice are one; humans separate them; perhaps that is the problem.  God does not only see the heart, he sees the depths, and nothing is hid from the infinite loving gaze.  This should be a comfort for us all, we have nothing to hide from God, it is impossible, and therefore cringing fear is uncalled for.  As John says:  Love cast out fear.   The human race is loved by God and mercy is there for all, it is the human element that wants to limit it, wanting it extended only as far as their understanding  goes, or mine for that matter.  

Well said Markdohle well said.
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QUOTE(Grace 41 @ Sep 16 2006, 04:06 AM)

Well said yes.gif  yes.gif

Thank you very much.

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