Yesterday had an interesting, somewhat intense discussion with someone who confessed to being a Christian.
It seems to me there are some very simple, fundamental errors in thinking by Christians (as a general rule — and don't get me started on rules, systems, probabilities, and individuality. "We're all individuals" yeah, yeah, I'm not. Kudos to Monty Python. But i digress).
As we got talking I made a simple, clear, unequivocally-obvious and true statement (To use the vernacular familiar to Christians): Since God is infinite, all must be within and of God. Being infinite means He is not limited, ever — "He" goes and IS everywhere. "He" is in everything, and in every entity (including Evil).1 No matter where you go, everywhere you will find God at work. No exceptions. For that not to be the case would require being beyond the infinite, outside of God. That would make evil, you or whatever bigger, larger and presumably more powerful than God. Hardly.
Without exception, all is within God.
But that also means all activities that we see in the world, including ALL the wrong-doing is still within God. It's still God's energy. Can't not be. It's simply God's energy or love, mis-applied. Evil is simply God's love and energy applied for selfish or destructive outcomes.
And that's it. Even the worst of evils is still God's energy. Even the worst of atrocities is still God's love, albeit atrociously applied.
Otherwise it's somebody else's energy (love). But whose? A bigger God? A super God, a God of Gods?
In the infinite inclusiveness of All, how can any part of Him not be within and of Him?
Sorry to ruin the upset, guilt and shame, but it's all God's fault ... and wonder, surprise and joy.
"But if the Bible isn't our authority, who or what is?" he asked.
"We are!", I replied. "We always have been. Who do you think assumed the authority to write various sections of the Bible? We are our own higher-authority. We are God-as-Us." I explained.
"As we learn, He learns. As we fail, He fails," I added. "In effect, everyone's energy makes God," I explained, "just like everyone's energy makes a family, a community, a nation, a universe!".
So ended our conversation, or much to the effect of.
Update (December 27, 2010)
One of the arguments used by the Christian I had the chat with was that "the Bible says ...", meaning that it is some sort of ultimate authority. It doesn't matter what evidence or reasons one might offer, if the Bible says otherwise, the Bible, it is argued, is TRUTH so we can completely ignore any evidence or common sense to the contrary.
It's helpful in such matters to refer to the rational and measured analysis of the Christian Bishop, John Shelby Spong:
The Bible is a profoundly human, deeply flawed, tribal history that has created as much pain as blessing in our world.2
- 1. Read that again: "He" is EVERYWHERE (and every-when) — that's the nature of being infinite. No hidey-holes, or forgotten bits of bad spiritual entities over yonder (commonly called "Evil"). Being infinite, "He" is literally "Everywhere" and in everyone, and in EVERY thing.
- 2. John Shelby Spong, "The Word of God", online article from John Shelby Spong website