Can You Connect to God Without Religion?

Written by Karen Schenk

soulcravingsfindreligionIs there a difference between God and Religion? There is definitely a difference between God and religion.  God is someone I have a relationship with.  My view on God can be altered by many factors in my life.  It can be affected by my relationship with my own father or even by my culture and the people I spend time with.

I see religion is a set of beliefs that have guidelines for behavior associated with them.    There are many religions with many differing beliefs and rules.   I don’t  think God needs religion.  He wants to have a relationship with me.   It is so easy for me to get confused and think that my relationship with him has rules of engagement.    I love knowing that God cares about me and that my relationship with him does not need a lot of order and structure.  I want to participate in religion or church to celebrate his holiness, but it’s not a condition of knowing God.  Do you believe you can you connect to God without religion?

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792 Responses to “Can You Connect to God Without Religion?”

  • Elkay says:

    Robert, it may be in your best interests that you “follow no religion” because as the article says, “religion is a set of beliefs that have guidelines for behavior associated with them.” A set of beliefs cannot help me with my biggest problems and those are the sins I commit and how they separate me from the Holy God who created and sustains this universe.

    Obviously I cannot “un-do” my sins and only Holy God can forgive me. That is why Eph 2:4f tells us that “When we were dead in our sins, God made us alive together with Christ that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.)”

    When Jesus came into the world, He also incredibly established a New Covenant “Abba” relationship between God the Father and us and it is this relationship that defines Christianity as being not just another set of “religious beliefs”.

    From the Father’s side, “Abba” implies many things:
    • His mercy, compassion and love for me;
    • His personal interest in me and consistent concern for my good;
    • His willingness to provide for my needs and to protect me; and,
    • His use of His perfect knowledge, judgment and wisdom in guiding and caring for me.

    On my side, my calling God “Abba” signifies:
    • An implicit willingness to love, honor and respect My Father;
    • An awareness of My dependence on God;
    • My sense of confidence in my Father’s judgment and trust in His integrity; and,
    • Ready obedience to my Father’s desires and will, with corresponding acceptance of my Father’s right and responsibility to discipline me for my own good.

    Robert, you are right about this ills of organized religion but God’s most glorious work is the work He is doing with His new creation, the Church of Jesus Christ. Today multiplied flaws and defects embarrass the Church, but the time will come when she will be “a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25).

    If you have never come into a relationship with God the Father by accepting and trusting His Son Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you can turn your life over to Him and trust Him to bring about what He knows is best for you. If you would like to know more about this, we have trusted mentors who are freely available to help and they can be reached by clicking on the “Talk to a Mentor” button near the top right of this page.

    May God bless you today with exactly what you need today.

  • Robert says:

    I may be naïve, but I follow no religion, I simply believe in God the entity. I also believe in humanity and science, and see no contradiction in either. God gave us ” us “, and the ability to think and learn, to create, to have ideas, to learn. If anything, I do have a distaste for organised religion because it seems to have an inherent divisiveness, setting one against the other and being claimed by some as a weapon, or worse, an excuse for carrying out horrendous crime. I have not had a good life, I have failed. I have lost all but the love of my family, but that is not God’s fault, it is purely mine. One thing though, in losing everything ( and I mean that ) God never deserted me.

  • Seon says:

    Hey Elkay, every generation thought there’s was the one where Jesus would return. But you are right, It’s FAITH not about what church you belong to or if you are baptized or not.

  • Elkay says:

    Seon, being part of a loving family is wonderful in many aspects but one thing to keep in mind is that the truest definition of “Christians” as being followers, disciples, of Jesus Christ, is found at Acts 11:26. Being a member of a church of any denomination or an adherent of any religion does not make one a Christian. Christ-followers are the people Paul speaks of at 2 Cor 11:2, “I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.”

    It is a big deal to be part of the pure bride to Christ because Rev 19 includes these words: “The Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to Him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.” For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” (NLT)

    These are indeed true words and on the roads I travel is a big sign that says, “Jesus is coming again. Get right with God.” As Derek Prince said, “When Christ comes again, you want to be fully clothed in white linen, not in a bikini!” I pray for the Bride’s invitation-blessing to everyone who reads this post. Amen.

