The theological instinct is to pronounce on Godness as seen in every corner of the earth; from its atoms, its bacteria, its microbes right through to the grandest and most beautiful of what theologians call God’s earth. They do not have enough words. God is absolutely everywhere to them; to be indulged in their minds, but as equally indescribable in their imagination. Their special flesh of God is too tough for heathens and too sweet for the ordinary ones. Inscribed on their tombstones are the words “The theologian has done his best to present himself to God as one self approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, who rightly handled the word of truth”.
Beneath them the ordinary believer is imagining a resonating loving echo, a loving reflection of their mutual bond with God unbroken through death with the promise of an eternal life for the soul. Of course God wills humanity to respond to His messages of love with an ever grateful and responsive love for Him. God’s want is to have working in humanity a sense of free beings manipulated by His will, their good deeds reflecting His glory, His work. But God, as a mind, must ever be disappointed. News of humanity’s behaviour arrives daily in Heaven more likely through the echoing of sonic vibrations of car woofers, rather than through the faint echoes of prayer. By the way unbelievers do not count for they do not understand how these echoes are supposed to work.
All who sin must provide God an active and spontaneous response to them through a reflective dialogue of penance. The wrath of God was an Old Testament myth written to divide His love between warring tribes. Meanwhile the New Testament lover of God, an individual less prone to prejudice, sees no wrath, no condemnation, only love, big, wholesome Jesus love. This new dialogue of love is without prejudice, discrimination, bigotry and lust. Only this kind of love can describe itself as love. God’s love will reveal itself when it is returned to Him in the exact same condition as He gives it. Once this love is eternally recurring it will save the human world from itself. It has not happened in past generations but there are many generations yet to come; generations of believers in love with the idea of the love of God. The other mob, the unbelievers, well, they will continue to fend for themselves, their feelings troubled though warmed by a Godless conviction.
This loving self is as free as God directs unless there is no God, in which case the self guided self loves sometimes more and sometimes less, and owns every consequence. This is unthinkable to believers, who imagine that serving oneself is serving God, and this conditional serving is to be rewarded with eternal life, after repentance and God’s forgiveness for their sins. It is conditional on this kind of humanity to behave in this way. To regard another as they would themselves, as for example in the feeling of empathy. Such a fundamental need could not be unless God hath breathed it into the hearts of human beings. It could not have come from nothing, could it? Surely this emotion is much too timeless for it to have been created by humans as they learn it!
Strange that humanity is responsible for its actions, yet its freedom to act on the misuse of its responsibility is restricted by the judgment of God as laid down in human words. The freedom which God has given to humanity is the freedom to act only for the glory of Him. And thus His judgement favours the right and good. And so it is that killing in the name of God is sometimes not murder when it is done in glory of Him. Humanity must exist for God’s glory, and since God has made Himself unknowable, for to know God is to know oneself, it is to His ordained ‘knowers’ that uncertain humanity comes for guidance. The ‘knowers’ persuade their followers that it is right and good that His enemies, the unbelievers, the infidels, the blasphemers, be eradicated for they do not live in His glory. They may only be forgiven if they come to their senses and believe.
The biblical fact is that humanity is made in the image of God. To be possessed by the spirit of the perfect God is now impossible, the first humans having been born flawed. If God is all that humanity was, is and will be, then an idea of God will always be possible. But if one examines oneself in his and her rawness, with honesty and with a quest for self knowledge that is ongoing until death, that person might rightly say they are made in the flawed image of God, and if bold, they are indeed God themselves. If this were so then the divide between believer and unbeliever would be nonexistent. Only God’s earthly authority would stand in the way. And how weak are they when closely examined; their creeds disarmed, their violence shrink-wrapped into damning words.