Did you feel negative feelings about God arise as you read the statements, even though the name God was not used? Many people’s only experience of God has been through religious groups or institutions that expressed God in a repressive way that caused guilt, fear, shame and a sense of confining rigidity. To heal in Love we must be honest about our deep feelings about the name, God.
Read the following statements and simply observe your responses.
A. God is distant and unconcerned.
B. God is intimately here as limitless Love unconditionally loving all existence.
A. God hates sin and we are sinful.
B. God is Love and sin is living contrary to Love and causes suffering. God does not hate, God loves us so much God suffers with us.
A. God is masculine. Feminine is inferior to masculine.
B. God is beyond all dualities and pours divinity through both male and female expressions equally. (Both God's Spirit and creative Wisdom are feminine in Hebrew.)
A. God is offended by sex.
B. God invented sex and delights in our sexual bodies.
A. God is rigidly righteous, holy and demanding.
B. God is creatively free and joyous, flexible, forgiving and understanding.
A. God is angry; God frowns.
B. God is happy; God laughs.
A. God is a man in heaven looking down on us.
B. God is here, the infinite in every atom of existence, loving us from the inside.
A. There is only one right way to understand God.
B. God is beyond all human understanding, infinitely diverse, and flows through all expressions of faith inspired by real Love.
A. God is old, conservative, and fixed in His ways.
B. God is forever young, lush, spontaneous, curious, inspired and juicy.
Statement A comes from religious traditions, which are human expressions that developed over time.
Statement B can be strongly supported within the poetic language usage and root meanings of the original Hebrew and Aramaic of the Bible.
If you are familiar with the New Testament you may remember that Jesus warned strongly against the blinding and distorting infuences of religious tradition.
Read only the A statements again. Now write down how they make you feel.
Read only the B statements again. Now write down how they make you feel.
You are free to choose what ideas will deeply work within you. If you were totally free to choose without fear of consequences, would you intuitively choose A or B?
Choose. Write your choice down.
If you chose A, ask yourself, was it Love or fear that prompted you to make this choice? Be clear about what causes your choices.
If you chose the B statements, fire God A as God and accept God B. Observe any fear that comes up.
Again, do you want to believe fear or Love? You can’t have it both ways because Love dissolves fear and fear closes our openness to Love.
There is no fear in Love, for perfect Love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18
Love opens us; fear closes us.
Love is expansive; fear is restrictive.
Love is luminous; fear is shadowed.
Love supports us; fear threatens us.
Love unites us; fear divides us.
Love heals; fear wounds.
Which do you want? Perhaps the strongest form of fear is religious fear, the fear of losing our souls. Many of us have suffered from this deep fear of rejection and extinction. Though the Jewish Bible (or Christian Old Testement) says to fear God, in Hebrew this word actually means to be in awe, to be overwhelmed by the wonder and greatness of the infinite divine Being, as well as to be afraid of loosing God's favor and suffering His wrath. But Christ never taught fear as a motive, for fear breeds more fear. He taught Love as the only way home to the infinite Love that is our Source. He revealed that God is unconditional, non-judgmental, all embracing, healing Love and that this Love will never forsake us but is at every moment waiting for us to return home with open arms.
Christ went to the furthest extent of Love, embracing the most painful death and descending into the depths of human depravity and despair to show that Love will meet us any and everywhere to liberate us from everything that holds us back from Love. Now it is up to each of us to decide if we will trust Love above all else. This Love is only known though accepting its gift-giving, free nature. This is the essence of Grace. As St. Paul said, you are saved (liberated) by grace...it is the gift of God.
God is Love. To return to Love is to allow Love to penetrate every level of our being, wash away all resistance, break through every familiar inner pattern that is contrary to it and finally embrace even the most desolate and painful parts of our soul with its warm, healing presence. This process fufills the higher purpose of our existence.
To paraphrase the two most important commandments of Christ,
Love the Great Love loving you with all your being and you will love your neighbor in the same way you are allowing yourself to be loved and are loving yourself. This fulfills all the law and the prophets.