If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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1Peter5:10
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If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

“The world is not the way it is supposed to be.
The world is not the way God intended.”

1.) The above sentences are of (profound) importance in Judaism-Christianity-Islam.
2.) They express an ideas that are unique to Judaism-Christianity-Islam.

These ideas are not inconsistent with admiring beauty, mercy etc. in God’s world, and they are not consistent with gratitude etc. nor do they require us to believe the world is superbad, or that people are innately evil etc.

At their core is notion that we have a mission. We understand God did not originally intend for the world to be the way it is.

At the time ancient Jewish oral tradition was written down into what would become the Old Testament
all the religions of the surrounding peoples (the Babylonians, the Persians, the Egyptians, the Moabites etc.) believed that since their god or gods were omnipotent,
(whether good, or bad or a mix,)
the world was exactly the way the gods had intended.
Teaching that the world Is NOT the way god intended, was a radical departure.

Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism teach that the world is dominated by forces, (such as karma or fate), and not a god or gods not by person-like deities who have desires and consciences. Forces have no conscience, no favorites, no preferences so while man may correctly describe the world as “good” “evil” or “mixed,” it makes no sense to say “karma wanted the world to be the way it is,” nor that “karma wanted the world to be one way, but the world is not the way karma wanted.

Please understand this concept is not an attack on the other belief systems but it is a fundamentally different worldview. I am not saying all the other belief systems are “immoral,” “amoral,” or whatever. Many of them do teach morality and have moral codes,

That is not at all what I am saying
Any belief system might say that a person will be happier, healthier, etc. by *understanding* and by *accepting* reality, by that the world is the way it is. “Suck it up.” “Get used to used to it.” It can also say “there is no god who intended the world to be this way or that way, but peoples should live morally.”

But if you want to understand the God of Christianity, you can begin as they do, with the axiom that the controlling world force can and should be viewed as a powerful benevolent ”person” who
- WANTED the world to be one way, but
- the world is NOT THE WAY he wanted.
Whatever he intends us to do, follows from those dual axioms.

(to be continued)
Last edited by 1Peter5:10 on Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
1Peter5:10
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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Part Deux

The early chapters of Genesis are
- What was Eden Chs 1-2
- the expulsion from Eden, Ch 3
- Cain and Abel, Ch 4
(- who begat whom and how long did they live, Ch 5)
- the Nephilim, lust and infidelity Ch 6
- Noah and the flood Chs 7-9
- Tower of Babel Chs 10-11

Any person is free to interpret those stories as he sees fit.
You may interpret them as MEANINGLESS fairy tales and MEANINGLESS myths.
Yet EVERY sect of Judaica, and EVERY Christian denomination and tradition, and EVERY house of Islam, teaches them the same way. We teach that these are stories with a meaning (fables). The same object lesson, again, and again and again using different stories.

Why place five stories, all with the same meaning at the very beginning of one’s holy scripture?
They share exactly ONE common denominator, that God intended the world to be one way, but the world is NOT the way God intended.

AA recovery is not an intellectual exercise. I do NOT recommend attempting to come to a formal academic understanding of one’s higher power, not a part of the 12 steps.

But clearly it may be helpful to put the central founding axioms
that at your thought center as you set about trying to understand god.
.
.
.
.
If a Christian believes God has desires and intentions for us,
and also believes God did not intend the world to be the way it is,
then maybe we should stop being angry or depressed about how things are working out for us
and instead focus on what god wants us to be doing.

To paraphrase Bill Wilson (p49)
It was rather vain of us to regard our human intelligence as the alpha and the omega of God’s ever-advancing Creation. Perhaps instead we should regard ourselves as his intelligent agents.

Or as the Blues Brothers said it
“We’re on a mission from God.”
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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I have always thought that Free Will did not work out the way God had hoped.
Dewms
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One day at a time
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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You seem quite well versed (no pun intended) in the major religions. Is it a hobby or a profession?

If god is omniscient, why did he/she not make it the way he/she intended?
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

Post by Indianapolis »

Discussions like this in AA rooms always makes me nervous. Higher power = program, but I get worried where the religion line is vis-a-vis outside issues.

