We are continuing our journey toward a religion that promotes equality, peace, love and acceptance and examines parts of the bible with regard to what God may, or may not have said. This is in the spirit of “have we misrepresented God” in thinking the “entire” bible is the inspired word of God, as opposed to “some” of the bible being simply what men have portrayed God to be.
Great Words to Live By
Let’s start this blog by looking at a part of the bible that could very well be the inspired word of God.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Watch What You Say
At first look, this may sound weak and soft, but I don’t think that it how these words are intended. The definition of unwholesome is simply, detrimental to physical, mental, or moral well-being. So, to not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, would mean we would not say things that are detrimental to someone’s physical, mental, or moral well-being. Too often today things are said with the intention to hurt someone and to cause them pain, or to belittle them and make them look foolish. Simply stated, this would mean that we would not use our words to intentionally hurt someone, cause them pain, or try to belittle them. So, if we are doing this, this would not be what God wants from us; and before we start to justify, wait until we read a couple of paragraphs down.
Build Up, Don’t Tear Down
Too often today we see people using words that tear people down, make fun of people, or make them look foolish. These verses tell us that we need to be about building other people up, not bringing people down. Building people up includes things like encouraging them, trying to understand them and being able to have a “two-way” conversation with them. Too often today we “tell” people what they need to do based on our view of the world. We are not interested in what they have to say because we “know” they are wrong and we are right. This is not building someone up according to their needs. Instead, this is discounting what someone else has to say because what we think we have to say is more important. We should intently listen to what others have to say so that we understand what they are saying in order to intelligently engage in a two-way conversation that builds both parties up. We may not all agree, but that is never a reason to tear someone down, make fun of them, or make them look foolish.
Make Your Words Beneficial
Our words need to be beneficial to those who listen. If our words are cutting and tear others down, no one will want to listen to them. In fact, there are other verses that give great insight into what this should look like.
Colossians 4: 5-6
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
If we think about outsiders as those who think differently than we do, we can understand that our words should “always” be full of grace and “seasoned with salt”, or in other words, leave a good taste in someone’s mouth. Words that are beneficial are words that someone can hear and think about, and not simply just reject. These verses would definitely be something God would want us to do.
But, Would An All-Knowing God Really Say This?
Let’s change directions and look at something contradictory that would not have likely been inspired by God. First, we need to remember in Psalm 139:16 David says the following about God, Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Again, giving us clear indication of an “all-knowing” God.
Genesis 6: 5-7
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created – and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground – for I regret that I have made them.
An “all-knowing” God would have known what human beings would be like on the earth and would not be surprised by their actions. In knowing this, God would never say that God regretted making human beings and wanted to wipe them off the face of the earth. In addition to this, we can also be fairly certain that there is no way the thoughts of the human heart was only evil, all the time. In earlier accounts, we have references to people who were good, not evil and each of know as selfish as some of our thoughts can be, we are not like this all the time. Each of us do have the desire to do good deep inside. These words are not likely the inspired word of God, but rather the words of man.
Murder – Not Murder?
Another contradiction occurs related to the ten commandments.
Exodus 20:13 says,
“You shall not murder”.
But then when we compare this to a passage in Leviticus, we find the following.
Leviticus 24: 15-16
Say to the Israelites: Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.
So, we are told not to murder, but then we are told if someone blasphemes the name of the Lord, the entire assembly is to murder them. Not that this is confusing enough, but the following verse adds even more confusion.
Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death.
So, we are told not to murder; then we are told that all of us must murder someone who blasphemes the name of the Lord; then we are told that anyone who takes the life of another human being must be put to death. In this scenario each of us would have to be murdered because we murdered someone else, as we were commanded to do. In the end, this would lead to us killing each other as commanded, with the last person having to take their own life. I think we can be certain that these would not be the inspired words of God.
Peace and Love
Again, my intent is not to destroy anyone’s belief system, but perhaps to strengthen it. Over time, we have turned the bible into God. When you can open your mind and look at the entirety of what the bible says, it becomes very clear that some of it would not be what God would have said at all. The reason this is so important is because some people use the bible for superiority, exclusion, judgement and condemnation, which is a direct contradiction to what God would want. When we finish this journey, my hope is that it will allow for less division, conflict, and hate, and allow for more equality, acceptance, peace and love.