I know I have written about some of this before, but I feel compelled to bring up this subject again. What I am about to say also applies to other institutionalized and organized religions as well. As I was not a member of any of these for 2 decades, like I was when I was a Christian, I can not speak with any authority about them. But I can speak with authority in regards to the Christian faith, and all its various offshoots, including Catholicism.
The cornerstone of the Christian belief system is the Bible. Every Christian believes in the words it contains, and more specifically, as these words are taught to them. In reality there are numerous ways of interpreting all the Biblical passages, from literal to metaphorical. But there seems to be a certain way, within the various forms of Christianity, that the various passages of the Bible are taught and understood.
Here is the problem, and it is something not one Christian I know of ever thinks about. How do you know that what you are holding on your hand is the Word of God? Yes, you believe it is, you have faith it is. If you are a clergyman of some sort, or have extensive training, you might be able to get more authoritative. But the majority of Christians can not prove that what they call the Bible is what they believe it is.
Few if any Christians have ever laid hands on the original scrolls, tablets, etc. from which their version of the Bible has been translated. They have no knowledge at all of the true origin of their Bible. They go to a Christian bookstore, or go online, and order a Bible. As far as they are concerned it is God’s word. But they have never seen, much less read and understood, the materials this Bible is supposedly based on.
But that is not the only issue. The Bible has apparently been translated from a number of languages, including Aramaic, which is a dead language. Few people can read and write in these ancient languages. So the pool of people that can accurately translate anything is very small.
It also can not be proven that what has been included in the Bible is everything that was meant to be included. There are numerous books that have not been added, including the books found in the Catholic Bible. There is no way to know which books should be added or not, there is no way to know if anything has been added which has no basis on ancient material. Anything at all could have been put in or taken out of the final product you in your hands and call God’s word. You only have your belief and faith to stand on that what you are holding is accurate, complete and unaltered.
This cornerstone on which the whole of the Christian faith is based is shaky at best. But let’s move on to another issue with the Christian faith. It is destructive to other religions with its emphases that it is the one true religion, the only way to God and Heaven. It requires conformity, and this desire to conform and convert has resulted in the loss of other spiritual practices in other cultures.
I have said it before, all religions attempt to put God in a box. They attempt to define the undefinable and understand the unknowable. All religions tend to speak for God, who, being God, should be able to speak for itself. Most if not all religions send out their followers like soldiers, who defend the actions they take against others by claiming it is God’s will. Well if that were the case God is at odds with itself! No, the so-called orders of God come from someone in a position of authority or leadership. But if they were really in tune to God, and hearing what God is saying, they would not be sending out people to harm others.
Only humans care about things like what is right or wrong, good or bad. Only humans care about authority, status and control. I can assure you that God does not take sides in human affairs. That God does not operate in duality. That God is outside of duality, and outside of time. There is not a lot I can tell you about God, but I can tell you that much. There are no victory parties in heaven when one group of humans defeats and kills another. Maybe in the Halls of Valhalla, but that’s a different religion entirely.
What it boils down to is this… People must start to think for themselves! They have to stop adopting the beliefs and faith of others and figure out things for themselves. They have to stop following the orders of everyone they perceive to be somehow more than them, more authoritative, more holy, more wealthy, etc. Nobody s more than anyone else. The president of the Unites States is not somehow better than an orphaned child in Africa. We all have the same Source that gives us life. The very same Source that created the stars we see at night and every blade of grass at our feet.
Blindly following the orders of others based on a belief system and faith that you haven’t even bothered to develop for yourself, just adopted from your parents or your culture, is sheer foolishness, ignorance and stupidity. If the human race were comprised solely of people like that we would deserve to become extinct! It’s time, more than time actually, to stop being a sheep, to stop being a lemming, and become a human Being. We all need to experience God for ourselves. We all need to choose our beliefs and what we put our faith in with full awareness. Then maybe the bloodshed and destruction will stop.
You can not prove to me your Bible is the Word of God. God is not going to come down out of Heaven (according to your beliefs He is a He and that is where He is) and point a giant finger at your Bible to tell me, in a thunderous voice, that this is His word. It will never happen. Because God did not write that book, humans did. God’s hand had nothing to do with it, if God even has hands. Maybe humans inspired by God wrote it. That is a possibility. But it would still have been written by humans, and even inspired by God their human biases and perceptions would come through.
At best you have a book inspired by something outside of normal human perception, and you would call that something God. But even then you have no way of knowing if what you are holding is accurate and complete. You have no way of knowing of it is free of personal biases and perceptions. You have no way of knowing of some king, back when it was first translated into English, didn’t change things around to suit him, or add stuff to it. The Bible’s pedigree is questionable, and I would venture to guess that most, if not all, Holy Books have the same problem.
If you want to believe it and follow its teachings, fine. But what do you see, right near the beginning of your book, in the 10 Commandments? THOU SHALT NOT KILL. Yet what do you read, pages later, in the same Old Testament? Israelites killing other cultures, other people, because some leader told them to, some leader that claimed to receive the instruction from God. So which is it? THOU SHALT NOT KILL or THOU SHALT KILL? Which command is from God? Do you see the problem here?
It’s time to stop blindly following others. Time to start walking your own path and listening to your own heart. If God is ever going to speak to anyone, that is where it will happen. In fact, that is probably what Jesus meant when He said, “I stand at the door and knock.” It’s time to open the door. Not to become a Christian. That is yet another issue with this, the process of being converted or saved, it is not detailed anywhere in the Bible. Do you realize that?
No, opening your heart door means that you go inside, remain silent, and listen. If we all listened to our hearts, not the words of others, all bloodshed and conflict would cease.