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Here's What Makes The Bible a Holy Magical Book

By       Message Mark A. Goldman     Permalink
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Some say the Bible is a holy text, the true word of God. For Christians, there's a certain almost magical quality that attaches to the Bible. The same is true for the followers of other religions and their "holy" texts.

I would argue that the true magical quality attributable to religious texts, is not that any given text reveals God's truth, but rather that it magically reveals the reader's truth--the attitudes, state of mind, and morality of those who claim to know how God thinks. Their sense of morality, they believe, is the true and correct attitude to have as demonstrated by selected stories or words in their holy scripture to which they can refer. Interestingly enough, one can find language in the Bible to justify just about any point of view one might look for.

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In practice, each person chooses his or her favorite theme or text and calls those selected portions of scripture, "the Truth." And so readers can easily find portions of scripture that "prove" God is vengeful, loving, jealous, forgiving, angry, compassionate, or whatever. And unsurprisingly, they prefer that characterization of God that best matches their own attitude and state of mind.

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Some people actually believe that God would condemn a person to eternal pain and suffering for not understanding, accepting, believing, or having faith in, a particular belief system before some arbitrary deadline. What would be the point? Has God no compassion or understanding? Only someone who still has an awful lot to learn about God would believe that He would do such a thing. People conveniently create God in their image and then claim that it was God who created them in His.

Any self-proclaimed teacher of scripture reveals to those who are thoughtful and listen critically, what that person's state of consciousness is. Some people's views make God out to be an idiot, thereby revealing the truth about themselves" and nothing at all about God. Even people who have developed extraordinary persuasive skill at convincing others of the "truth" of their convictions can become trapped in their own illusions and self-delusions--perhaps even more so because they have those skills.

Jesus was not a Christian. He didn't believe or teach that he was God. He didn't ask to be worshipped. He didn't start a new religion. All he did was set the record straight: that God is not the hypocritical self-serving, jealous, cruel, vengeful fool that so many religious leaders and others in authority are, and also claim He is. Most Christians do not follow Jesus; they follow the teachings of those who came later offering their interpretation of what his message was and what their response to his life should be. Most of the central and minor characters who came later never did agree with one another on important issues, dividing themselves into separate camps, each camp believing what they want to believe and then holding those beliefs to be "the Truth."

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The only way to fully understand what Jesus knew and/or tried to teach would be to become what he was. But beware: if you blindly accept what others say he was, you might never unlearn the misinformation you think you already "know." If you have been instructed to have "faith" in what others tell you is the truth, that could keep you stuck in illusion for a long time, because what they tell you might have as its purpose more to do with having you look up to them as an authority, than to help you learn how to think and discover for yourself what you want or need to know about God. How does one unlearn a point of view one has made a commitment to have faith in? It's not wise to make a commitment to believe forever, something other people tell you is true. The truth is something each person has to discover for themselves. And when you look for the truth with intellectual integrity you'll notice that over time it changes... it changes as you expand and deepen your understanding of yourself and others.

Everyone who claims to "know" what happened and what was said 2,000 years ago is far removed in time and space from those real or imaginary events. What we call history are the views of historians and others that have been accepted as "truth" by large numbers of people--people often politically motivated--people who have a vested interest in having you accept one version of the truth over another--and also people who never really gave it much thought.

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Mark A. Goldman is an author, financial planner and was a candidate for president of the United States in 2008 and 2012. His new book called "Starting Over" is available for download free as a pdf file at this address: (more...)
 

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