  • Seon says:

    I’m with Kenneth (surprise surprise) I always had a tough time with organized religion but found a way to keep that relationship with God. But yes, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Bahais etc can be loving families. I have meet amazing families from most major religions.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Vanessa L–
    If I may make things a little easier for you, consider that the law of contradiction states that two things that contradict each other cannot both be true. Since you are looking for the true “religion,” then start with biblical Christianity. When you see that it is true, it will automatically eliminate all other religions and save you a great deal of time!

  • Tom Tom says:

    You reveal in your comments the greatest hindrance to knowing the one true God by stating that “everyone wants to be a good person . . .” The problem is that apart from Jesus Christ and his righteousness, NO ONE is a good person. They only think they are in their own prideful mind. Saying that one should “investigate each religion and find the one that ‘speaks’ to you” is saying there really is no difference one from the other. Since all religions contradict each other, there can be no more than one that is “right.”

    The Bible is God’s revelation of himself and Jesus Christ his Son. The only way to have a relationship with God is through Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.”

  • Elkay says:

    Vanessa, if you do choose to explore some of the “religions or belief-systems” that exist, ask questions like (1) How did this infinitely complex universe and humanity come about and what is my role?, (2) What happens to me when I die?, (3) What are the consequences of my sin? (4) Why do I have an internal yearning to “worship”?

    Please take Tom’s advice about reading (and re-read) John very seriously. In view of what He said about Himself in John, you cannot just call Him a great teacher and have to answer the question, “Was Jesus insane, a liar or who He said He was?”

    Christians believe He was who He said He was, and amazingly extended to His followers the sacred privilege of calling God “Abba”, an intimate term sort of like “Daddy” and of being an adopted son of God. What it means for God to be my “Abba Father” is that, among other things, and just like a good human father:
    (1) He has mercy, compassion and love for me;
    (2) He has a personal interest in me and consistent concern for my well-being;
    (3) He wants to provide for my needs and protect me; and,
    (4) He will use His perfect knowledge, judgment and wisdom in guiding and caring for me.
    In summary, He is love.

    On my side, it means, among other things, and just like a good human child:
    (1) I implicitly and willingly love, honor and respect Him;
    (2) I am aware of my dependence upon Him;
    (3) I have confidence in His judgment and trust His integrity and abilities;
    (4) I am ready to obey His desires and will; and,
    (5) I accept His right and responsibility to discipline me for my own good.

    Now, God is not just my “Abba”, He is my “Perfect Abba” and as a perfect human parent would do, He acts, or does not act, only for my good. He does not treat me in a particular way to meet His own needs or to compensate for some imbalance in His personality. He never acts to discourage or exasperate me. And He disciplines me in love, only for my own good, and never to work out His own frustration or anger. Knowing these things are true doesn’t mean always feeling like they are, but they are 100% of the time. (The above is taken from Hunter’s book, The God Who Hears.)

    Vanessa, if this is what you want in life, Deuteronomy 4:29 tells us that if we seek God with all our heart and all our soul, we will find Him.

    Now, God’s infinite and perfect knowledge about all things, His infinite power and goodness and saying that He God is love raises some “hard questions” (Whence evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why are faithful prayers for “good things” not always answered? And the like.) We cannot answer questions like these because God in His infinite wisdom has chosen not to give us answers . . . possibly because our human brain could not grasp them. But He has told us everything we need to live a God-honoring life and I pray that goal for you.

  • Anon says:


    There are a lot of great people here contributing to a discussion on GOD and there seem to be a couple different viewpoints. One is based on a personal relationship with GOD (without religion)and one is based on The Bible.

    I would suggest you investigate each religion and find the one that ‘speaks’ to you. You may or maynot find one, in which case, I agree with SEON that you must look within and find GOD and He is right that it is all about FAITH!

    I’m not saying either one is right. I think everyone on here wants to be a good person and lead a life in sync with GODS plan.

    A relationship with GOD is personal and It is something you have to practice everyday. Your intent should be to become the best ‘you’ and it is a life long journey.

    I think todays youth (like you) have a hard time buying into the current momotheistic religions. They are being torn apart. I have come to learn that there are many great people out there and they do not all come from one religion. My Christian family and friends are some of the most loving, kind, considerate people I know, but I also have friends and family from other religions who are equally as great! Whether Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Catholic, Buddist, Jewish or any other religious sect, This world needs to come together!

    You are on a good path, there is no rush.

    One Love


  • Elkay says:

    Vanessa, I was about to reply when I saw Tom’s comments that are “right on” Let me add a comment about baptism.

