Here’s a simple place to start. The Bible is NOT “cut and dry,” (sic) as you said. Open it. Read it, page by page, not just the passages you hear in church. The Bible contradicts itself at every turn, and for a very good reason: it was written, edited, interpreted, and translated over many years, by many people. And no human in history (except Jesus) can EVER comprehend the true nature of divinity. Yes, these men may well have been inspired by God, but to believe they could truly understand Him is to take away His divinity and equate Him to us puny humans. If God is in your heart, He’s speaking to you, but He doesn’t need words. Language is a human invention and really, a pretty pathetic little tool. All of our tools are small.
Do you really believe that the prophets could explain God’s will with mere words? If so, try this experiment: Sit in a dark room with someone you don’t know well, maybe an acquaintance from church. Have that person describe the word “red” to you, using as many words as they want. Next, both of you, separately, go to the paint department of your local Wal-Mart and pick out the exact shade of red that was described. Unless you cheat, I guarantee your reds won’t match.
If words can’t precisely convey something as relatively simple as a color, how can they possibly convey the glory of God? They can’t. If you read the whole Bible, though, God’s message comes through, doesn’t it? It boils down to a very few points, the single most important of which is that HE LOVES US. All of us. He doesn’t want us to hurt each other any more than you want a bully to hurt your child. Anything you do to hurt one of God’s children, hurts God, and is a sin. Your man-made church uses bits and pieces of the Bible as proof that you have permission to hurt God’s children.
Don’t think for a minute that permission comes from God.
Nobody’s asking you to drop your faith and buy into someone else’s “religion.” All I ask is that you allow yourself to assume that you might be wrong, that your accepted interpretation of Biblical passages may be inaccurate. Cover your ears, block out the noise, and trust the conscience that God gave you. Admit that “The Bible” might be wrong when it tells you that you must kill your own child after he talks back to you twice. (After the first offense, you must merely beat him.)
God gave you everything you need to serve Him, and He gave the same gifts to people who have never even heard of the Bible. You have a brain; use it to think critically. You have a conscience; use it to guide your words and actions. You have a mouth; use it to express love. You have two hands; use them to end and prevent suffering EVERYWHERE you see it.
I’ve got big news for you. The leaders of your church may have more experience than you. They have more knowledge, and even more wisdom, than you, but they ARE NOT closer to God than you. They do not know His will better than you. God does not speak to you through them, He speaks directly to your heart.
I'm finding it a little difficult to click on "Publish Post." I've always kept my faith rather private. It feels like I'm about to hang my undies on a clothesline in the front yard. Here goes!