I’ve questioned faith, the church, who God is depicted as, heaven, hell, and Christianity in general for as long as I can remember. For a long time, I dismissed the Christian church altogether based on the issues I had of hypocrisy, inequality, judgement, and the list goes on, but I always had a silent pull towards God – who I believed God to be, not necessarily what Christianity continued to tell me God was.
I spent time listening to faith deconstruction podcasts (turns out I’m most certainly not the only one with issues), reading faith deconstruction books, learning about how our Universe works on a scientific level, testing the waters of both science and faith, challenging the commonly held beliefs and grappling with my own inner voice on what I believed to be at the crux of it all.
What I’ve come to know, down to my very core, is that my God is a god of love, of acceptance, of equality, of abundance, of safety, of joy, of peace, of eternity, of respect, of forgiveness, of gratitude, of patience. My God is not a god that would slaughter innocent women, children, babies, and men. He is not a god who would order armies to seize other peoples lands, to kill those who originally possessed it and take slaves. He is not a god who would consider women less than men and require them to bow down and make themselves small to their husbands. He is not a god who would punish and torture any human for their race, gender or sexual orientation. He would not cause suffering of any kind and yet, the bible often depicts him as so.
I believe there is a lot of danger in taking the works of the bible literally and as God’s word. When we forget that these works were written in a different era, where literary works were written as stories, exaggerated to prove a point, written for the people of an era where cultural norms were vastly different than our own, written in a different language (where converting to English can very much be done wrong), and were written by fallible humans, we set ourselves up to fail.
Humans make mistakes. Humans misunderstand. When the bible was written, they still believed the Earth was flat and that slavery was okay. If they got that and so, so many other things wrong, then why is it that we don’t believe that they could get so many other things wrong about God? Who God is, how our world works and who we are meant to be?
I have no ‘fear of the Lord’ as we are taught to have because I do not fear love.
My God is not a god of genocide, slavery, judgement, shame, cruelty, violence or inequality.
My God is a god of love, peace, joy, gratitude, acceptance, safety, abundance and eternity. Regardless of who you are.