    Baptism is something you do after you commit your life to following Jesus and this comes about as a result of your being re-born spiritually . . . it is not something you do to get re-born but is a public proclamation that you have trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior. It comes about by an action of the Holy Spirit and symbolizes your bond with Christ, going under water as He went to death for you and coming out of water as He was resurrected (in a vague sense “re-born”) to the Father’s right hand. You “die to yourself” and are re-born as an adopted child of God to eternal life.

    It also might be helpful if you would begin a personal and private conversation with one of our mentors who are experienced Christians . . . just click on the “Talk to a Mentor” button near top right of this page.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Vanessa L—
    I sympathize with your struggles as growing up in a household with such varied spiritual beliefs is extremely confusing. Each person fully believes in what they practice, and unfortunately, they are usually not open to hearing anything that differs from those beliefs. Please let me try to untangle at least a little of your confusion.

    If there is anything that all religions have in common (except for the true one), it is that man can somehow “do” something or be good enough on their own to arrive at their idea of heaven, or nirvana, or spiritual understanding. Man is full of pride and therefore thinks he can make that happen. However, the one true faith, biblical Christianity, teaches that there is absolutely nothing man can do to earn God’s good favor, and so God himself made a way for us to be reconciled to him and to one day be with him forever; that is through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our sins separate us from God and we can’t pay for those sins ourselves, so God sent his Son Jesus to pay for those sins. We need only repent (recognize our sinfulness before a holy God and admit we are lost in those sins) and put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It’s so simple a child can understand it, but in our pridefulness we continue to seek some kind of “works” to be good in God’s sight, and deny the one true way.

    The Bible is God’s revelation to us of who he is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what is still in his plan for humanity. It is his revelation of Jesus Christ. Modern translations of the Bible use the ancient manuscripts that were written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, and as accurately as possible translate those languages into English so that we can read and understand them. There are minor differences in wording, but the meanings are the same. The 66 books of the Bible have been considered the actual Word of God since the end of the first century. Catholics added the books in the middle of the Bible (the Apocrypha) centuries later. While those books are considered historically accurate in what they have to say, they were never considered to be direct revelations from God.

    So Vanessa L, I recommend the best place for you to start is to read the Gospel according to John in the Bible. It is the fourth book in the New Testament of the Bible, right after Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It was written for those who desire to know the truth of God and his Son Jesus Christ. John was one of those who personally walked and talked with Jesus. I would recommend using a modern English translation such as the ESV (Ensligh Standard Version), NASB (New American Standard Version), or NKJV (New King James Version).God wants you to know him and to have a personal relationship with him through Jesus.

    I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. I know God will bless you as you seek him.

  • Seon says:

    Bupperzs do you really think God cares if some man in a frock dunks you in water? your relationship with the divine is between you and him, if you want to read the Bible that is your right. It’s faith that will save you not if you are baptized or not. God bless.

  • Bupperzs says:

    I’m so confused. So I am 18, just out of high school and, okay so my mother is catholic and my father is apostolic . Both have different beliefs and practices . I have grown up with both . Not a lot , but some of both. What I’m confused about is that I want to read the bible and but I’m not sure which bible I should read since currently I do NOT have a “set” religion. Also I’m a bit nervous considering I am not baptized. Because I know being baptized means one is reborn . But being baptized comes with which ever religion you are baptized in/under . I really don’t want to pick a religion yet since there are so many different ones. I guess I’m just kind of lost . I don’t know what to do really . Or how to go about changing these things ?

  • Vanessa L says:

    I’m so confused. So I am 18, just out of high school and, okay so my mother is catholic and my father is apostolic . Both have different beliefs and practices . I have grown up with both . Not a lot , but some of both. What I’m confused about is that I want to read the bible and but I’m not sure which bible I should read since currently I do NOT have a “set” religion. Also I’m a bit nervous considering I am not baptized. Because I know being baptized means one is reborn . But being baptized comes with which ever religion you are baptized in/under . I really don’t want to pick a religion yet since there are so many different ones. I guess I’m just kind of lost . I don’t know what to do really

  • Seon says:

    When the taunt was written, the Jews called Adam man. Could God have been referring to man in Eden? What about the tower of Babel? Kings have tried to metaphorically reach God before, could it be a reference to his arrogance?

  • Tom Tom says:

    Not physically the king but spiritually. The passages in Isaiah and Ezekiel are referencing attributes of Satan as the spiritual leader of those nations while using the actual Kings of Tyre and Babylon as “types” or comparisons of Satan. As noted, several of the attributes could not have been those of one of the physical kings.

