Making God responsible for their own miserable souls and behaviours … those that in their delusion command ‘God’ to do that which they know or claim to be miracles , shifting responsibility for action and personal commitment to an image or perception of the ‘Divine’ more often than not for the sole purpose of control .
If one accepts the presence of such a Divine Being, a God or Creator then the very act of controlling another becomes an oxymoron and theologically questionable as the God / Divine Creator of the Judeo-Christian tradition gave all ‘Freewill ‘.
One cannot have it both ways, if one claims affiliation with the Christian Faith, respect for another’s freewill is inherent as a gift to be shared and respected.
To harp back to the Old Testament (Covenant – Contract) would then make a non-sense of the New Testament (Covenant – Contract) and the message as conveyed by the ‘Christ’. According to the New King James Version of the Bible (and there are many versions – as is the nature of man) 1 John NKJV – 16 by this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
Those that accept the teachings handed down since the early foundation of the Christian Church (much of this being contentious to the present day as to its actual reality or it being a matter of faith) the death of the ‘Christ’, the resurrection and the very concept of the ‘Father – Son – Holy Spirit ‘in one can on one level be seen as a metaphor for the very essence of a Human Being.
That all have the Divine in them. That all are Children of the Divine and that all are imbued with the Holy Spirit.
If we view the Crucifixion as the death of all in Man that is hurtful, demeaning and disrespectful of another then the Resurrection becomes an act that liberates us to make choices.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (Authorized King James Version 1 John 3).
Those that politically claim religious affiliations and apply their personal beliefs to the Secular State should bear in mind “Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. Matthew 21:31). Religious faith and social justice either go hand in hand or they do not. Cherry picking the less worthy for condemnation by those that (in Public Office) make great claims as to their faith, make a non-sense of the very faith they profess to hold.
‘Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, … John 8:7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
Any Book that Mankind accepts and uses as a Guide to Behaviour and Social Conduct is only as good as the ‘spirit ‘of the Individual that seeks words and guidance from them. If such guidance is sought to control, demean or vilify another then for that mean spirited individual that Book might as well serve as a door stop or a way to hit rodents and pests!
It is time to live for one another, to share in good faith and with unconditional love and that which is sought, The Kingdom of God (Paradise) may well reside in all of us right here and now! Christmas ought not to be a shopping spree to impress upon others our financial status, measuring love shared by the price tags attached. Christmas, in my view, is a time for reflection. To examine all the potentials of the New Day and Coming Year. A time to treat all as family , make time for those that have fallen through the cracks (often through no fault of their own ) and to reach out to those that have been disempowered , labelled as less worthy or lesser human beings. That too is an exercise in ‘Freewill’, that freedom of choice that we choose to exercise. Not beating people over the head with tomes of religious print, but taking the hint and share a little of ourselves with all those that fate has us pass in the streets.
That does not take Religion to be a decent human being, but for those of us that have made faith part of life, it’s a duty to make it a reality! AK