God is. Nothing and no person was created without God. The Big Bang and other scientific theories, excellent and true as they may be, don’t explain First Cause – that is what brought everything into existence and caused the Big Bang.
What do we know about God from Judaism, Christianity, and other religions? God is love and loves all of creation. Love is not a feeling but is action situated in benevolence and goodwill toward others. It’s treating others as you treat yourself.
The nature of God
The nature of God is of particular interest to me, resulting in and influencing my books. I don’t call it theology because that is thought of more often as the realm of specific religions. From years of study of the development of many religions up to around the time of Jesus, I can say that we commonly want to put God in a box called “ours” and leave everyone else out. Tell me it ain’t so!
It ain’t so! We sell God short, shouting scripture that supports our beliefs, making God look like a demon who wants to kill everyone, while glorifying our exalted position as “believers.”
God loves all people, even those considered evil and in other religions, and makes the sun shine on everyone. A God of love would not be able to condemn most of his creation for something frivolous like belief. “The Lord is longsuffering [patient in spite of troubles], and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression ….” (Numbers 14:18). “The Lord is … longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9)
Are we all acceptable to God?
Those who do what is right are acceptable to God, regardless of nationality or religion.
Jesus said to a Roman Centurion, who was not a Jew, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 8: 10-11 (NIV)
“And Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),” … “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”” – Acts 10:34-42 (NIV)
Paul said: “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.))” – Romans 2:13-15 (NIV)
To those who consider themselves “the elect,” God expects more. It’s not an exalted position of privilege and entitlement. It’s a position of serving others better and reflecting the love of God for all, without judgment.
When we interpret the Bible or any other religious text, we should start our perspective from the context of God. Before drilling down into the nitty gritty details of religion and doctrine, we need a good grounding in the nature of God. We can start with, “God is love,” and leave passing judgment others to God.
The standard of belief and conduct for Christianity is love. Love is the legal standard above all laws.
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