My new world non-view: “G’Night BOB”
Today, do you only read the Bible to make your mind up about God? I ask because that is like reading only a McDonald’s menu to decide what you are going to cook for a meal…..there are so many other choices and ways of looking at things, and limiting your main focus to the Bible IS putting your concept of God into a very restrictive box.
I particularly like your McDonald’s analogy.
I don’t know how to encourage fundamentalist Christians to be open to reading other faiths’ writings and other philosophical points of view. But it is clear, when looking in from the outside, that people use the Bible to restrict their viewpoint. They may get “deeper into the word,” so to speak, but that’s like going deeper into a box canyon. You may know more about the canyon, but you are still restricting yourself. Once you get out of the canyon, there is a beautiful landscape to explore.
I prefer to think of God as the Taoist and other eastern religions have describe such a being, as something above good and evil, love and hate, and any other duality that is found in the physical universe. One of the first things the Taoists say in the Tao Teh Ching is that god is unknowable, and once you name it, you have not found its real name.
I look at this “True god, False God/s” issue from the point of view of the old cartoon where the coyote and the sheep dog clock into work, greeting one another in a cordial and professional matter. Once they clock in they engage in a fierce struggle over possession of the sheep. When the day is done, they go to the time clock and clock out, bidding one another a good evening. Once again their tone is ironically cordial and professional.
I have “clocked out” of the “True god, False God/s” struggle. I say that in the sense of the Taoists or Zen Buddhists in how I situate myself in that struggle. If someone were to ask me “Do you believe in God?” I think at this point I would say, “G’Night Bob.” or something. To the question, “Do you have Jesus as your personal Savior?” I would reply, “Have a good weekend!”
I think now I could actually go to church again and not get angry or offended. I think I could recast the entire “show” as a reminder that their is a greater, unspeakable, unnameable reality behind the struggle of opposites. Were I to attend church, I would know I was seeing one head of a two-headed snake. In response to the insanity of a particular religious denomination, I would be open to the people there to be a loving, compassionate neighbor to them. But I can be open and loving to atheists, Muslims, Hindus . . . as well.
The landscape is beautiful once you crawl out of the canyon of theism. Once you say “G’Night Bob!” to the tension of opposites.
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Tags: agnostic, atheist, Bible, Christian, Christianity, Church, freedom, God, good & evil, Jesus, Tao, Taoism, Zen, Zen Buddhism