I have a little religious discussion for you this morning.
Before I begin, I want to make my stance on discussing religion clear:
I have nothing against the majority of religions in the world. Even the ones I don’t believe in or belong to are doing a lot of good in the world, and my religious and personal beliefs do not condemn members of other religions based on the idea that they are not part of my religion. I do believe that there are a small number of religions (mostly new, young ones) that are indeed doing more harm than good, but I avoid discussing these ones because I’m not out to pick fights and most of them won’t last long anyhow – they’ll be gone tomorrow. My goal here is have an intellectual discussion of basic religious doctrine with the aim of enlightenment and stimulation for myself and those who read; not to pick fights, offend or diminish anyone’s views or beliefs. If I make statements that offend or diminish your beliefs, do not mistake this for diminishing you personally. If you feel that your religion has been attacked in my commentary, please feel free to defend your religion, but do not attack me personally (for I have not attacked you personally). Attack what I said and how I said it in your religion’s defense. Such is the nature of freedom of speech.
Now that the small disclaimer is behind me, I shall proceed.
If you have ever read any part of the Bible and started at the beginning, there is no doubt you have read this verse:
26 ¶ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (King James version of the Bible)
I have also read it in the Reina-Valera Bible in Spanish (which is based on the original Greek and Hebrew texts) and it reads the same there. Notably, it uses the same first-person plural verb conjugation seen in the English version: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (italics added for emphasis).
The only explanation for this verse I have for most monotheistic religions is that their God must be schizophrenic. The way many Christian religions define and describe their God often makes my head spin (and I know it does the same for most of their believers) and even after hearing it I don’t see how it can explain a God who would talk to Himself in this manner while creating the world alone.
Another scripture monotheistic religions have troubles explaining with their understanding of God is found in the first fourteen verses of the first chapter of John in the New Testament. I have heard many a good, well-versed Christian stumble over his or her words trying to explain their religion’s understanding of this verse. I have even tried (in vain) to help them understand their own definition of God, but found that it was much easier to simply explain it the way I know it to be true.
One of the several teachings of my church that I love is our understanding of God. The teachings are simple, plain, easy to understand, and the Spirit of God testifies that they are true. There isn’t a single verse or chapter in any scripture that our understanding of God cannot satisfy, primarily because it just makes sense. Knowing the true nature of God has liberated me in gaining even greater enlightenment in coming closer to Him, as it is difficult to feel close to someone you don’t understand.
I want to hear what you think. If you are interested in hearing the definition of God as it is taught in my religion, be sure you have a valid e-mail address associated with the comment you leave.