  • Seon says:

    Wait, so satan was the king of Babylon? That’s news to me…

  • Tom Tom says:

    –The king could not have “fallen from heaven,” but we know that Satan did.
    –Star of the morning is a direct reference to Satan.
    –The king could not “raise his throne above the stars of heaven,” but that was Satan’s desire–to be greater than God.
    –The king could not have been “in Eden, the garden of God, but we know that Satan was.
    –The king could not have been a “cherub,” but Satan is.

    The spiritual prince (king) of Tyre was Satan, and that cities ungodliness showed as much.

  • Seon says:

    How do you know know they are talking about Satan? If you read the entire chapter for Isiah for example it is a taunt against the king of Babylon. Is that Satan?

  • Tom Tom says:

    Isaiah 14:12-15
    Ezekiel 28:11-19
    The “king” or “prince of Tyre is referencing Satan–the spiritual mover and shaker of that evil city.

  • Seon says:

    Jamie and Tom-

    Thanks to Tom’s article I get it so God created man in his own image in the sense that he breathed our souls into our bodies.

    “They took pride in their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols. They made it into vile images; therefore I will make it a thing unclean for them.”?

    I didn’t see the word “Dust” there. There would have been a contradiction but Tom is right, it’s our souls that are made in his image.

    Also with the book of Job, that’s not how Jews viewed the Satan character, they didn’t view him as some “Fallen angel” so the character somehow had the fall between that story and the Jesus story but where does the Old Testament mention the fall?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    So when Ezekiel uses the same word to talk about idols as images of gods (Ezekiel 7:20), do you think anybody thought he meant that they actually were the gods or just representations of them? No, they knew that those idols represented the God. Similarly, humans are not divine, but are God’s representatives on Earth. So there is no contradiction between the description of being made in the image of God and being made from dust.

    As far as the use of Satan in the Old Testament, it is a Hebrew word which means adversary or enemy. There are a number of places where it becomes a personal pronoun of the Enemy of God. There are many references to Satan in Job, and is obviously a use of the name of Satan like in Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.” There are also similar references to Satan in Zechariah.

    As far as connecting the devil to the serpent, the Old Testament does not make that connection overtly, there are two direct connections of the serpent in the Garden as Satan in John’s Revelation; “the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him.” (Revelation 12:9), “He seized the dragon – the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan – and tied him up for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:2).

  • Seon says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I’m talking about the contraction of the two creation stories. One says God created man in his image and the other says god created man out of dust. When the Bible says “in our image” I take that literally.

    But we are still made up of that divine breath from the divine. Yep it doesn’t mean we are God’s, just that there is a voice of god within us calling us towards him.

    Where does the Old Testament mention the talking snake was Satan? I will continue reading but I doubt I’ll ever find a reference to Satan in the Old Testament.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I don’t see a contradiction Seon. We reflect the character of God but that doesn’t mean we have the same attributes as Him. We create but not to the degree that God does. We love and enjoy relationship but we could never have relationship with everyone who has ever lived lie God can. We have authority over the Earth but not in the same way that God does because it was delegated to us by God. We do have an eternal spirit given to us by God but we are not spiritual beings. When Michelangelo painted a picture of his likeness did anybody think that the painting was actually Michelangelo or was even the same substance as Michelangelo?

    Our souls are a gift from God, breathed into us at Creation. You remember my description of the Hebrew words for ‘breath’ are also translated ‘spirit’? So in Genesis 1 we read that the the Spirit of God hovered over the deep. In Genesis 2 we read that God breathed the breath of life into the man. This is a different word then is used to describe the breathing of animals; it is God’s impartation of our spirit. So in as much as God is Spirit and He has given us a spirit, that is a similarity. That is not to say that we have a divine nature, because God is clear that there are no other gods. Angels are also spiritual beings but they are not divine.

    That was the lie that Satan used on Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden when he said that God had refused to let them eat of the fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil because then we would be just like Him. We can never be like God, but we were created to have a unique relationship with Him.

  • seon says:

    I think our souls are made up of the same stuff that god is made up from. Have you ever pondered what souls are made from?

