July 21, 2010

I Believe in God - (But not necessarily this)

The first article in this series indicates my basic belief in a creator God without whom the earth and all that is part of the earth would not exist. While there are other aspects of God which could be stated, I believe a lot of them are faith based and thus not part of my "basic" beliefs.  To be sure, I have a number of faith based beliefs about God but they are not a part of the previous article.

For example, the previous article:

* does not indicate a belief about the gender of God. God generally has been given a masculine title but I doubt this is the reality. In the biblical record, God is always referred to as Father, He or some other masculine pronoun. As a result, I use the masculine pronouns because it is convenient in writing not because it is part of my basic beliefs.

* does not indicate the method(s) used by God in the creation process. It is reasonable, at least to me, that God could well have used the evolution process to “try out’ several variations of the creatures, including humans, plants, land masses, etc until the “right” one emerged. In other words, we may still be in the creation process and God’s “seventh day” of rest may not have been reached.

* does not indicate the time frame God used to find the “right” creation. True, Biblical conservatives will argue God used six, remember he rested on the seventh day, twenty-four hour days to create the earth. While I have no doubt it could have been done in this time frame, I doubt it did. In any event, the time frame is not critical to my basic belief in God.

* does not indicate the intent of God in this creation. Frankly it would be very presumptuous of me to attempt to know the mind of God. I think there is evidence to indicate God's purpose for creation, but most of these beliefs are faith based and will be explored in later posts. My belief in God does not depend on His purpose.

* does not indicate whether this is God’s only creation. There is no reason to believe that this earth is the only creation of a God powerful enough to have created it in the first place. I do not believe this God is limited, much less to one creation. We may be one of several “worlds” created by God.

* does not indicate the residence of God. Where is heaven? Frankly, I don’t know! And knowing the location of God is not a factor is my belief in God.

* does not suggest God had any helpers in this creation. We might call these helpers “angels” and they are an integral part of the Jewish and Christian story of creation and subsequent events of history. But are they based in reality, I don’t know! But I do have a belief based on faith as to at least one "helper" in the beginning.

* does not indicate the relationship of God to His creation. Many would argue that God set the rules of nature and then let nature develop based on those rules with no further help or involvement from God. Others would argue that God is directly involved with his creation and his involvement is evident throughout history even to the current day. While I have a faith based belief on this question, it really does not influence my basic belief in the existence of God.

Many of these questions about the many facets of God are the subject of religious tenants in the hundreds of faiths on the earth. For many, their particular response to these questions is basic to their faith and worth fighting over. For me, the basic concept of the existence of God is basic and unchallengeable and the rest are subject to discussion. My belief on some of these questions is faith based such as the relationship of God to all his creation. I will have more to say on that and other subjects in subsequent posts.

The important response to this article is to meet the challenge of determining what YOU believe about God. You have my response, discover your own.

July 19, 2010

I Believe in God

If I were born in a location and to a family unit where there was no belief or disbelief in God or a supreme being, where would I look to find evidence to confirm or deny the existence of God? Assuming a relative good mind and the availability of resource, there are at least two resources to which I would refer for evidence that would confirm the existence of God. What is the testimony of history and what does this world tell me?

Those who study ancient peoples and civilizations, paleontologists’ archeologists and such, have discovered evidence people in all time periods worshiped or paid homage to a spirit or god or something beyond themselves. Whether this was in the form of a nature god such as the Sun god or the god of the harvest, or the rain god or in a more personality driven god envisioned by the ancient Greeks, they nevertheless, saw something as being superior. They often developed elaborate stories about the existence of these gods and their relation with humans.

It is in the nature of humans to recognize a power superseding their own power. There have been no atheist civilizations. Ancient writings, whether on cave walls or paper, all indicate a people who lived and functioned within their individual concept of a god or gods. In and of itself, this does not prove there is a god. It does, however, suggest one since no major group of people to date have found reason to reject the concept of a
superior  being. This being we conventionally call God.

July 8, 2010

What do I truly believe?

I was born and raised in the Belt Buckle of the Bible Belt. In my wildest dreams, it never occurred to me that someone might not believe in Jesus. And even if they could possibly not believe in Jesus, surely, they believed in God. And then I grew up!

I work in a retail store and as I interact with my customers, I often ask them where they attend church. The answers vary, most often being the Church of Christ or the Baptist Church in their community. To be sure, the Methodist, I can not get used to calling them the United Methodist, Lutheran, Mormon, Presbyterian, Catholic and Jewish places of worship get their fair share of responses. But never have I gotten the response I received the other day, “I don’t go to any church, I don’t believe in all the stuff!” After recovering from my shock, we had an interesting discussion about the existence of God. He didn’t leave convinced, I am sorry to say, but he did start a line of thinking that has me thinking seriously about my basic religious beliefs.

Feel free to Comment on Posts or Contact Me


Email *

Message *