Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are leaves in all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over. Tell me these men are in Hell; that these men are in torment; that these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of lies.
The exercise of patience involves a continual practice of the presence of God, for we may be called upon at any moment for an almost heroic display of good temper. And it is a short road to unselfishness, for nothing is left to self. All that seems to belong most intimately to self, to be self's private property, such as time, home, and rest, are invaded by these continual trials of patience.
For when man comes to front the everlasting God, and look the splendor of His judgments in the face, personal integrity, the dream of spotlessness and innocence, vanishes into thin air: your decencies and your church-goings and your regularities and your attachment to a correct school and party, your gospel formulas of sound doctrine--what is all that, in front of the blaze of the wrath to come?
One may call the world a myth , in which bodies and things are visible, but souls and minds hidden. Besides, to wish to teach the whole truth about the Gods to all produces contempt in the foolish, because they cannot understand, and lack of zeal in the good, whereas to conceal the truth by myths prevents the contempt of the foolish, and compels the good to practice philosophy.
When we look at the cross we see the justice, love, wisdom and power of God. It is not easy to decide which is the most luminously revealed, whether the justice of God in judging sin, or the love of God in bearing the judgment in our place, or the wisdom of God in perfectly combining the two, or the power of God in saving those who believe. For the cross is equally an act, and therefore a demonstration, of God's justice, love, wisdom and power. The cross assures us that this God is the reality within, behind and beyond the universe.
There is no permanent status quo in nature; all is the process of adjustment and readjustment, or else eventual failure. But man is the first being yet evolved on earth which has the power to note this changefulness, and, if he will, to turn it to his own advantage, to work out genetic methods, eugenic ideas, yes, to invent new characteristics, organs, and biological systems that will work out to further the interests, the happiness, the glory of the God-like being whose meager foreshadowings we the present ailing creatures are.
A very real barrier to faith is this feeling of self-sufficiency, this unrealistic idea that one can accomplish everything by his or her own self. Some people have the conviction they must do it all alone. They have no faith in others. . . they are convinced that there is no one able to do the job as well as themselves. They refuse to admit that they may need the help of friends, doctor, minister, or even God.
I believe in helping our fellow man in need. I believe that reaching into your own pockets to help someone in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into somebody else's pockets to help your fellow man in need is despicable. And, or those of us who are Christians, I'm very sure that when God gave Moses the commandment Thou Shalt Not Steal, he did not mean ...unless you get a majority vote in Congress.
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