I have spoken before about why I left the Catholic Church and yet still believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. The Son of God. But there is an important caveat and it is the reason I do not consider myself Christian today. For me I cannot believe in a loving god that would break Their own laws of the natural world. Such laws form the foundation of our science and our civilization. To believe in their undoing is to give credence to all such miraculous stories that date from a time when such stories were widely believed.
I believe Jesus Christ was sent by God to fulfill a mission. That mission was to provide people a message, from the one god, in which to embrace. That message was one of love, tailored for Jesus’ time. But in presenting that message would God allow Christ to perform miracles that defy Their own laws the most significant of which were the resurrection of His body and physical ascension into Heaven?
For me it is a question of where to draw the line. I believe in a god which is a supernatural being. A being that exists beyond the limits of our natural world. And I believe in other supernatural concepts: a heavenly existence that lies beyond our material Universe, a truly free will, and our immortal souls. All of these concepts exist beyond the laws of nature to either prove or disprove. But I still believe that they exist. How do I reconcile my belief in their existence with Jesus’ supernatural miracles? Is it possible to believe in some supernatural occurrences and not others? This post explores that tension.
I believe in a loving god but do not believe They would interfere in the natural world by breaking its laws. That is not to say that the The Greatest Love does not intervene in people’s lives. They can and in fact in my case They have. But when They do I believe the laws of nature are not compromised. Modern science and the scientific method is still in it’s infancy relative to the dawn of humankind but the truths they have already uncovered, I believe, have provided compelling evidence that all phenomena in the natural world have worldly explanations that do not need to involve the supernatural. That to start believing in supernatural events that break the laws of nature is to suspend critical thinking and suffocate scientific curiosity. This does a disservice to all humankind.
I believe our natural world is governed by scientific laws, many yet to be discovered, not the whim of gods performing supernatural acts. The true miracles lie in these laws which I believe were divinely conceived. Laws which created the cosmos, galaxies, and interstellar clouds of dust. Dust that would eventually come together to form the stars and planets. Planets that would eventually bring forth life. And life that would eventually evolve to love. None of which is supernatural but nonetheless miraculous in that I believe it is orchestrated by a Higher Power. Miracles can be found all around us, without defying the laws of nature. We just need to open our eyes and see that nature is the miracle.
In my own case, I believe what happened to me is not supernatural. It was a deep and powerful internal voice which brought compassion, clarity, and calm for me. I do not believe science can completely explain it today. But will it one day? Possibly. The brain is still a largely uncharted universe unto itself. Billions of points of information intertwined in neurons and acted upon continuously. When something coalesces in that enormous mesh of information can it produce the sensation of revelation? The sensation of divine communication? Perhaps.
But here is the thing. Even if my symptoms one day have a scientific explanation: the visions, the messages, the feelings, does it make them any less miraculous? If a scientific basis for revelation and deep and powerful internal messaging is found who are we to say that they were not divinely conceived and designed to manifest at a particular moment in time since from the beginning of the cosmos by a Creator? A Creator who can peer billions of years into our potential futures and know that humanity will evolve to have the ability to understand Their messages and revelations. And that some of those people will have the precise mental configurations, experiences, and memories to reveal Their Words.
And then building on this possibility what if there are others that under the right conditions can communicate freely with the Creator, receive revelation and participate in a dialog with Them? If these same persons had the aptitude, empathy, and love to lead a people I believe we would call such individuals prophets.
And finally what if there was one prophet who was told by the Creator that He was the Son of God and that He needed to die for humanity? Not a person who could perform supernatural miracles. But a mortal man who was told that He had to die so that others may live. A person who devoted His life to spread the Word of the Creator as it was revealed to Him, a message of love tailored for His time, and who had the wisdom, passion, and leadership to recruit others to do the same. All the while knowing that the more successful He was in spreading Their Word the sooner His brutal death would come. What would you call such an individual who accepted this fate freely? I would, and I do, call Him The Messiah, regardless of whether He was able to perform supernatural miracles.
A mortal man who in death was seated at the right-hand of God. For me, it is not the performance of supernatural miracles which made Jesus Christ The Messiah. It was His message of love, His mercy and good works, His ministry, His profound connection to God and His willingness to die for all of us without condition. These actions on Earth made Him The Messiah and as such, upon His earthly death, His soul became divine in the Heavens.
