WHO IS GOD ? The answer to that question will tell you a lot about the person who gives the answer – but may not actually tell you much about the meaning of the word, “God”.
Ask an atheist and they will tell you that God does not exist. They maintain that the God idea is just that – an idea, nothing more. An idea which human beings cling to for all sorts of reasons: often because they find it comforting; or because some people can use God as a means to gain control over the hearts and minds of other human beings. The supporting evidence for this view is, indeed, abundant. You can cite historical evidence for abuse by people who promote a god belief of one sort or another. Historically, there are the Crusades, for example. Today there are the manipulative control techniques of cults and sects and, even worse, the terrorist activities of some religious fundamentalists in recent years.
But in fact this is evidence of what human beings do, not what God does. I could equally cite the millions upon millions of lives lost in the last century alone to the atheist fanatics who imposed various forms of communism and national socialism in Russia, in China and in Europe.
All such evil activity is perpetrated by human beings with human distortions about God or human conceptions denying the existence of God.
That human beings abuse belief and abuse other human beings is evident. It should, instead, cause us to ask the question: “What are we ?” The answer to that will explain Why we commit the most atrocious acts against each other. Indeed the worst offenders are those who patently believe that they have THE answer; those who are most committed to putting the world right. People who invariably cite the “good of all” as their purpose.
What such people fail to see is that the answer does not start with human beings. It starts with our Creator, God. And the ostensibly religious can be as bad as the non-religious and ‘un-believing’ atheist. In fact religious people too are often deceived by their human perception of God, and by their own interpretation of God. Without realising it, the religious can commit the very same error as the atheist i.e start with our human needs, wants, interests and ambitions. Human ideas about God warp and damage the reputation of God who made us – and damage our understanding of God.
Of course the atheist reading this will respond that everything is subject to our human perception. We all have interests, perspectives, inclinations, ideas which affect our conception of God. And that explains why there are so many religions, cults and sects. It therefore must all come down to human perception. That, of course, reinforces the atheist’s assertion that God does not actually exist.
But God does exist. And if God does exist, then God must surely manifest and communicate.
My fundamental contention is that God has declared who God is and that God’s declaration is both self evidently and demonstrably true. [footnote]
God has declared ‘himself’ as
It is on this basis, and on this basis alone, that we must conceive of God, and understand God. On this basis we can correctly identify who God is and how God operates. Many observations I make on this basis have often been made before by theologians and believers in the past.
What I am trying to do by articulating philotheism is to challenge the pervasive Materialistic assumptions and doctrine of the 21st century’s worldview. By articulating the essence of God as the correct way to view our existence, I want to counter false ideas and attitudes, both among god believers and atheists. The central concept – “I AM” – is key. I assert fundamentally that we must start with the God declared name of God; that God’s name is “I AM” and that reveals God’s very nature and therefore all else; I assert that all we understand and do must start and end with that central conception – a conception I regard as the vital, fundamental, critical truth. It is the failure to start, continue, and end with this central concept which results in all the problems we have. Without that conception, we inevitably fail; with it, we have the opportunity to succeed.
I firmly hold that the Philotheistic view corresponds to the reality of who we are and explains how we need to be and behave to succeed – i.e. to live in harmony with ourselves and with the natural world on which we depend for this physical life. This world – and especially the Materialistic western mindset – desperately needs to hear this alternative perspective and understanding. Otherwise, we will persist in exacerbating the very problems which we need to solve.
By accepting the fact of God as our premise we can actually begin to see our existence in its true light – a light which reveals us as we really are, and this world as it really works. By looking at the world from this standpoint, we have the opportunity both to see and to live this life as we all need to, together.
the fundamental facets of the I AM
God is recorded in a Biblical account agreed by all 3 monotheistic world religions to have self declared by the name “I AM”. In the second book of the Old Testament of the Bible – the book of Exodus chapter 3 – God communicates a self revelatory name to the lawgiver and founding Statesman of the Jewish nation, Moses. God states categorically that God’s name is “I AM THAT I AM” which is rendered later in the same record as simply “I AM”.
With this assertion all 3 monotheistic world religions must agree. There is nothing here to contradict their particular explanations of God our Creator who demands our worship and obedience.
[The Christian religion of course identifies its Founder, Jesus Christ, as God with his claim to be “I AM”. Personally, I accept that claim and the teaching of Jesus Christ to be fundamentally true and therefore apposite to all human beings in all situations at all times. But Judaism and Islam do not accept this claim by Christ, indeed they regard it as blasphemous. They make no claim for divinity for their founding figures]
But even someone who does not agree that God actually exists, can presumably agree that if God does indeed exist, then this claim to be “I AM” must necessarily be central. The god idea or concept must incorporate this idea or concept. That being so, certain fundamental facets of God must also follow.
- God must exist at all times, everywhere
- therefore God is the author of life because God’s existence necessarily predates all other existence; God is the source, the origin of all that exists – this world is God’s creation; Gods’ property
- God has all ultimate power and all ultimate authority
- God’s creation indicates that God is creative, constructive, and harmonious
- God both provides – and is – THE Purpose
- God being the source and power behind all, God must be the constant reference point for all understanding and knowledge
- God knows what is true and how reality works – therefore we need to see God as the central moral reference for all our thinking and decision making in life
Historically, people refer to God as male. However, that too indicates that human beings view God via their own framework of thought rather than via God’s. If we take the Genesis record which is accepted by all three monotheistic world religions, then we find that humankind was made in the image of God: not male and female after separation, but male and female before separation. God is neither exclusively male nor female but incorporates the harmony and unity of both sexes in one.