    Well then there is a contradiction. If Gods created men in their own image (the Genesis verse uses the term “Us”) and God is spirit but created man out of dust then the two verses can’t be true, can they?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Seon, I can see how you might get that idea that God is dust but I don’t think that fits for the overall picture we have of God. Jesus said, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24) and that makes sense of the way God interacts with humanity throughout the whole Bible. He is not a part of the Natural World even though He is actively involved with the Natural world He has made.

    When you say that there is a divine spark within everyone, what do you mean?

  • Seon says:

    I’m with Kenneth here, God loves everyone and I believe their is a divine spark within everyone. Some people just bury that divine spark deep inside them but it’s still there in all of humanity.

  • Seon says:

    Hey Jamie,

    Then the question (based on my reading of the first two chapters) arises if the gods made man in their image, are they made of dust?

    I also think having domain over the animals is a huge responsibility and we should protect them and not mess up their (or ours) environment. Yep far too many people have made God in their own image. That we both agree with. Have you noticed God seems to hate the very people some believers hate and love the very people they love? I still don’t believe in original sin though.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I agree Kenneth, God’s love is evident everywhere we look, not just in the accounts we have recorded in the Bible. There is also hate and evil in the world and the Bible helps us to understand where that comes from. Helps us avoid the misunderstanding that some have that God is the source of both love and evil. That’s why a written revelation is so important; without it we could be much more easily swayed by deception.

    What did you mean when you thought to yourself that you would ask Jesus into your heart and accept Him as your Lord and Savior? ‘Savior’ implies that you require rescue; what do you think you need rescue from? ‘Lord’ implies authority; in what way were you looking to submit to the authority of Jesus in your life?

  • Kenneth says:

    Jamie get your head out the book and you will see gods love everywhere.

    I see it everyday from the man who gave the homeless man some food
    To a kid running into a gas station because and old lady fell off her bike and he went to get bandaids.

    I see it when my nephew breaks down to me today to ask for help getting off heroine.

    I see it when my ex wife rises above all the crappy selfish things I’ve done when I just opted to do oxy until I o’d and left out of their lives for 5 years but she has always kept faith and hope that their dad would return. (And I did :) she never said one bad word about me.

    When I became homeless, the first night I stayed int car and it got chilly at night. A very kind hearted homeless man took me under his wing. The first night I said ‘bud it gets cold at night how do you sleep outside. He said “run your engine at night” I said I have no gas for that and this homeless guy I just met pulled out $5 and said go get gas. Blew my mind.

    Man there’s lots of love out there. Let’s be the ones setting the example

  • Kenneth says:

    Hi Jamie.

    I truly think god would like is to listen more and pray less.
    Yes God is within us all and is a great sounding board if you do not know the right thing to do and it’s not like conversations. God won’t give you the answers, that’s each persons/soul responsibility to find the answers the truth.

    It’s so hard for people to comprehend how perfect this world/universe is with all the horrible things we see and hear on the news, hear familys spew hatred, people intentionally perpetuating hate. But it’s all part of this really cool plan and all this has to happen for an organic purification.

    And one day the things you thought were horrible May have been a blessing.

  • Kenneth says:

    Hi Jamie.

    I watched those videos earlier on the day and they did touch me very deeply. I l literally cried with joy and was sobbing quite a bit. Yelling at the video ‘I love you guys!” Blowing them kisses. It was a very spiritual and impactful morning. I enjoyed it shared the vids and went about my day.
    Then when it came to meditation/prayer/deep thinking time I said to myself “if you are not afraid of anything, then right here right now ask Jesus into your heart and accept him as my lord and savior. I expected to feel this warmth come over my body or some earth shattering epiphany to hit me but it didn’t.

    I think Jesus was trying to tell me you can feel my love all around. Honestly though, and you’re not gonna like it (that’s why I left this out of the original post) but I swear god would not let Jesus into my heart like god was protecting me. Wierd huh. I’m the devil that’s it. Love you all though

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Seon, you have picked up on something that others have also speculated about in regards to the Creation account: is it possible that Adam was one of many men that were created. One of the things to be aware of in the Genesis account is that in Hebrew the word we translate “man” is “adam” so you will notice some discrepancies between the different translations when “man” is used and when the proper noun “Adam” is used. Often “adam” has the direct article “ha’adam” and most translators will then use “the man”. But you can see how the name given to Adam is directly represents all mankind, and in the case of the first chapter of Genesis, “adam” refers to all humankind, male and female alike.

