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(Responding to Guest)
I have been working the atheist side of the isle for a while now. Defending the essence of the religious instinct.
My primary argument has been, that the “God” they say does not exist, is a man made artifact. It is a mortal’s attempt at a summation of the eternal. Always limited by our relative imperfection.
However, our images, scriptures, parables and beliefs are not God. They are fingers pointing at the Moon.
And even the above metaphor is inadequate. For both the fingers and the Moon are equal in their non-separateness in God; Not parts of, but in Truth, absolutely identical with.
It is time to take a look at some of the stuff that I have been defending.
Your comment has provided a good sampling of some clearly stated “Christian” beliefs.
Please don’t feel that I am picking on you. I would like to see how people counter, expand or embrace the following. It is a study of the underlying concepts found in statements such as:
God is a judge and as all judges do he has to fit the punishment to the crime.
Why is God a judge? As the All, God is both Judge and the judged.
Also why insert an act of judgement into the equation? The nature of the absolute, in perfect singularity with the relative, means that the process of being, is the very essence of justice. The equilibrium implied by perfect justice, is built in.
What you call “punishment”, I call the result of action.
But because he created us he loves us, and wants to spend eternity with us being with him.
What do you mean when you say “being with him”? We cannot, not be “with him”. The lesson of Jesus is that we are identical with “him”. However, in our forgetfulness of this, we act out of relative and seemingly separate self. Our actions increase our conviction that God, (if he even exists), is somehow distant and distinct from his creation.
I am tempted to say, that it is we who have cast God out of the garden.
As for eternity; Eternity is the ever present and all inclusive Now. Within this divine moment, we either live as complex and conflicted sentience, orbiting within a field of synchronous stimuli.
We open ourselves to our true and complete nature, which I am happy to call Christ.
However because of His holiness he cannot let sin enter His presence.
Sin, if it is thought of as ignorance of true Self, is by it’s own nature, the pain of separation.
That is why He had to send Jesus, His only Son. So that He could live the perfect life, die, and then come back to life, as the atonement for our sins.
This is the part of Christianity that I have the most difficulty with.
It ossifies the religion into the camp of dualism. Which, to me, cripples it. Forcing the most sincere pilgrims to step beyond the the boundaries of their religion. And doing so, they must then endure the abuse of crucifixion. Their former brethren convinced that it is they who serve the “Judging God’s” will, by casting out the apostate.
Without this knowledge the whole Bible is another “useless” “religious” system.
The Bible is a body of scripture with it’s own strengths and weaknesses. Exactly like any other body of scripture.
A religious system is not “useless” if it gets us in the ballpark. The final transformation must be by Grace; The perfect alignment with the unknowable Truth.