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Are the bible and religion telling us the truth about God?

course in miracles spiritual Feb 10, 2020
Are the bible and religion telling us the truth about God acim

(By Eldad Ben-Moshe Reading Time: 9 minutes)

Growing up, I had a problem with God.

The biblical God.

I was never religious, but growing up in a Jewish family in Israel,
it’s almost impossible not to be exposed to the bible (the old testament).
Amongst other reasons, we learn it at school from 2nd grade to highschool.

In the bible, there are many stories of God punishing, and even mass-killing,

humans in general, and the Jewish people, his ‘chosen nation’, in particular.

From Adam and Eve in the 3rd chapter of genesis (see quotes below),
and throughout the bible, 
disobeying God, or just being a human
who makes mistakes and ‘bad’ choices, was a very dangerous thing to do.

Another thing that is almost impossible not to know when you
livein Israel is some parts of some of the prayers.
Again, that is true even if you’re not religious at all. 

The prayers that struck me the most were those of ‘Yom Kippur’, the day of atonement,
perhaps the most important day in the Jewish calendar. 

Many of those prayers involve telling God how great he is,
how sinful and ‘bad’ we are, and asking him to have mercy on us.

To me, that always sounded weird. I remember thinking,
‘Does God have such a big ego that he needs us to say that to him?’

Is God cruel?

As I grew up and got more and more into both the spiritual and psychological
aspects of life, my ‘issues’ with the biblical God grew even stronger:

If he made us the way we are - with urges, impulses, inclinations, and ego -
why is he punishing us when we do what humans are ‘programmed’ to do? 

Yes, you can say that God is testing us to see if we can overcome those tendencies
as many religious teachings say, or even helping us overcome them.

But there’s a beautiful commandment from the bible that makes me wonder about that:


 “Thou shalt not ... put a stumblingblock before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14). 
ולפני עיוור לא תיתן מכשול - ויקרא 19:14

The meaning of this is that you shall not use people’s ‘weaknesses’, inclination, etc. to
make things hard for them intentionally and knowingly.

Don’t ‘trip’ them, don’t play on their ‘weaknesses’ (not the being blind is a weakness;
It’s a metaphor, so get the drift of it, don’t go to a ‘politically correct’ war on my here... )

So if we are commanded not to put a stumblingblock before the blind,
why would it be ok for God to do so?

If the ‘God is testing us to see if we can overcome our tendencies’ theory is true,
then God
- who according to the bible created us with all our ‘blindness’ such as
lust, greed, ego, etc. - is not only ‘putting a stumblingblock before the blind’ -

he is putting infinite stumblingblocks, and then, according to western religions,
send us to hell for being the blind that trips on those stumblingblocks.

To me, this is a very cruel God.

Even crueler than a person that puts a stumblingblock before the blind,
as I have higher standards and expectations from God than I have from people.

God looked more and more like an unloving, unforgiving, fast to judge,
unfair, egomaniac being, and thus less deserving of my love.

A God that creates you with ego and inclinations, then puts stumblingblock for
you to trip over again and again, then judges you and sentences you to hell for
not being able to overcome his stumblingblocks because of the way he created you.

Maybe that’s why so many of the prayers say ‘have mercy on us’,
which is very different than ‘we love you’?

Sin, Guilt, and Fear: Is God dangerous?

This kind of God is a God that creates guilt and fear in the minds and hearts
of the people he created.

The fear is a result of the belief in sin, guilt,
and a judging, punishing, wrathful,
dangerous God. 

In the old testament, Adam and Eve are hiding from God because of
guilt about eating the apple, and their fear of God’s wrath. 

It’s a story of sin, guilt, and fear.
A story of a judging, vengeful, punishing God.

Adam and Eve end up being thrown away from the garden of Eden, and they also get additional punishments:


And unto Adam he said…

cursed is the ground for thy sake;

in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;
and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;
for out of it wast thou taken:
for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.


Unto the woman he said,
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;

in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;
and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”


“Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden,
to till the ground from whence he was taken.

 So he drove out the man;
and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims,
and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

- Genesis, 3

I mean, wow, right?

That’s one angry, judging, punishing God.

Just reading these lines makes me feel uncomfortable.

If we remember that God created Adam and Eve,
including the ways they can be tempted,
and he also created the snake that tempted them...

We can see an excellent example of putting stumblingblocks in front
of a blind man (and woman).

We can honestly wonder why they should be so heavily punished,
or punished at all, if God put them in such a situation to begin with.


Imagine facing this God, with his judgment and punishments.

The God who not only threw Adam and Eve out,
and not only gave them such severe punishments to make sure they suffer,

he also put guards with ‘flaming sword which turned every way’ to prevent
them from ever coming back to the tree. 

Very different than the loving God A Course in Miracles speaks of.

"God, being Love, is also happiness.
To fear Him is to be afraid of joy."

- A Course in Miracles, Workbook, Lesson 103 


Are the bible and religion telling us the truth about God?

If God is loving,
then the only way this judging and killing God could make some sense to me
is if the bible is just a metaphor.

This will mean, for example, that God did not kill anyone, but the killing, sentencing,
and sending to hell are only a metaphor for ‘if you do that, you’ll end up having
emotional pain and unhappiness in your life.’

For example, if you kill or put a stumblingblock in front of a blind person,
you will not go to a hell of fire and soul-torment, but you will never have the
peace and happiness that you want to have in your life.

