God is Not Complicated

God entrusted us with Ten Commandments. Obedience has been described as something one does right away, all the way, and with a cheerful heart.

The endeavor to keep the Ten Commandments all the way had people adding over six hundred more laws to the original Ten. Jesus looked at “all the way” in a different way than adding more laws. Instead of adding to (in the hope of clarifying) the Law, Jesus taught a way of stopping before Commandments ever became an issue. If we do not get angry with our brother, the issue of killing does not arise. If we do not look at someone with lust, neither does the issue of adultery. If we love God, worshiping is a natural way of life and so is not using the name of God in vain.

In one of today’s readings James reminds us temptation does not come from God, but from our own desires. Desires can lead to sin, which leads to the end (or death) of something in the life we have been given.

If we start with this foundation, then Old Testament stories that seem to trouble so many atheists take on a different meaning, a new dimension. They can now be seen with how man’s desire led to the death of something and how God raises life from that death. As He does for a nation, so does He do more for us as individuals.

God is not complicated.

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Nope they are still troubling.

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Yeah, I’m not sure why God commanding the slaughter of infants shouldn’t be troubling.

Reading about early Chinese Dynasties has some interesting parallels. These early people, like those of King David’s time, believed that their God(s) chose the king. A famine indicated that God was displeased with the current king and that he (like in King David’s case) was being punished, or that another king should be chosen.

Since those times we have learned more about the cause of famines, about governing, and about God. So how can Old Testament stories still be troubling?

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2000+ years and humanity still can’t understand what it was God truly is, was, etc.

God is most definitely complicated.

God is forgiving yet vengeful.

God is as complicated as we make ourselves. That’s the whole point of the Lila (play).

I am only vaguely familiar with Hinduism and even less so with the Lila. That is my own doing as I dismissed its premise (that God has no purpose in making the world).

I start with God is love. What is love without something to love? That is what I see as God’s purpose in creating the world. It is not simply a plaything, a game, or a sport.

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I’m not familiar with any form of Hinduism that believes God has no purpose in making the world, though there are different denominations(?) of it.

Here’s a brief explanation of what I’m referring to. It’s a 13 minute talk by Alan Watts regarding the Eternal Self and the Lila. It’s a very beautiful point of view to consider, especially when (IMO) it doesn’t conflict with my Christians views in the slightest. In fact, it tends to compliment the parts of Christianity that don’t satiate my curiosity (What are we? Who are we? Why are we here? etc…)

The Lila’s purpose, even as he describes it, is still play, not purpose, and not one I am in accord with–at least not full accord. :slight_smile:

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What are we?

I cannot say all of what we are. I do know that a large part of what we are is that we are individuals with free will, individuals who are under the care of God more than we know or are at least aware of.

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Me neither, which is why I can’t dismiss the idea that we’re all God looking for some company. Being everything sounds lonely.

The Tandava Dance described in that video strikes me as incredibly similar to the return of Christ.

Except…there are those of us more interested in getting away from company than we are in looking for company.

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A dualistic conundrum indeed.

I do not like feeling helpless, whether that is an inability to help someone understand a math problem or whether it is the inability to introduce someone to God.

If the Bible is the problem for some, the door to God is still not closed.

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Amen. There are many ways to find God, none of which are possible without Introspection, as Jesus taught us.

I bet the the Greeks said the same thing about Zeus.

The similarity of Ancient Greek beliefs and Christian beliefs today lies in the belief of life after death. Some of the Gods of Mount Olympus were the legendary form of some Greek human heroes. Note that the Greek Gods and Goddesses had human attributes. Zeus had power, but he was not known as a Great Spirit who communicated in Spirit form with the earthly population. He did not create humans and he wasn’t concerned with the welfare of the Greek population. He had his own problems among the other Greek Gods and Goddesses.

While the Greeks may not have said the same thing about Zeus, a better example may be the Great Spirit of many pre-Columbian tribes of the Americas. Many were encouraged to communicate with the Great Spirit, and, as SixFoot noted, introspection was one of the keys in doing this.

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When everything is God you can never be wrong