BELIEVING AND NOT BELIEVING
God is a Spirit Being. Jesus said this (John 4:24). So, when the Bible says God dwells in a Temple or sits on a Throne, it is incorrect. He is not localized, but is omnipresent throughout the universe.
God is Good. He would never tempt a man to sacrifice his child, nor flood the world and drown innocent children, nor command acts of brutality as the Bible says He did.
God is Truth. So, He would not require brainless faith nor willful ignorance about anything in nature. When a person finds truth in any area of human intelligence, he has found God. Truth has many sources and is not confined to what is said in any one book or scripture.
God is no Tyrant. He does not predetermine a man’s fate or coerce his will or drive him toward either blessing or doom. If God caused a single man to be predestined for hell, He would not be Good.
God can take human form if He wishes to speak to mankind on its own level. Incarnation may have happened in some of the Bible’s theophanies. Incarnation did happen when God appeared as Jesus.
Incarnation is a limitation of Deity. Jesus was not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. He was as much of Deity as was possible with a human body and mind. The Bible says that God emptied Himself of His glory and power in order to take on the form of a Man (Philippians 2:7).
The Incarnate God showed His love by submitting to torture and to death. This was very much like the concept of killing a lamb in order to pay for sins in the old Hebrew religion. Here, the One who made the offering, God, was Himself the Victim. The idea that the Father sent His Son to die is not correct. It was the Incarnate God Who died.
Jesus ascended and was merged back into the Godhead. The idea that He sits on a Throne beside God is wrong. As stated above, God does not sit on a Throne in any one location.
There are two contradictory views in the Bible: 1) Jesus’ saying that He is One with the Father, and 2) Jesus sitting on a Throne beside His Father. The second view is wrong. The idea that there are three Thrones in heaven for the Godhead is incorrect. This would be a Triad, not a Trinity, and it would be a lapse into polytheism.
The title “God of gods and Lord of lords” in the Bible is wrong, since it assumes that pagan gods are real and in submission to the Jewish Deity. This is latent polytheism in Judaism.
The “Son of God” title is wrong, since God did not physically impregnate a woman (as is claimed by the Mormons and denounced by the Muslims). Jesus spoke of God as “Our Father,” and the title He chose for Himself was “Son of Man.”
Since Jesus is merged into the Godhead, prayer should not be made to Jesus. Prayer should be to God and “in the name of Jesus.” When a person prays, “Dear Lord...” he can imagine himself speaking to the great Creator, to Jesus, or to the Holy Spirit. He is really addressing all Three.
“Jesus loves me” should be “God loves me.” And “Jesus saves” should be “God saves.”
“The Word of God” is Jesus, not the Bible. The Gospel says, “In the beginning was the Word (Christ, not the Bible)” (John 1:1).
The old Anabaptists had a true saying that the Bible contains the Word of God.
The Bible is not inerrant, that is, a holy oracle straight from the lips of God. It exhibits some of the human flaws of its authors, who wrote based on the current level of the knowledge of their day and thus made mistakes about history, geography, geology, cosmology, biology, etc.
MIRACLE AND MYTH
Some extraordinary things have happened in human history that are beyond comprehension or explanation. The Resurrection of Jesus is the most important miracle that has ever happened, since it means so much to humankind.
Every religion has a layer of fables, legends, folklore, and mythology. Some common myths are:
Heaven is up and hell is down. (Where is “up” on a globe?)
God is an old Man. (Why not a God of eternal youth? a Spirit?)
Mountain tops touch the sky and are the sacred homes of divinities.
The sky is a firm firmament, and it can fall down or roll up.
Ghosts can arise from their underworld abode.
Lesser spirits may be good (angels) or evil (demons).
Monsters inhabit far lands and forbidden places.
Some things are taboo - too sacred to see, to touch, or to eat.
Divine wrath can be placated by making sacrifices.
Natural disasters are viewed as portents or “acts of God.”
Fate or personified “Fates” determine human destinies.
Spiritual merit can be gained by asceticism or self-torture.
Scriptures are holy, venerable oracles of divine truth.
Richard L. Atkins