The title of my second book, “Seeking God at the Idol Meat BBQ’ actually had a lot to say. It said in no uncertain terms that the quest to put meaning into the concept of God would ignore the teaching of the New Testament apostle Paul. Paul said we know there is nothing wrong with the meat but we should not eat the meat sacrificed because it might impact the faith of those who believe eating sacrificed meat is wrong. My book title says to hell with misplaced faith, this isn’t about being nice to foolish notions, we are going to have a big ass BBQ to fuel our quest to find what we can believe about God.
I began by dismissing a good portion of the written words in all religions as self-serving human interpretation. So many have claimed to speak for God and know what he wants. We can’t even trust the words captured as the words of Jesus, Buddha or Mohammad as a true representation of their teaching.
I started research for the book as a Christian, who didn’t have faith in much of the doctrine and scripture, didn’t believe in prayer and questioned the existence of God. At the conclusion of my research, I found that my faith in the existence and nature of God was firmly established. However: Miracles, signs, virgin birth, fleeing to Egypt, even the crucifixion were called into question.
Early Christians saw the presence of God in the man Jesus and preserved his teaching by word of mouth. They continued to attend the synagogue and shared relevant points of his teaching after the Hebrew Scriptures were read. As had happened countless times throughout history the Jews contracted their circle of accepted practice to pure orthodox teaching when the Romans defeated and dispersed them. Christians who wished to continue worshiping with Jesus as a cornerstone needed to write down their story and desperately needed a martyr. A powerful force to bring people to God through Jesus.
Paul had said that Jesus’ life story was as the scripture foretold. The quest began to scour the Hebrew Bible for passages that described the coming Messiah. Memories of his teaching were grey and dim by the passing of time and constant retelling. Elements of the Greek cynic (Prophet) were adopted as a valid way to a pious life. The story evolved and the myth grew. In 30 to 40 years from 70 CE to 110 CE Jesus grew from the teacher of the WAY to God incarnate on earth.
The more cycles spent in analysis of the story the more I am inclined to focus on God and not worry about the Jesus story. I am pretty sure no religion has the story straight. Not Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or Hindu nor any of the thousands of other belief systems. God is the underlying force of every atom in the universe, every man, woman and child regardless of belief owes their existence to God. Good, bad, indifferent, God observes, creates and evolves our world through every leaf, pine needle, blade of grass and human/animal/insect/reptile consciousness.
It is all about freewill and the love and joy found in watching it all play out. There is no being we can point to and call God. God is the most complex living organism in the universe. Being everything, everywhere; God is simply the living universe. There is no you, because you are a manifestation of God packaged you up as an individual soul to observe your aspect in the dance of evolution. Do you get to dance again, another place, another time, another body? Do we move on to explore a different level of existence? Do we merge into the one consciousness?
Make a wish, make it so.