6 Apr 2016

Worshiping God?

Submitted by Stephen Winters

I was raised as a Christian and thought of myself as that for many years. However, in recent years the "Christian" identity of God has changed and expanded for me. I have liked the way that Bishop Carlton Pearson said it in the title of one of his books: "God Is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu...: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us"

Since the Bible was a large part of my early life, many of my thoughts and ideas about God and God's character started there. I no longer accept the Bible as the "Word of God". In many ways it is just a book, like so many other books that have been written. However, it is not without value. Like many other books, there are nuggets of truth in it. For example, I see the description of Love as described in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a to be beautiful and very helplful:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Irregardless of the origins of the Bible, that description of love gives me a good pattern to use in my own life.

Now, as far as "worship" goes, I don't see that as an external thing. I mean, I don't have an alter or any type of ceremony or other religious practices that I do. I see worship more as a part of who I am, of my motivations and values. I see God as exhibiting and being truth, honor, compassion. I see"worship" as "ascribing worth" to my view of God. This means that I value the character of God so much that I make those part of who I am. So, in a sense, I "worship" God by living out the character of God within the context of my daily thoughts, habits and behaviors. So, you might ask, what do you mean by "the character of God" and how does that play out? That means honoring all mankind, treating others with respect and honor,

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