A conversation with a friend the other day reminded me some of my own thinking in the past.
If I am correct, God as in the Christianity is supposed to be a all powerful fatherly figure. However, as I read the Bible, I always feel that this God as in the Bible is not very powerful, because he relies on punishment to keep his children in the loop. Since I was a kid, i believe the best way to educate a kid is through love, not punishment. Every kid has his/her own strength and weakness. A good father is to know of them and encourage the strength and let the strength grow and overcome the weakness naturally. (More accurately speaking, there is no such thing as weakness. It is just lack of attention at a certain stage of our growth since we are limited and we have to start from somewhere. Thus different individuals will start differently, having different focus. That is a totally natural thing, and is the only way there can be life (life as how it is meant in the book The Nature of Order) in this universe. So you see why learning/growing is an essential activity of life. Please start believing in yourself.) To do that, the parents really need to treat the kids on a equal base, communicating with them as a friend. Again, I feel friendship is the basis of all human relationship. I always feel that a father that relies on the stick to educate his kids is too powerless and a loser of life. I feel it is possible to teach the kid without the stick. And as I grow older, I feel more and more confident in this belief. It is also a personal effort on my part to keep increasing my knowledge so I can be sure that I won’t fall back on the stick when educating my kids. As I am growing up, I always consider it a life failure if I as a father have to resolve to the stick.
Another observation was that when parents beat the kid, it is usually that the parents had no patience or it is because their lives suck, and they take it out on the kids, just because they can. I don’t see love when parents beat the kid.
Since God still needs to use punishement I feel this god is not very powerful. A real powerful god should be able to let their kids grow strong through love. Just some my personal feelings I had when I first got in touch with the God as in Christianity, and was reminded in a recent converation with a friend. When I was reading the Bible, there were a lot of this kind of things that don’t make sense to me and contradict the rationals and believes I developed in my own life. Even as a christian you want to follow God’s words, you still have to understand why God said so, right? Then how can you understand why God said so? The only way for you to find it out is through your own life experiences. That is the only vehicle. But if you can find out truth through your life experiences, why do you have to follow specifically God’s words in the Bible? If God’s words are true and universal, you should be able to find that truth in everything. That means if you never heard of or read of the Bible, you should still be able to find out the truth by yourself. So why does Jesus say he is the only way? (Jesus, however, did one thing right in turning Christianity around from fear and punishment to love.) I have many Christian friends, and Christianity is a big part of the western culture. But seeing my friends suffering from the fears in the Christianity, I feel a little mad and want to say something for them. Christianity had some values in the western cutlure because it provides some aid to help people refrain their greeds so they won’t be driven out of control by their desires and emotions. Being driven wild by desire and never able to come back is a very bad thing. But Christianity is not the only means that you can fall upon. Just exercise some caution and be careful as you walk your life. Don’t fall down the mountain. Just use your sense. It might be difficult for people to exercise their sense in the past due to historical limitation and all the systemic barriers that were set up by the ruling minority to make people not free. But in our time, as human world continue to develop, and we continue to break the historical barriers that make originally free people not free, it should be easier for people to exercise their sense and realize what is the best for themselves. Far from being the truth, Christianity somehow acts as a scaffolding or aid for people to reflect on their lives and make sense of it, as we can see how MLK made sense of it. In this sense, people argued for its positive function in the western civilization. But I see that function more as “spiritual” people trying to make sense themselves than being guided by the truth of the Bible.