By Mike Edwards
It is common to hear Christians claim truth is discovered through the Bible. One may claim their version of biblical truth and says things like “how is this hard for people to understand — this is what God said” or “if you back down from this issue you are abandoning what God has said is the truth.” The truth is one’s interpretation of biblical truth could be wrong. See here.
Truth isn’t just found in a Book
You telling me that people who’ve never had a Bible (majority born in this world) don’t have some ideas of what a loving Creator is like. We all are in the same boat because bible-folks have to translate the Bible. Christians leaders often claim we must be guided by biblical principles. They assume their interpretation is correct. It is common to hear one argue “The Bible says” without adding “according to my understanding.” The truth is contrary biblical interpretations exist for many moral issues. Hell, we can’t be sure if there is a literal Hell according to the Bible. See here. No, one can’t just always follow their own heart!
Where is Truth found?
Moral truths are not determined by a Book, popular opinion, or by a few in power. We all have an inborn sense of good and evil. There are universal values that most rational people agree on such as murder, stealing, even equal justice for all. We must have open discussions which laws are the most caring for the greater good concerning non-universal matters such as immigration or climate policies. Most religions agree the overriding moral guide is to love others like you want to be treated. Belief or lack of belief in God doesn’t give you an excuse to not treat others like you want to be treated. Personal beliefs about God can be shared in the public arena without imposing or assuming we all agree what biblical truths are.
Truth in relationships is perfection
What actions in relationships should guide us? Perfect ones of course. We may not always know what perfect love is, but we somehow know we ought to love others like we want to be loved. A parent’s perfect love surely is the same as God’s love. I don’t know one person, whether a church-goer or not, that doesn’t think any God worth believing in must be a perfect, loving God. Even atheists would agree if they thought a Supreme Being existed. The Bible even implies such an idea: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). We still must decide what perfect love is, but God surely didn’t create us to be totally clueless.
Imagine a world ….
- What if Christian leaders didn’t always claim their biblical interpretation is correct and at least acknowledge literature requires interpretation “according to their understanding?”
- What if we examine all Books about religion to discern what seems the most universally true? What are Christians afraid of if they have the truth?
- What if we listen to everyone’s opinion and sought to discern together what was the most loving action according to the circumstances?
- What if we didn’t push God on everyone but encouraged them to consider the possibility that a God exist and what actions a perfect, loving God might seek to inspire?
Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like He can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org