Who is free?


I read many blogs written by those with different faiths. And I wonder how it can be that those who love love must be seen as “unbelievers” by those who are not of the same “faith”.

Because every faith is of love. Just as every sacred text is of fiction.  Even the bible.

God created two literal and historically accurate human beings from whom you and I are literally and historically descended. Or is that imagery, i.e. fiction?

God flooded the entire earth and saved one family and an assortment of locally available wildlife from which you and I are historically descended. Or is that also imagery, i.e. fiction?

Chronological family trees are used as evidence but tailored to endorse an agenda.

And Jesus.

The fulfillment of that agenda. A human being who is God as Man (but not) to fulfill “prophecy”. Or is that also imagery, i.e fiction.

And if not – why not?

What changed the writing of the bible from “agenda and imagery”, i.e. fiction – to “fact and historical accuracy” overnight?  The Gospel writers were writing to an agenda for a specific audience who also had an agenda.  So too the letters to the churches.

So I see bible writers as “creative”.  All of them.

And yet today we seem fearful of our creativity. We seem to need to suppress our own creativity in favour of the bible remaining static and literally accurate (at least in the bits we need to be historically accurate) or else – it seems – we cannot believe at all in … what exactly?

A God we define and prove?  A Jesus we shadow through the Holy Land (and all the alternative “resting places” on offer).  A Holy Land riddled with hatred, violence, and death because of competing “proof (faith) verses”.

But back to the bible.

I have come to see, read and hear so much imagery, i.e. fiction, that it blurs any chance I have of proving literal from fiction.  I have reached a point in my journey where I wonder why me calling the bible “fiction” causes Christians a problem.

I also wonder why calling the bible fiction means that atheists have a problem with me still believing in GSHJ.

Someone suggested I am not free. That believing the bible is fiction makes me less free than believing the bible is true (which doesn’t mean “historically accurate” – but simply “true”).

Someone else suggested that my believing the bible is fiction and not renouncing God makes me a duplicitous pseudo-Christian.

Which makes me think that I might be onto something here.

Because I am now free to connect with anyone who loves – or who desires to love – or who thinks about love – in a way that is truly unconditional.

I am free of any group that demands I believe this or that. I am free to see love in everyone and everything.  I am free to desire behaviour that is kind (above being right or wrong) – that invites loving each equally – that is a way of living in every thought, word, deed and intent.  I see that in many who don’t believe in God let alone the bible as being true.

And the bible?

I know the bible was written for a reason.  I was taught the reason was love.  I have been taught that “love” in the bible is “unconditional love”.

Which is where teaching and living part company.

A crossroads where proof and evidence “prove” that love is conditionally unconditional.  Where the absence of proof and evidence “prove” it is all bad.  A place where the bible is true and teaches conditional love and calls that “freedom”.  A place where the bible is not true and teaches there is no God.

And where my fictional bible and my God Soft Hands Jesus and my right here and now unconditional love makes me …

A prisoner … ?

 

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6 thoughts on “Who is free?

  1. The problem regarding faith-as-love and/or faith-as-obedience, and so on, involves a fundamental principle of autonomy. And this frames – and so fundamentally affects – the very notion of what ‘freedom’ means, of recognizing what ‘responsibility’ means, of accepting culpability for our faith-based beliefs!

    The problem for autonomy is to fist answer the question, “Who is responsible for you, your actions, your thoughts, your reasoning, your beliefs and opinions and knowledge, right here and right now?”

    There is a stark and meaningful difference caused by how you answer this.

    Religious belief means giving up, giving away, giving some portion of your inherited autonomy to the authority of some faith-based system or separate divine entity. That is the root of perniciousness that derives from this willing submission to divine superstitious beliefs, and it causes eternal problems between people.

    For example, do you own – are you fully responsible for – the love you say you hold towards any other person? Or is it borrowed and altered in some way through a version of a religious filter
    – say, Jesus – metaphorically stamped by the approval of some nebulous divine agency? Which love is more powerful, pure, and to what extent free, when given by an autonomous debt-free agency or one that is religiously filtered and subject to some other approval process?

    You see the dichotomy. The first is a bottom up authority each of us possesses; the second is a top-down authority bequeathed to each… depending… and to different degrees depending… and in different ways depending…,

    This problem pollutes everything religious. In every case, the non believer must be recognized to be operating as a full human, fully autonomous, fully responsible, fully engaged with the ethical and moral aspects of his or her life… because there is no one else. There is no other base authority because the autonomy is rooted in the here and now in the individual and being expressed honestly (this the enlightenment value for justifying ‘the pursuit of happiness’, happiness meaning autonomy), whereas the borrowed autonomy from some creator critter is rooted in the nebulous mysticism used to obfuscate the actual authority for selfish purposes. This second framework is wide open to puppetry and we see this played out every day by its millions of examples from those whom use the legitimacy of some religious precept to cause real harm to real people in real life in the name of ‘correct’ piety. No amount of benefit similarly derived compensates for this harm because the same benefits can be derived from better reasons and justifications without including this necessary harm from pious puppetry.

    • Hi Tildeb and thank you for stopping by.

      This might sound aggressive, that is not intended. So try reading it with the tune of “go to sleep – go to sleep … “ in your head :- )

      I am coming to the conclusion that you can be as short-sighted as those you accuse. There is a preference in you to pursue the “give it away” theme. Which is true and some do. But many don’t. Ask almost any religious leader, and they will bemoan how “moving their flock” is like turning an elephant by the tail. I think that is complacent by-standing perceived as pernicious.

      For me pernicious in the conscious puppeteering. And as I have traveled this “bit” I am seeing an institutional church that is so embedded in the Christian tradition of “the bible is the bible” that through tradition (rather than malice) it continues to preach and teach the same themes.

      And, just as I know my loved ones are not perfect and can irritate the life out of me, should you come after them (even if is for the same things that irritate me) I will defend them with my life. I see religious tradition and your approach having similarities.

      So I see no value in a war. Wars kills people and not much else. Usually those who least deserve it. But I do see value if finding a connection. In connecting with what we all have in common. Where ideas and passion live. Not to be a puppeteer. But to describe what might seem impossible to some as entirely possible for all. To say it is okay to let go – and live again. To let go of what keeps anyone in the same place for fear of what lies beyond.

      I see love changing everything. You see harm poisoning everything. Or am I missing it all again? 🙂

      • Paul, you said, “I also wonder why calling the bible fiction means that atheists have a problem with me still believing in GSHJ.”

        So I explained why. “The problem regarding faith-as-love and/or faith-as-obedience, and so on, involves a fundamental principle of autonomy.”

        As long as you believe your freedom comes from a top down deity, you are not free. You are a subject, a serf, a servant, no matter how ‘gentle’ you try to make your Master out to be. .

        • Tildeb, I cannot remember saying my freedom comes from above. I am not sure I have believed that for a very long time if ever. My “freedom”, in this conversation, comes from un-shackling myself from a historically reliable bible.

          You know I mentioned your preference for finding harm …

          • And you know I’ve pointed out that you can’t be a deist when it comes to facing up to the criticizing of the fundamental tenets of Christianity and, it is you, not me, calling yourself a Christian. Denying these tenets while maintaining the label – not me – is what you’re trying to propose. It doesn’t work.

            • Tilldeb, the label of “Christian” has a strict definition and a much looser reality (as in “we in the west are predominantly Christian”). You also said some time ago that you work with reality. I have been told many times in my life what I can and can’t be. I have seen people tell themselves the same. And I have learned to say: “It’s okay to let go and live again.” It does work. I have seen it.

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