I left this site some time back as IMHO name calling and put down too often took the place of reasoned discussion. I’ll have another go at it. In the “I Know that God does not exist” thread there are over 3000 posts, which had largely left the original topic so I thought that I would start a new topic on where that thread had eventually gone.
There are two points I’d like to make.
Firstly, I contend that there is only one cosmic intelligence that is responsible for our existence. It doesn’t matter what name you give that deity, it might be god, allah or zeuss. What matters is the characteristics or nature of the deity. As theists we all form our own view of the nature of our deity and that is an issue of faith. (For that matter everyone has a world view and live by some code whether they adhere to it or not.) My point is that it isn’t about choosing which deity that we choose to worship, but the nature of whatever deity we choose.
Secondly I suggest that the Bible was inspired. Now when I say that I recognize that people have been inspired to do all sorts of things. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings was inspired. So yes, I agree that God inspired people to write their stories and understandings, in the case of the OT, of Yahweh and then in the NT of Jesus as the true representative of Yahweh. That does not mean that He told them what to write, but to simply tell their stories and their beliefs which were all ultimately combined to make up the 66 books of the Bible.
So then as Christians we have to start with Jesus. I think a good place in how to understand that is when John in his gospel says that the “Word became Flesh” with Word representing God’s nature. Jesus said that we should “love our enemy”, “turn the other cheek”, “go the extra mile etc. He called us to love others and beyond that to love others sacrificially. That is the great commission. How then do you square that with the OT contending that Yahweh committed genocide, ordered His followers to commit genocide and even to have the community stone to death neighbours for ridiculous offences. YOU CAN’T. As humans we all look for “Blessed Assurance”. It is a faith. So then, is our faith in Jesus as God’s representative or in a literal reading of an inerrant Bible. It can’t be both.
The other Biblical translation for inspired is God breathed. I contend that is a better term. God breaths life into the Scriptures so that we can read the genocidal accounts and understand just how easy it is for us as humans to hate, and completely walk the opposite road to the road that Jesus calls us to walk.
For too many years the church has put the emphasis on personal salvation. All humanity, (and maybe even beyond humanity), are chosen. However, we aren’t chosen for salvation, but for vocation. We are all called to spread God’s love as embodied by Jesus into the world. As to what happens to us after our deaths is in God’s hands and with the resurrected Jesus we do have a small glimpse of what that might be.
Edited by GDR, : separated paragraphs
Edited by GDR, : Spaced the paragraphs and added my signature
He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.