I have a hypothesis I want to run by you. It’s kind of out there, but just read the whole thing before you decide whether or not you think it’s bullshit. Then, if at the end you still do, go ahead and tell me. That’s fair.
First I should start by saying I consider myself agnostic. What I mean by that is that I don’t know whether or not there is a God, but I don’t believe in the one defined by modern Christianity… ie…the Bible is the Word of God. I believe it’s a moral code. And I don’t know whether it was inspired by any greater being or not. But if it was, I’m about to propose the God I would believe in and a church I would attend.
First we just have to assume that a God exists. What if God inspired the Bible all that time ago with the intention that we would take it, read it, consider society at the time it was written, learn from science over thousands of years, and then develop our own moral code, informed by facts and history, as our society matured? I know that’s crazy talk. It means that instead of being a narcissistic power freak, God would be a kind and teaching God. He would give us the room to evolve and grow as our understanding of the world grew. He wouldn’t hold us to some set of standards developed by men thousands of years ago… when slavery was normal, women were property, our understanding of science and the world was minuscule. I mean, we thought the world was flat until someone figured out it wasn’t. But the Bible said it was. How do you explain that? I can’t.
I’d like to think that if there is a God, he isn’t worried about whether I’m eating pork or shellfish, crushing on my neighbor’s wife, or attracted to the same sex. I think he’s hoping we all figure out how to live together without murder, rape, robbery. He’s hoping we just aren’t assholes. He’s hoping we keep in mind the things that are really important- the things Jesus taught: Love. Forgiveness. Compassion. Peace. Maybe he’s hoping we’ll figure out how to work together, in communities, and possibly with structured governments to ensure everyone is cared for? I know. Crazytalk.
I’d like to think if there is a God, he’s hoping we take everything he’s given us- life and a moral code… and also science and evidence… and putting it all together to create and even broader understanding of life. But we don’t seem to be doing that. We just seem as a society to be using the Bible to condemn people we don’t agree with. Meanwhile we ignore the parts of the Bible that condemn the things we think are OK. How is that following his word?
I don’t think it is.