Christmas - What's your opinion?

There is an old story about God coming to earth in the form of a human baby. As he grew into a young man, he went around and preached some different ideas than people were used to. He said he was their messiah and that he would die to save them and within 3 days be resurrected.

As the story goes, people who wrote about it after the fact said it was true; that all these things actually happened. It's certainly one of the most fantastic pieces of literature in terms of drama and almost, if not certain, unbelievability. Some people have relegated it to the same genre as the myths of old. Yet, today, many millions worship this Jesus as God and are completely convinced that all of these things written in the Bible are true. Are they true? Is some of it true or none of it? People have a lot of very different opinions about this and some are very adamant in their determination of fact or fiction; or perhaps a little of both.

I'm thinking that there is a fairly easy way to resolve any questions that may surround this mystery. In the meantime, there is a quote about opinions that the movie character Dirty Harry made and I will forgo repeating it here but it is as true as it is humorous. This is a quote that I can print though:

“Everyone has the right to their opinions on a matter but make sure to do your research and know the facts before your opinion crown you an ignorant fool. Keep this in mind, do not be lazy with your research and have conversations with opposite minds from your opinions of the matter.” ― Jesus Apolinaris

In our present day, people seem to have very little tolerance for the opinion of another person which is somewhat unfortunate when it comes to relationship and communication. There seems to be a lot of social shouting and ignorance (used as in ignoring vs. listening) as people seek to be heard and known or maybe get the largest following on a social platform. It's okay to make yourself heard I suppose, except for people getting trampled in the process. It reminds me of people being in a building when someone yells, "FIRE!!" It's certainly recommended to quickly exit the building. But if we trample and injure and kill people underfoot in our rush to get out, it's possible we have become little more than animals in our animus. There are certainly many times that we are so enamored with our own opinion that it tramples over our skills to observe and listen.

When it comes to the information contained in the Bible, there are some claims that could change the course of our life and destiny if we were to embrace it. Perhaps that is true with any religion. Yet, Christianity seems to be one that has a particularly impacting consequence. If I choose to believe what it says and act on it, I can have one outcome. If I don't, I am given a very different outcome. There are a number of religious ideas that I can embrace but some are simply an exercise in belief. It's what I believe and if you don't believe it then that's fine for you. Christianity is a bit different in setting itself apart with the idea of having faith in one who operates outside of our opinion and ideas. And some people would point out that one of the main differences in pitting religious ideas against Christianity is this: Most religions operate on the basis of me doing something to earn my way into nirvana or a better outcome whereas Christianity purports the concept that God did something for me and even my best effort would fall very far short.

You would think, if God were real, that he would be of the "Resistance is Futile," type of personality. Yet, in terms of the Bible, he seems to provide very unlimited choice for people to do and think whatever they desire. Very strange. Yet, I do like the concept, "If God were real". It gives a very wonderful starting point on a journey of discovery.

From a Biblical perspective, God communicates himself to be loving and kind, a good listener, and very responsive. We could argue about these things given some of the text of the Bible, but my point is not to convince anyone that this is true based on my opinion. 😉 Instead, I refer you to a simple fact of the matter at hand,

"Is God real, is the Bible true in what it says about God, and can we know?"

Here is my theory: If God is real, if he listens to us and responds, then the answer is quite simple. Ask God if he is real and ask him to respond to you in some way. Because, if God is real and hears you, he will probably respond in some way and answer. Now, the caveat is that it may not be the response in a way that you like or would want. But that could be the very proof of the thing. Even none of us, as humans, respond the way other people may like or expect because we exist outside of each other. You probably wouldn't answer a question according to my expectations because you don't think like I do. So, if God is real, he would probably answer according to his own personality, thoughts, and ideas, not mine or yours. And that's the beauty of it, because it helps us know God is real, and he listens, and answers, and really does care about us in a very intimate and real way.

In spite of my treatise on opinions, I actually am always interested in yours and your ideas; especially if it is challenging and thoughtful. So please don't hesitate to write a line or two or ten and talk about it.


© copyright 2021 h mark taylor

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