To any newcomers, I'll just say -- an understanding of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God is absolutely not a requirement of AA or recovery. I've been sober a good number of days, and I'm sober today, and I'll be sober tomorrow. And I work the program. And I have exactly no understanding of (nor desire to understand) a Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.

It's not a requirement. Its an option for spiritual development in the program, but faaaaar from the only option.
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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Dewms wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:25 am I have always thought that Free Will did not work out the way God had hoped.
That's a true statement,
at least Catholic priests a CCD teachers (and presumably philosophers) spend a great deal of time framing their lessons that way.

The Christian, (and presumably the Jewish and Muslim) teachers jump very quickly from
"The world is not the way God intended,"
to
"But we have free will, so we do bad things"
to
"Here is a list of things God does not want you to do."


Sigh, I suppose that is organized religion's way of "keeping it simple," but in its tragic wake, are facts that apply to alcoholism.
- people stay in abusive relationships (and drink), because they think they are supposed to stay in them,
- 1930s people who tried to live right, but wound up living in Hoovervilles, drink because they expectations were not realized,
- Bill Wilson, and millions like him, have a difficult path finding God, because they cannot conceptualize a God who allows so misery could be kind and helpful to an individual such as him,
- others cannot believe in fairy tales like Noah's ark and crumbling towers, and make finding God an intellectual exercise.

In all that, it is easy to lose sight of the axiom:
That this is not the way God wanted the world to be.
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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Indianapolis wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:14 am It's not a requirement. Its an option for spiritual development in the program, but faaaaar from the only option.
Indeed... I started this journey as an atheist! I was an atheist for 7 years and still do not identify as ANY religion! In fact, the best saying I have heard to explain it to me is:

"The Tao explained is NOT the True Tao".

To me this means any explanation of a True Higher Power falls so short of the Truth. It is impossible for even the the smartest or most spiritual person to nail it down to any explanation at all.

Page 55 of the Big Book says:
"We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found."
He/She/They/It. :roll:
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

Post by 1Peter5:10 »

Indianapolis wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:14 am ...
To any newcomers, I'll just say -- an understanding of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God is absolutely not a requirement of AA or recovery. I've been sober a good number of days, and I'm sober today, and I'll be sober tomorrow. And I work the program. And I have exactly no understanding of (nor desire to understand) a Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.

It's not a requirement. Its an option for spiritual development in the program, but faaaaar from the only option.
That is ABSOLUTELY true,
(and part of the reason I titled my post as I have and did not place it in Newcomer section.)

AA works for Buddhists Hindus and Muslims and Native American naturalists,
and it works for millions of people who say
"I don't think I'll ever understand it, but it helps me to visual God as
- 'Someone I call my best friend,' or
- 'George Lucas's 'Force'"

Personally, I sometimes I wonder if "God as a 'person-like deity' is actually just a metaphor that personifies a 'force' like karma or fate.

I certainly do not duscuss the intimate details of my beliefs I. AA, but I do find that when I provide basic foid-for-thought, people are as likely to thank me as to be scared.
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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PaigeB wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:11 pm
Indianapolis wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:14 am It's not a requirement. Its an option for spiritual development in the program, but faaaaar from the only option.
Indeed... I started this journey as an atheist! I was an atheist for 7 years and still do not identify as ANY religion! In fact, the best saying I have heard to explain it to me is:

"The Tao explained is NOT the True Tao".

To me this means any explanation of a True Higher Power falls so short of the Truth. It is impossible for even the the smartest or most spiritual person to nail it down to any explanation at all.

Page 55 of the Big Book says:
"We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found."
He/She/They/It. :roll:
Good one.

I 've known hundreds of Taoists (met thousands) and even married one. They are quick to point out they can describe parts of the elephant, but not the elephant.

Taoists in recovery say neat things like

"You are addicted. You will always be addicted, You will never be normal again. It is your fate "

and

"You cannot STAY high. It is not possible. You will always return to your path. You became addicted because you tried to stay high too often. You tried to *$@K with your own fate.

Such attempts will always fail.
Your failure caused your misery."

and


"Nor will you always stay in a state of detox, throwing up and crapping your pants.

By your hand you can temporarily steer yourself to oneside of the path or the other, but you will always return to the path.