Do I believe Jesus Christ performed supernatural miracles on Earth?
No. I do not. Nor do I believe any persons born to this Earth, from any faith, have performed miracles that defy the laws of nature. Instead we must recognize the great prophets, and the Messiah as mortal beings whose words and worldly actions are the most relevant to their ministry. Actions that spread the word of the one god and which are no less meaningful or less deserving of our love had they been accompanied by supernatural acts.
I believe when trying to understand the “what” and the “how” of the natural World, its Universe, and its history, we must always look to science. Only when trying to understand the fundamental questions of “why” must we look to our gods and the Heavens. And only in death is there a transition between the two. For there is a connection between our Universe and the Heavens and it lies within ourselves. It lies within our souls. It is our souls which allow a transition between the Universe and the Heavens. And our free will, as divinely granted, provides us freedom in both. I believe these four concepts form the foundation of the supernatural powers my god allows: an all-loving god who has the ability to communicate with Their creations, our immortal and immaterial souls, the Heavens, along with our free will.
I believe the existence of these supernatural concepts will never be proven or disproven by science and the laws of nature. Instead they exist beyond our earthly realm and span the chasm between the Heavens and the Universe. Nor would, I believe, an all-loving god allow one loving religion to provide more compelling evidence than another for their beliefs, doctrine and/or god(s). To do so would give power to one loving religion over another. That is not the goal of The Greatest Love. It is not to provide humankind one belief system to rule them all. It is not to unite us through our beliefs. It is instead to unite us through our love. For there are many belief systems that are loving and we must never close our minds to any of them. This is a lesson, I believe, The Greatest Love is trying to teach us now: we must come together in love despite our fundamentally different beliefs. To see past those differences and find the common humanity and love in each other. If we can do that we will have evolved our love even further. Cherish your loving beliefs but open your heart to see the beauty that exists outside of them as well.
I believe a god that allows the supernatural to break the laws of nature in our Universe is a capricious god that brings disorder and confusion to that Universe. The four supernatural concepts discussed above do not break the laws of nature. They will forever exist beyond the means of science to either prove or disprove them and thus transcend such laws. Belief in these supernatural concepts is not required to thrive in our natural world. For our Universe will always remain logically consistent with the laws of nature. Never will supernatural occurrences conflict with the views of even non-believers when describing the natural world. For non-believers love just as greatly as believers. Their beliefs, or lack thereof, are just as important as believers when they come from a place of love.
And perhaps the tension and violence that exists between followers of different religious groups today is to be expected at this stage in our evolution. When a clash of beliefs manifests people can become close-minded while demanding that their beliefs must reign supreme. They try to convert the detractors to their beliefs, or worse. But this must be struck down as intolerant. The Greatest Love will never choose or represent one loving religion, one set of beliefs, over another. It will never happen. Yes in the past They have sent prophets, Messiahs, and leaders to establish different beliefs. Beliefs which have competed with each other for the hearts and minds of people throughout the World. That competition has at times grown violent and bloody. But now the competition must give way to compassion and cooperation. The Greatest Love is trying to show us that all religions, with a basis in love, are worth cherishing and not demonizing. That we can have different beliefs while sharing the same humanity. It is up to all believers to bring peace among the religions despite having different beliefs. And the common thread of love will help us on that journey.
I believe the future will not consist of one supreme religion nor a world with no religions. Instead I believe there will be many loving religions. But in order for a religion to become a loving religion they must confront the chains that prevent them from truly opening themselves up to love. Chains such as institutionalized patriarchy and misogyny, homophobia, and even intolerance of atheists or practitioners of other faiths. Despite these problems and all the historical and current violence done wrongly in their god(s) name, religions can provide comfort and answers to difficult questions in difficult times. For a good portion of humanity seeking such answers, I believe religions have an important role to play in perpetuity.
I believe The Greatest Love has provided all religions a common cause: to see past their differing beliefs and see the humanity in all people. When that day comes, when all the great religions look to each other as friends despite having different beliefs they can look to the Heavens and realize that their beliefs were always secondary. Their beliefs were always just a means to an end. And that end was to love – love all humankind.