If there is a God………..

I often reflect on a letter that I had sent out to friends several years ago. The letter was an invitation to an experiment to see if the “Christian Religion” could be simplified and lived out through one word. That one word was love.

This morning as I revisit that letter in my mind, I have thought about what has transpired since. We have given ourselves over to a sort of quest, working our way through dozens of books written by contemporary writers and drawn wisdom from many brilliant philosophers, new and old, who have written both inside the confines of religion and outside of those constrains. There have been endless discussions between Elaine and myself, driving each other (and friends), nearly mad at times.

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The result of our quest and my answer to the question is “Yes!”

We went out on a limb, we cut the ropes mooring us to the jetty of religion and security, and we “put God to the test”. Does God exist? Will he punish us for our questions, our anger and our frustration as we wrestle with both God and religion? Will God send us to hell for our insolence?

As we moved through the stages of letting go of fear of God, or gods, including fear of “man,” we have discovered a higher law than “the rule of law.” Love like faith is risky. It has no certainty. It is often volatile. All of the authors of the books that I have read ultimately see love as the answer, especially sacrificial and compassionate love for the other, esteeming the other to the place of “yourself”. Many writers claim that if humanity took seriously the words “to love our neighbour as ourselves,” which most religions espouse, the need for the rule of law would disappear.

The one single “new law” that Jesus gave was “a new command I give you that you love one another, by this the world will know you are my followers.” Love gives way to grace and forgiveness and non-judgement. Jesus asked us not to be like the rulers of our age and “lord it over others” dispelling the notion that his kingdom is like human kingdoms of top down omnipotent controlling power but rather, power seen as powerlessness, a very humble position.

As I witness the incredible brokenness and suffering of our world, I often pass as a good Atheist. “God must not exist, for no kind God would allow this.’ At other times I find myself at loss for words to express myself to God, as I witness the beauty of creation. Each week fluctuates. Faith is different than certainty.

Rather than reject those who oppose me, like the New Atheists, I allow their message to buffet my tendencies for the cult of institutionalised religion and I hope they will eventually allow the many of us who seek, and cannot shake off spirituality (not religion), to buffet their tendency to institutionalisation. The world could do with a lot less hate and a lot more grace.

But, I cannot shake off love; especially compassionate love. I think that we are in a wrestle with a passionate God, if God exists, who can do no more than hope and allow time for the wise words of Jesus minus religion, and many other wise words from women and men of the past to take root in our lives, especially love. A very risky business indeed, as so much rests on us as humans.

All of us contain the seeds of love but wrecked lives impact those seeds. Every life has wreckage. Often I find myself saying; “This love is impossible!” But is it not true, that it is the impossible, that humans aspire to! Ever dreamed of climbing Mount Everest?


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1 Response to If there is a God………..

  1. diane moore says:

    It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to follow and be part of your journey Graeme…You have evolved into a loving and compassionate man whom I am proud to know and call my friend. I wholeheartedly support what you are saying…time to throw off the mask and be real! The truth will set us free!


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