What Does God Think About Moral Intuitions Versus Biblical Truths?
By Mike Edwards
Believing God exists or doesn’t exist requires faith, but surely a loving Creator would love the way we were created to love. Is love controlling or manipulative? Then, God can’t be controlling or manipulate. What we think God is really like impacts everything we believe about God. Do we believe what a loving God is like though our moral intuitions, our consciences, or truths according to a Book?
Saying we must rely on “biblical truths” is misleading
Supposed certainty has led to condemning gays, though biblical scholars don’t agree the Bible condemns same-gender loving relationships. See here. Some religions defend killing homosexuals because of their unprovable assumption that every word in a Book was inspired by God. They of course don’t question if their interpretation is inspired. Many claim the Bible says that women can’t fulfill the same roles as men in the worship or home setting. Yet it can be defended despite contrary opinions that Paul, a main writer of the New Testament, didn’t think roles should be chosen based on gender than gifts. See here.
So, there are no absolute truths?
No reasonable God or non-God person doesn’t respect the golden rule in relationships. We aren’t always certain how to best love, but it seems our understandings must lead to loving others as we want to be loved. Certain laws are just common, moral sense. Who doesn’t believe physical or sexual abuse is wrong? What does your loving sense tell you if women can serve in the same roles as men if similarly gifted? Straights or gays don’t wake up one day and choose a lifestyle of acceptance or hostility. Treat others like you want to be treated if in their shoes.
How can we know God?
Only a perfectly good or loving God is worth believing in. Such a statement is nonsensical if we are clueless about perfect love. Even the Bible implies we can understand God’s love because perfect human love and God’s love are the same: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Do you wish to be judged for consensual sexual choices you don’t feel you can control? Do you wish to be considered based on your gender or gifts? Good news — God is a better lover than we are.
Even Bible-believing Christians suggest trusting your moral intuitions
Christians often say God’s spirit (aka Holy Spirit) does or can reside within you. Unless the Spirit talks to you audibly or visibly, we can only discern the Spirit’s voice by examining our intuitions. We can’t avoid judging interpretations of the Bible according to loving intuitions. We can’t always be certain how to best love, but we can strive to love others like we want to be loved. Unless you are a totally self-centered human being, believe about God what makes loving sense to you!
What you believe about God matters!
Mental images of God shape our relationship with God and how followers treat others. If God really created Hell, we may think we should emulate God in our attempts to judge and punish. If God condemns gays, we will condemn gays out of devotion to God. If we believe God thinks men have authority over women in some positions, that will filter down to your wives, daughters, and friends and stifle their gifts. Choose understandings of God that don’t contradict your intuitive sense of a loving God. You may be right!
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: email@example.com