Finding the Real God

September 23, 2011

If you really seek God, it’s up to you to search. God rewards those who persistently seek truth. If you persist in your search, you will find other people helping you along the way and circumstances will line up to lead you to the next step on your path.

God isn’t a dog that comes when called. God is an essential part of you that you have to uncover by clearing away all the garbage in your life that obscures your vision of God and truth.

A good first step in finding God is simply stopping and looking around. Everything here is for your benefit!

What’s blocking your view of God? Problems.

Get rid of them and see what’s left. Your problems, remember, are yours. You created them in some way, and it’s up to you to solve them. Solving them is an effective way to see (God) more clearly.

How do we know what problems to solve? Anything we value more than understanding blocks our view.

God is Love. There is no fear in Love. When you find the true God, your fears will stop dominating your thoughts and you will be free. God is in you and all around you. Look!

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

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Religious Morality

September 22, 2011

Is belief in a judging or punishing god necessary for people to act morally?

If you behave because of the threat of punishment in the afterlife, then yes, you need a god—or some other being outside yourself—to make the threats that reinforce your morality in this life. Indeed, the rest of us also need you to have this being, if only to protect us from your lack of morality.

But if you behave because of the good that’s already in you and which you see in others, no god is required for you to be moral.

Goodness is its own reward for you.

Many religious people, especially those of a fundamentalist bent (like I used to be years ago), would have poor morals if they didn’t fear a punishing god. They’re attracted subconsciously to the idea of such a god, which is perhaps one reason why as adults they choose to believe in it.

These folks need that fear of punishment to keep them from hurting other people. You can see this tendency expressed in their zeal to condemn others, even if it’s disguised as enthusiasm for their own cause.

If a supernatural being identifying itself as “God” appeared to me and said that raping is good and killing is okay on Sundays, I would recognize that being as not God. Some people would immediately feel free to do these things, though, because (believing the being to be the “real” God) they would no longer fear afterlife punishment as a consequence.

As with any large group, not all religious-minded people are as I described here. Many of them would continue to be moral people—even without the threat of afterlife punishment—because they already have good in them.

This is perhaps one reason why as adults they choose to believe their religion’s strong moral teachings.

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)


On Believing Religious Writings

September 21, 2011

To believe something is to accept it uncritically—without having direct knowledge of it through your own experience. Religions are generally based on the uncritical acceptance of written doctrines and scriptures.

As such, religious leaders don’t typically permit believers to question the origin or truthfulness of the religion’s writings. If that happened, believers would leave the religions—and religious leaders would lose their paychecks.

Religious leaders’ income depends on the continued acceptance of certain beliefs among their followers.

Religious believers defend their beliefs because they are afraid to admit being wrong. That would mean a complete change in lifestyle on top of being wrong. Anyone with strong beliefs is the same, whether religious or not.

The way out of religious-minded thinking is to replace beliefs with direct knowledge and experience of life. Lots of people have done this, and anyone who really wants this experience can have it. It can be a long road, depending on what wrong beliefs you have now.

All religions teach something good (no matter how tiny that thing might be), and they all have something bad about them, too. Still, there is such a thing as following your own path, using gems from different religious systems to help guide your way. Most people don’t do this, though, because they believe they can’t.

Instead, they accept the religion of their family or community and just go along with whatever the religious leaders and writings tell them. (This is how suicide bombers are made, by the way.)

For more spiritually mature people who have gotten tired of asking questions and not getting answers, looking inward and following your own path is often a more attractive option. It’s a lonely road sometimes, but nothing is more rewarding.

The way to start on your own path of understanding (not belief) is to think and act with extreme honesty and an open mind. The rest is almost automatic. This works because life functions in a certain way, no matter what religious writings say about it.

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)


Truth-Seeking, Jesus, and Spirituality

September 20, 2011

I’ve always been searching—not for a religious system to follow, but for the truths behind the ideas that have been presented to me as true. I grew up going to church, and I’ve always seen lots of true and good things in the words of Jesus. He is one of my favorite people. But I don’t think he was what they say he was.

I’ve carried 10-foot-tall crosses across town on Good Friday. I’ve baptized people. I’ve read the entire Bible (except for Numbers). I’ve laid my hands on people in prayer. I’ve studied Greek and searched the Bible for years to find the answers to my questions. I’ve studied the early history of the church and its first leaders.

All of these things I have done as an adult. I’ve found that there is a degree of truth in Christianity, but there’s also a lot that I’ve determined not to be true.

I’ve learned about other religions, too. I’ve seen some truth in most of them, and some falsehood in all of them. I won’t say that they all teach the same thing because they don’t.

I love Jesus in a way that most Christians don’t, and I seek to understand him in a way that most Christians never will. I see him as a brother and a teacher. I see him as frustrated with people, even his own disciples, because even they didn’t understand his message.

And I see his words twisted and changed—by people with their own ideas about him—to mean something that he didn’t intend.

I want to be like him in a way that most people don’t. What does it mean to be “like him”?

It means to walk a similar path to the one he walked, and to grow into the kind of person that he was—and more. Like he is supposed to have said, those who believe in him will do even greater works than he did (John 14:12). He was an example of what people can be when they seek love, God, and understanding, without seeking approval from other people who don’t understand anyway.

In other words, to me Jesus was an example of a spiritual person—a person who lives by the guidance of the Spirit within.

I’ve traveled the road of religion, and I prefer the road of the Spirit. When you trust the Spirit to guide you, you don’t need anyone else’s words or ideas to confirm what you know.

It’s a life of faith that brings you everything you need.


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