(HINT: “Because The Bible Says So” is not a good enough starting point, however, and if you use that lame premise I will mock you openly for being a sheep and an unquestioning dimwit, and I’ll show you several hundred places where the Bible contradicts itself. Citing a work that has at least 51 distinct modern translations with massively varying levels of semantic meaning is essentially valueless to me, no matter how divinely inspired the original work may have been. More on that later.)
The Nature of Deity
I believe that there is a God, and He sits in a dimension that we cannot begin to fathom. Let’s call it Heaven for the moment. I believe that He is in all of us, and He is on Earth in many forms; some easily distinguishable, others less apparent. I believe that each person’s experience with God is a unique and deeply personal thing; to be revered and respected, since nobody else is able to understand that unique perception.
I believe that God has been with us in many forms, and I believe in the notion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three manifestations of the same Supreme Being. I believe we are the children of God, as are the animals, and all life forms wherever they may exist in the universe. (Surely, I am not so arrogant to think that humans are the only life, and the Earth is the only habitable planet in the universe.) I believe that He came to Earth in human form, Jesus Christ. In the same thought, I believe that Jesus was the Son of God; mostly because I believe that God is so powerful that petty concerns like paradoxes of physics, biology and temporal mechanics are meaningless in the face of His power. God can pretty much do what He wants, how He wants, and we are not equipped to describe or understand it at a meaningful enough level to debate it with one another.
The Origin of Things
I think that God created the heavens and the Earth, but I believe that He did it through the auspices of what we would deem natural physics. The whole “creation vs. evolution” bitter arguments just make me laugh: I’m fine with the notion of “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” to mean that God initiated what science knows as the Big Bang. And six days? Who are we to know what a “day” is or was back then? The Old Testament is full of guys that lived 900 years. Was that solar years, or metaphorical? And I believe that God, in the process of creating the universe, had to set up its physical laws. And since those laws didn’t exist until he created them, He could do with matter and energy whatever he needed to make creation work.
SUGGESTED READING: The Wounded Sky, by Diane Duane. Yeah, it’s a Star Trek novel, but it deals intimately and profoundly with the concepts of creation of time/space and a thoughtful set of riffs on the subject of supreme being(s). Fascinating, to coin a phrase.
Our Existence on Earth
Here’s the bit about evil, suffering, and how we deal with one another. Is there evil? Yes, I believe that. I think that Entropy has many faces. I have seen a lot of them, most are so subtle that you wouldn’t recognize it. “Ol’ Nick”, as my mother sometimes refers to him, is an insidious force in the world. I do believe that story of Satan being cast out of Heaven for being a turncoat while watching the store (Ezekiel 28), or tracking mud on the furniture, or whatever it was, and I am certain that evil exists at his sinister hand. Why does God permit evil to exist? Because without evil, there is no good; no point of reference for morality, and love. No context for establishing a personal code of conduct among men. (Oh, get a GRIP, will you? By “men”, I mean “mankind”, or “humans”, OK? Can the PC crap, if you will.) Can we avoid evil? Of course. But in everybody’s lives; evil makes its presence known in routine ways. Mostly it takes the form of temptation. That’s the test. Can you avoid the temptations life presents you? Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t.
Why does God permit suffering and pain and death? I think this one is simple. Man as a species requires challenges to succeed and excel. Think about it. If you had no challenges in life, what would motivate you? If you think there’s a noble answer, I submit that you should examine the state of the celebrity in the US. Rich, well fed, unchallenged, unmotivated people end up any combination of rude, fat, corrupt, dishonest, egomaniacal, depressed, stupid, inconsiderate, vapid, and sometimes President. So, a little suffering may in fact be good for the soul. Also consider life and death in this equation. Why? Well, I think we are here to learn stuff. The old adage is that lessons are presented to you in various forms until you learn them. Sometimes, it’s a twig, sometimes it’s a 2x4 upside your head, sometimes it’s a sequoia tree. So, that we do.
MORE COMING... (I just didn't want this to be a entire novel, only an essay)