    You will notice there is a different progression in the process of Creation in chapter 1 and 2, and there are a number of ways that people have tried to interpret that. As you can see from my previous post, my preferred interpretation is to see chapter 2 as a more nuanced explanation of the Creation account in chapter 1. It highlights the call of humanity to form and fill the Earth. However you do interpret it though, it is clear that the rest of the Bible recognizes Adam as the very first human created. Throughout the Bible our common ancestry through Adam is clear through the genealogies in both the Old and New Testament, and through the understanding of original sin; Paul wrote, “the first man, Adam…” (1Corinthians 15:45) So I don’t think there is any room for an interpretation that suggests that Adam was one of many men who were created.

    The “Imago Dei” (Image of God) is a central part of the understanding of the relationship between humanity and our Creator. There are many ways that we reflect the likeness of God. Remember though, as I mentioned before, that image of God upon us has been broken and marred since our rebellion against God began; so while we still maintain those attributes, because of our separation from God, we often use those attributes for our own selfish purposes rather than what God has originally intended. The best understanding of how resemble the likeness of God is in our role as representatives of God in Creation. The mandate God gave humanity was to have ‘dominion’ over it; that is delegated authority and puts humanity in the role of bringing all Creation under the authority of God. Now in our fallen state, we strive to bring Creation under our own authority, and as well look at the condition of our world, it is clear that our path is one that leads to destruction and corruption. When Jesus came He perfectly modelled how we are to use the authority delegated to us to bring all of Creation under the authority of God. He said that everything he did and said was directed by God the Father (John 5:19, 8:28) For those who follow Jesus, He will lead them to do likewise, perfectly fulfilling the role of representing God here on Earth. That will find its completion when we are made perfect in His presence for all eternity.

  • Seon says:

    Yep I feel the love in those chapters but not the one’s where he sends bears to eat children alive. I also see the fact that he wants his creations to be good. But the Bible never specifically states the creatures God created will forever stay in their form. And does the Adam and eve story explain how god created man in his image? if so is god dust?

  • Seon says:

    I read the beginning of genisis. Every time God creates something it says “And he saw it was good” but I do have a problem, God created man on the 6th day in “our” own likeness (whatever that means) but then in the next passage he creates man out of dust from the ground. Were they other men still around when God created Adam out of dust in Eden?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    That’s a good question Seon. There are different opinions on this but when I read in the 10 Commandments “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:11) it doesn’t fit for God to base His law on something that was figurative. So I am very comfortable with the literal 6 days of Creation. Did you notice the progression of God’s creation? God took that which had no form and began bring order and structure to it: He starts with Light and separates it from the Darkness, He creates the sky and separates the water below from the water above (water vapour), He then creates the land and separates it from the waters and causes the plants to grow. All of this is laying the framework for life in the first three days. Then in the second three days He begins to fill those realms that He created: He fills the Light and Darkness with the heavenly bodies, the stars, the Sun, the Moon. He then follows that up with filling the waters with the sea creatures and the air with the flying creatures. On the sixth day He fills the land with all the animals, and finally, when it is all prepared He creates the ones for whom He made all of this: humanity. All of this He made so that we would have a place to live to experience relationship with Him. As bearers of His likeness He calls us to continue His action of forming and filling the Earth. The act of Creation is a crescendo of God’s love with the repeated “He saw that it was good” until He finally creates the ones for whom He made all this and in a beautiful climax that declares “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Don’t you see this as an act of love and celebration?!

    In the second chapter we see further detail of the creation of humanity with some different nuances and emphasis from the first chapter. It begins with the description of God’s rest from the completion of Creation. It speaks of God’s enjoyment of what He had made, and how that was the purpose for His creation. You can see how extravagant He was in the abundant variety in the world He had made for us, so you know that part of His enjoyment was to generously pour out His blessings on us. The description of the beauty of the Garden of Eden and all the resources that He made available there helps us to see His pleasure in providing a bounty for humanity. So as He made the Man out of the dust and breathed life into him, we see in more detail the difference between humanity and the rest of Creation: God formed all the creatures out of the dust of the ground but it was humanity alone who received the breath of God. In Hebrew breath is ruach and is also translated spirit. In the first chapter and second verse we read that ruach elohim, the Spirit of God, hovered over the waters. So part of the uniqueness of humanity is the eternal spirit that we received at our creation. The word pictures use here are incredibly intimate and full of God’s direct connection with humanity.