Healing begins when you know this."
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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Oh I LOVE THIS! Thanks!
1Peter5:10 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:38 pm Such attempts will always fail.
Your failure caused your misery."
and
"Nor will you always stay in a state of detox, throwing up and crapping your pants.
By your hand you can temporarily steer yourself to oneside of the path or the other, but you will always return to the path.
Healing begins when you know this."
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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PaigeB wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:43 pm Oh I LOVE THIS! Thanks!
1Peter5:10 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:38 pm Such attempts will always fail.
Your failure caused your misery."
and
"Nor will you always stay in a state of detox, throwing up and crapping your pants.
By your hand you can temporarily steer yourself to oneside of the path or the other, but you will always return to the path.
Healing begins when you know this."
You are welcome.
Returning to one’s destiny is known as the constant.
Knowledge of the constant is known as discernment.
Woe to him who wilfully innovates . . .

Tao Te Ching, Ch 16
(Link omitted per site policy)
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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1Peter5:10 wrote: ↑Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:46 am

You are welcome.
Returning to one’s destiny is known as the constant.
Knowledge of the constant is known as discernment.
Woe to him who wilfully innovates . . .

Tao Te Ching, Ch 16
(Link omitted per site policy)
My sponsor is big on discernment!

"Woe to she who willfully innovates . . ." She stops short of saying this part but isn't that what Bill W. and the writers of the Big Book (12&12) mean when they say "At this point his sponsor usually laughs"? :lol: :lol:

Very cool shares. I do wish I had the time and mental stamina to study the Tao. But alas, I do not. I must resort to faith in the Constant and the theory I made up that my brain will remember what I need to Know at the time I need to Know it. I always appreciate these short and pertinent pieces of the puzzle.

Woe to she who willfully innovates . . . I'll Remember.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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Here's some bedtime candy.

It has been said that when a Buddhist (karma) or a Taoist (fate) makes the third step, she doesn't really give over her will and her life . . . She merely recognizes that she wasn't in charge in the first place. 8)
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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1Peter5:10 wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:44 pm Here's some bedtime candy.

It has been said that when a Buddhist (karma) or a Taoist (fate) makes the third step, she doesn't really give over her will and her life . . . She merely recognizes that she wasn't in charge in the first place. 8)
Very True!
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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Re: If you want to understand the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, start with this.

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1) I am sure I have mentioned this before, but many people people see trouble and suffering in the world as evidence that there is no such thing as a kind, loving all-powerful God.Bill Wilson mentions this several times in the BB. Certainly that remains a mystery to me, but as it is an axiom to Christians (and Jews and Muslims), by definition it is not something that shakes the faith of the faithful. It is an axiom that the world is not as God wants it to be.

Accept the basic axioms of mathematics, (EX that 0<1<2, EX that the "distance" between 0 and 1 equal to the distance between 1 and 2,) and the rest of mathematics makes sense.

But even Jesus disciples wondered about the "why" of the axioms.
John 9:1-12
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
Jesus promptly went to work and healed the man, thus displaying the work of God.

MORAL: Sometimes suffering (our own and that of others) exists in the world because God wants to see what we are gonna do about it.

------

2) Imagine pick up a mouse, (or a rat), and you put it in one corner of maze, and a piece of cheese in another. You are benevolent. You WANT the mouse to get the cheese. (It is difficult to imagine anyone routing against the rat.) You are all-powerful. You COULD rebuild the maze into a simple diagonal corridor from mouse to cheese. But it is difficult to imagine any person, even a benevolent one doing that.

------

3) We put our kids in competitive sports and promptly tell them "winning isn't everything." We hope they win, but we know they will have losses, even losing seasons. Are we cruel? Or do we do it because, we want them to gain something from the experience. I think we KNOW they will gain something valuable from it even if they finish the season 0-10.

We hope they win. But what we are trying to give them, is something they get NOT from the winning, but from the intention and the effort.

-----

4) It was not Neitzche but St James who coined the idea that struggle is good, because "wat doesn't kill us makes us stronger."
James 1

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything
.


------

I do not know why God allows bad stuff to keep happening. But today, much like Buddhists and the Daoists and the Hindus, I accept "bad stuff happens" as as an axiom, and I try to figure out what my role should be in fixing it.
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