say the Bible is a holy text, the true word of God. For
Christians, there’s a certain almost magical quality that
attaches to the Bible. The
same is true for the followers of other religions and their
I would argue
that the true magical quality attributable to religious texts,
is not that any given text reveals God’s truth, but rather
that it magically reveals the reader’s truth—the
of mind, and morality of those who claim to know how God
thinks. Their sense of morality, they believe, is the
true and correct attitude to have as demonstrated by selected stories or
words in their holy scripture to which they can refer. Interestingly
enough, one can find language in the Bible to justify just
about any point of view one might look for.
practice, each person chooses his or her favorite theme or
text and calls those selected portions of scripture, “the
Truth.” And so
readers can easily find portions of scripture that “prove”
God is vengeful, loving, jealous, forgiving, angry, war like, compassionate, or
unsurprisingly, they prefer that characterization of God that best
matches their own attitude and state of mind.
actually believe that God would condemn a person to eternal
pain and suffering for not understanding, accepting,
believing, or having faith in, a particular belief system
before some arbitrary deadline.
What would be the point?
Has God no compassion or understanding?
Only someone who still has a lot to learn would believe that
He would do such a thing.
People conveniently create God in their image and then
claim that it was God who created them in His.
self-proclaimed teacher of scripture reveals to those who are
thoughtful and listen critically, what that person’s state
of consciousness is. Some
people’s views make God out to be an idiot, thereby
revealing the truth about themselves… and nothing at all about God.
Even people who have developed extraordinary persuasive
skill at convincing others of the “truth” of their
convictions can become trapped in their own illusions and
self-delusions—perhaps even more so because they have those
Jesus was not
a Christian. He
didn’t believe or teach that he was God.
He didn’t ask to be worshipped. He
didn’t start a new religion.
All he did was set the record straight: that
God is not the hypocritical self-serving, jealous, cruel, vengeful
fool that some political, religious, and corporate leaders
are... and also claim He is.
Most Christians do not follow Jesus; they follow the
teachings of those who came later offering their interpretation of what his message was and what their response
to his life should be.
Most of the central and minor characters who came later
never did agree with one another on important issues, dividing
themselves into separate camps, each camp believing what they
want to believe and then holding those beliefs to be “the
The only way
to fully understand what Jesus knew and/or tried to teach
would be to become what he was.
But beware: if
you blindly accept what others say he was, you might never
unlearn the misinformation you think you already “know.”
If you have been instructed to have “faith” in what others tell
you is the truth, that could keep you stuck in illusion
for a long time, because what they tell you might have as its
to do with having you look up to them as an authority, rather than to help you
learn how to think and discover for yourself what you want or
need to know about God.
How does one unlearn a point of view one has made a
commitment to have faith in? It's not wise to make a
commitment to believe forever, something other people tell you
is true. The truth is something each person has to
discover for themselves. And when you look for the truth with
intellectual integrity you'll notice that over time it
changes... it changes as you expand and deepen your
understanding of yourself and others.
claims to “know” what happened and what was said 2,000 or
years ago is far removed in time and space from those real or
imaginary events. What
we call history are the views of historians and others that
have been accepted as “truth” by large numbers of
people—people often politically motivated—people who have
a vested interest in having you accept one version of the
truth over another—and also people who never really gave it
imagine Jesus believing or saying that, “The bible, which
will be written long after I’m gone, will be the true word
of God.” Jesus
could not transfer his knowledge to others by telling them
what he knew. To
believe is not the same thing as to know.
He could only point to a path which if taken by others
might result in the same experience or knowledge he had acquired…
knowledge he wanted them to have for themselves.
Jesus knew that none of his followers could tell others
“the Truth” from their own experience.
But obviously he hoped one day that they might.
told by people who call themselves Christians that their
financial success is due to the fact that God approves of them
and their behavior and that’s why they have been so blessed
with success… while poor people are poor because that’s
what, in God’s eyes, they deserve too.
Like I said… people tend to believe what they want to
enough, those beliefs tend to be conveniently self serving.
How does any person know that his or her success or
failure is not simply a test of their own character rather
than a reward or punishment for how they think or have behaved?
Maybe God works in mysterious ways.
believing in fantasy is not unique to Christians.
I only mention Christianity because currently in our culture
Christian spokespersons of all kinds happen
to dominate that portion of the air waves dedicated to
We’ve all heard stories of how Islamic radicals were
told that if they will willingly blow themselves up in the
name of their religion that God will reward them in heaven by
offering them the services of x numbers of virgins (or some such
those stories are true, one wonders why those who would do such
violence to themselves and others never ask themselves where
God is going to get all these virgins or why God would unjustly discredit
these zealots and these virgins by
making them available to one another without benefit of marriage. The
self-serving belief by men that God approves of the unequal and
unjust treatment of women is widely held. But maybe God
is not the jerk some men think He is.
have been able to convince themselves that God would approve
of their persecution of Palestinians through any number of
vile acts that more enlightened human beings would consider
reprehensible, such as destroying the home and livelihood of
an entire family for an alleged illegal act of one family
How does one justify the building of Jewish settlements
on Palestinian soil?
God is not a liar or a cheat any more than God is a
fool, an idiot, or a sadist.
But somehow otherwise highly educated people are able
to convince themselves that God would approve of behavior that
any impartial observer can see is reprehensible, dishonest,
and morally bankrupt. If God had ever promised Jews that
they would live in peace in Israel, one wonders if He would
have changed his mind by now after observing how so many of
his so-called chosen people have dishonored and discredited
observer can see that it is quite common for religious
followers to be taught, (for the self-serving purposes of their
teachers), that God is as nasty, irresponsible, unthinking, and
unjust as their teachers are.
There apparently is no end to the monstrous acts that
some people will perpetrate, or approve of, which they try to justify by finding words in scripture
that "demonstrate" God would approve. The
commandment, "Thou shall not kill" is a pretty
straight forward declaration and yet somehow students of
scripture are able to find any number of exceptions to the
rule. So much for the true word of God.
foolishness and worshipping false gods is a kind of prison
which one can unconsciously enter and remain trapped in for a
long time—a prisoner of one’s own belief
system—supported by others who are similarly
escape that trap one must muster the courage to use their God
given abilities to think for themselves while adhering to a
high level of intellectual honesty and integrity.
Not always an easy thing to do in our culture.
understand that there are times when a person might come to
feel so lost and downtrodden that it only seems right and
proper to support them—at least for awhile—in seeking
refuge and solace in the lies, illusions and false hopes that
they were taught to believe in.
But on the whole, it’s still the honest search for
the truth and not well
meaning lies or illusions that remains the key to one’s own
freedom and salvation as well as the freedom and salvation of
people that Jesus is going to return and rule like a king
might not be the most effective way to help this planet become
a more hospitable place to live.
To believe Jesus would be interested in such a job is
quite presumptuous and highly unlikely.
How would that work exactly in practice?
Does God not believe in democracy?
One day people might discover that when they are moved
to pray to God for help, it is really God praying to them to
use their brain… to think of something useful to do that
really might help… and go out and make the effort.
to be a thoughtful, compassionate, responsible human being is
what it means to grow up.
Some people never do. Some people take longer than others to
mature spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually simply because they become trapped in religion’s
illusions and stupidities.
you are inspired by and find value participating in your religion, fine.
Religion can sometimes actually serve a useful purpose. Just try not to have it corrupt your morals, intellect,
integrity, or sense of self. God
is real and not a myth. You
don’t need to join a church, mosque, or synagogue to find
God. God is
already closer to you than your own breath.
Have a little