STAND IN THE WAY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Mark Twain once wrote: “Never let school stand in the way of your education”. ~ Brilliant!
Why would a non-believer read the Bible? Why don’t self-proclaimed believers read the Bible? It’s good to know a little bit of historical background about this best seller. I am writing this article to both the self-proclaimed believer and the proud secular self-centered atheist.
The Bible was put together from writings in 325 AD, 12 years after Rome’s Emperor Constantine received a dream. Here is the short version of the dream: In a dream, Emperor Constantine (Who was facing great odds in the battle of the Milvian Bridge) was instructed to put the cross of Jesus on his shields and his men would be victorious. The dream said: “in hoc signo vinces.” Translated from Greek: “Through this sign, you will be victorious”. This was in 313 AD. He did and he was.
Emperor Constantine ceased the persecution of Christians and wanted a manifesto for Christianity so he formed the “Council of Nicea”. They were a group of Rome’s Christians that sorted through the “Sand Scripts” and put together that which was deemed appropriate and approved by the Roman government. So to the non-believer, yes, politics was involved. This is why we don’t see the book of Enoch in the Bible.
The Bible, throughout the years has been given the moniker of “The inspired word of God”. That is for you to accept, reject or consider; *Note, It doesn’t say “The spoken word of God”. Nonetheless, it has been accepted by Christians and Jews as the documented communication between God and man.
We were all created with the gift of Free Will. With this gift comes the albatross called “Responsibility”. You may have heard the phrase: “I’m a grown adult. I can make my own decisions”. I say: “Yes you are and you best be prepared for the unintended consequences”. (Because they belong to you). Remember this sentence: “You are where you are because of who you are”.
You have to take responsibility for your actions for even being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even if you take your god out of the equation, and you are the self-proclaimed arbiter of your own criteria of right and wrong; you are still responsible for your outcome. You may say: “I’m not responsible for being in a car crash, the other guy was on his cell phone”. That may be true, but there will always be other guys on their cell phones. If you’re a pro-active person, you have insurance and you move forward in life. (Hopefully without lifelong sustaining injuries). I always look for distracted drivers on cell phones and consider them legally drunk.
At that point, some choose to blame life, blame their god, blame the other driver, blame Steve Jobs, and blame the police for not catching the text messenger on his phone. But blaming others doesn’t allow you to move forward. Accepting that rain falls on everyone at one time or another will. It’s the cost of Free Will. Bad things happen to good people because God let us run our own lives, rather than creating us “Humanoids”. You cannot have love if the other person does not have the free will to reject you. So those of you who are radio evangelist Christians that think once saved always saved, remember this: “You cannot lose your salvation, but you can willfully walk away from it”. God will not force anyone into heaven.
The Bible is full of rules; “Thou shall nots” and “Thou shalt”. Sometimes if you ignore the “Shall nots”, you’ll suffer the unintended consequences like divorce, which leads to screwed up children that repeat the cycle. Yes, being a human does come with a manual. It’s up to you to find the one you want to base your human experience on.
To the Atheist that reads the Bible as a “Self-Help” Book, I can only say that you will find nuggets of wisdom in the book; however you’re not getting the full benefit of this nice collection of letters and historical accounts of a person who professed to be the One and only God of eternity in the Flesh if you are not open to the idea of an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient Power. In the first five books of the Old Testament which Jews refer to as the Torah, you have the spoken words of God written by Moses. In the New Testament, you’ll find the words of God spoken through the Son of God in the human called Jesus the Messiah.
You’ll find wisdom that you use every day and you probably didn’t even know it. For example: “You reap what ye sow” is another way of saying: “What goes around comes around”.
The Bible is a good book for the Atheist to determine right from wrong. The hardest thing for the Atheist to understand is that God allows evil to happen. Bitter non-believers are always saying: “Why did God allow this madman to gun down my child on the playground”? Or even more accurately spoken: “How can a loving God allow this to happen”? What we as humans don’t understand is that death might not be “The End”. We often see the suffering of a person and associate that with death thus giving death a negative connotation. When we were a fetus in the womb, we thought that once the cord between our mother was severed, and we were kicked out of the warm womb, life would be over. We didn’t know any better. Then we saw what was our journey for the next 70 to 80 years.
It boils down to this:
It’s harder to get HIV from Heterosexual sex.
It’s easier to go through life not having to remember lies.
It’s easier to work for something and buy it than do 10 years in prison for robbery.
It’s easier to live longer if you don’t fornicate your neighbor’s wife.
It’s easier to be happy if you find your happiness from within rather waiting for someone else to wipe your butt.
It’s easier to go to the store if your name is not on a “Wanted for Murder” poster.
If you create false gods like Golf, Cars, money, self-admiration, Pornography or whatever you worship, you have a greater chance of being disappointed.
If you worship the one God who is the father of Jesus and the Creator of the Holy Spirit; the worst that can happen is you’ve sacrificed worldly pleasures which ARE finite and disposable. (Read the book of Ecclesiastes written by King Solomon, the richest man to ever live) He did it all. He owned mansions and had cool things called “concubines” (look it up) and he did drugs and alcohol. He had treasures and gold as in: “The riches of Solomon”. I think that’s where the term: “It’s good to be king” came from. Wait that was Mel Brooks. In the end he realized that the only constant in his life was not baseball as James Earl Jones says, rather a relationship with the Creator.
The Bible offers insight into what’s next. The Bible offers you a map that shows the bifurcation in the road and how one leads to green pastures and the other a steep deadly cliff. It invites you to be more than Pavlov’s dog. It introduces the concept that there is more to life than that which you can see, touch, smell, taste and hear. Perhaps it borders on “Quantum Physics”.
If the Bible is wrong, and you were a believer, the worst case scenario is you’ve lived a decent life with minimal regrets. If the Bible is right and you were an Atheist, the “after-life” might not be so good a place, ya know? It’s your choice. I could add that when you get to be my age you’ll understand, but you’re not guaranteed tomorrow so don’t worry about judgment day, worry about today.