    God further depicts His mandate for humanity to fill the Earth. Man could not fulfill his call alone and so God makes the woman out of the man. You can almost here Adam telling this story to his children, his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren for generations with love in his eyes and he looks at Eve, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:23-24) This reflects the character of God to be in relationship, to love.

    In these first couple of chapters you can see the love of God being poured out towards humanity. It sets the scene for the unthinkable action of our abandoning God, but it also paints the hopeful picture of what our eternal existence with God will be if we repent of our rebellion and trust in His act of rescue.

    Can’t you feel the love of God from these chapters?

  • Seon says:

    Possibly, it is the weekend. But the trouble is the 7 days God took to create the universe. Is it 7 literal days or time periods? Did God literally create man from mud and woman from man’s ribs?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Some good guidelines of how to approach the Bible are to consider the genre of the literature of a given document: historical narrative, laws, didactic (instructive) epistles are typically intended to be taken literally, while poetry, prophecy, and apocalyptic writings use much more imagery and metaphor and should be interpreted as such. Why don’t you just start with Genesis. As an Historical Narrative it is a straight forward read that can be taken literally and covers the beginnings of God’s interactions with humanity in a very personal way. If you would like we can go through Genesis together and look at the events described there and discuss how it reveals the character of God.

  • Seon says:

    So you really believe sending she bears to rip children to shreds for mocking a bald guy is just? That’s an fed up version of justice. How exactly is original sin: being blamed for something you didn’t even do, just and fair?

    Yep children don’t sometimes see how discipline is an act of love until they are more mature or have kids of their own, then they are grateful for what they were taught. But um I’m sure those kids who were eaten by the bear didn’t look back on how they were disciplined and realize it was for their own good.

    If I read the Bible how do I even interpret it? Is it the word of god, is some literal and some symbolic? How do I know which parts to lovingly follow today?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    There is something within our human nature that does not like discipline and judgement; we often try to reframe it as hate or cruelty. It cuts me to the core when I discipline my kids and I can see in their eyes that they think my actions are motivated by something other than love. I know that when I discipline my kids I can get it wrong and have impure motivation at times, but God does not have that problem. His judgements are always right and come from a perfect place of love. We would prefer not to see Him judge and think we can live as we please with impunity, but if He did that He would be acting corruptly.

    That is why we need to recognize that God acts in love. Refusing to acknowledge His acts of love is close-minded. It insures that a person will see all of God’s actions as cruel. But when you are able to look at the way God has shown His love to humanity, it impacts the way that you view His discipline. That doesn’t mean that you can understand the reason why God acts in the way that He has, but you are able to trust that His actions are right, just and motivated by a love for all humanity.

    I would invite you, Seon, to go through the Bible again, and look for the way that God shows His love for humanity. Don’t get distracted by the actions that seem cruel but seek out the ways that His love is extended to people. I can imagine that there will be a part of you that will fiercely resist that focused investigation, but I would be willing to bet that part of you would really like to see and experience the love of God. I will be praying that you listen to that part of your heart and allow God to direct your exploration.

  • Seon says:

    But the Bible doesn’t mention what happened to people before Jesus came if they weren’t from Israel. Ok so some non Jews were saved by being allies with Israel but what if they never knew Israel even existed? That Chinese God, as interesting as it is, is your speculation that it was God’s way of reaching non Jews. And I agree, maybe it is one path to God but it’s sure not mentioned in the Bible. You formed your own conclusion there :)

    Yep that God of yours loves the smell of a burnt offering. He loves watching an animal suffer so much. Such a wonderful god you worship. Oh and original sin is not justice. You say you believe in a god who values justice yet believe in original sin?

    Well if he really did free the Jewish people and really was real then why would they worship a statue? It’s like “hey everyone, God hasn’t shown up so let’s worship a statue” and god is like “Come on guys I’m the real God” if he was real he couldn’t convince them to worship the true god!

    Yep if people don’t listen to him he wipes them out like the ant bully to a bunch of ants.

    I wouldn’t expel my child from my home if he disobeyed. I’d come down from the clouds and ground them for a few weeks.

    Slavery in the Bible…that’s another example of how Christians justify an immoral act just because it is in the Bible. Nothing can ever justify owning another human being.

    Elisha can’t even handle being mocked by children without sending she bears to rip them to shreds. Another example of the tyranny of the God of the Bible.

    I could go on but where you see love I see a very angry and hateful war god who orders his “chosen people” to massacre entire cities of people and keep slaves and oppress women. But I still respect your right to believe under the first amendment.

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