One beautiful book that suggests that is
“Torah As A Guide To Enlightenment”by Dr. Gabriel Couses, a spiritual teacher that I love and learned a lot from ever
since 2005. (‘Torah’ is the Hebrew word for the old testament).

This approach is beautiful in many ways, but if it’s all a metaphor,
then religion, as it is most commonly practiced,
is off track as well as it takes the bible literally.

And indeed, as Dr. Cousens mentions in his book,
nowhere in the bible does God tell us to make a religion.
It was never the bible’s intention, nor was it God’s commandment to us. 

Also,  If it’s all a metaphor, then maybe other parts of the bible are a metaphor as well.
Maybe God didn’t create us, or even the world.
Why are we thanking him for all of that then?

And perhaps even God himself is a metaphor and does not exist?
Where do you draw the metaphoric line and say ‘this is real, and that is a metaphor’?

The bible certainly doesn’t do that for us.
So if we want to draw such a line, we have to guess,
or believe in other people’s guesses.


And then I came across A Course in Miracles.


Do you know the feeling of finding ’home’? 

For me, as I shared above,
the biblical God was neither making sense nor appealing.

But when I stumbled upon ACIM,
I understood that I was not alone in my thoughts and feelings about it.


I’ve found a framework that talks about God in a very different way than the bible does -
a framework that makes both spiritual and psychological sense to me,
and is very appealing as well in its language and loving messages.

In short, here’s what A Course in Miracles says about God:


ACIM (an abbreviation of A Course in Miracles) teaches we can follow
one of the 2 thought systems,  2 belief systems:
that of Love, or that of fear.

Those 2 belief systems are symbolized by 2 teachers:
The Holy Spirit, and the ego.

As I can’t dive too deep into that in a blog post
(A Course in Miracles has well over 1000 pages),
I’ll simplify it by saying this:

The Holy Spirit is the symbol for Love’s teachings,
as it is the voice for God.

The ego is the symbol for the fear-based thought system,
and it is the voice for separation, sin, guilt, fear, and attack.

To learn more about this (and many other aspects of ACIM),
check out our online course.

According to ACIM, the way the bible describes God is indeed the way our ego sees God,
the way we see God through the teachings of sin, guilt, fear, and separation.

Given that humans wrote the bible, that is not too surprising.

It’s the reflection of the God that was ‘created’ in our minds as a result
of our belief in the ego’s teachings.

It was created by the ego in its image:
Judging, condemning, blaming, punishing, asking for praise and sacrifices, etc.

In other words: when
we chose the ego as our teacher, well,
that teacher is a belief system, or it teaches a belief system.

And a part of that belief system is a judging, punishing, wrathful, dangerous God.
That is what our ego tells us about God, for The ego made its ‘god’ in its image.


“You made the god of sickness,
and by making him you made yourself able to hear him.”

- A Course in Miracles, Text-10.III - The God of Sickness

On the other hand, and although A Course in Miracles uses Christian symbols

(to read more why they are only symbols and metaphors check out #2 & #3 here),
he God ACIM describes is very different than the God of the bible.

The thought system of love does not believe in sin, guilt, fear, or attack.
As a result, God, according to ACIM, is neither judging nor punishing
(check out #9 here).

Being love, God is only loving. 
All the rest is just the ego’s story about God. 

ACIM is very clear about it all: We’re a sinless, holy son of God
yes, all of us are the son of God - see #4 here. And that’s a metaphor, too).


"It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one:

‘God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist.’ “

- A Course in miracles, Manual For Teachers - How Is Judgment Relinquished?


What a difference from the biblical story of how God punished Adam and Eve, right?

So in truth, the A course in Miracles tells us,
there is no sin, no reason for guilt, and no reason for fear. 

There’s much more to it than that. For example, according to ACIM,
God didn't create us and the world (check out #8 here).

But in this post, I want to focus on the aspects of God that I described above,
and on the relationship between God and us.

That relationship is symbolized as the relationship between ‘the father’ and ‘the son.’

God’s relationship with us can be understood through
the parable of the Prodigal Son:


In short, the parable tells the story of a father and a son. 

The son asks for his part of the inheritance, and takes it and travels with it
to a distant country (symbolic of the ego’s story of separation from God).

He then wastes all his money in extravagant living (‘sin’).

Immediately after that, a famine strikes the land; 
he becomes desperately poor and takes work as a swineherd.

When he reaches the point of envying the food of the pigs he is watching,
he comes to realize that he wants to go back home.
But He is afraid of his father’s response.

So he decides to beg his father to accept him back as a servant:

“I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
and am no more worthy to be called thy son: 

make me as one of thy hired servants.”

- Luke, 15


But ”when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him,
and had compassion, 
and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”

In most versions of Luke,
the son doesn’t even have time to finish the speech he prepared,

as the father calls for his servants to dress him in a fine robe and a ring,
and make a big meal in honor of his return.

The difference and the choice.

So is the difference between the 2 stories -

The ego says we sinned, we separated from God, God is out to get us,
and we should ask for mercy on our body and soul.

A Course in Miracles tells us we never separated from God, sin does not exist,

God is love and loves us,  and there is no reason for guilt or fear.

Now here’s a key issue to understand:

The 2 teachers - holy spirit and ego - teach mutually exclusive belief systems.

You cannot have both.

If one is right, the other is wrong.

ACIM says no compromise is possible between them. 


“It is impossible to see two worlds.”

- A Course in Miracles, Workbook, Lesson 130


“The fact that truth and illusion cannot be reconciled,
no matter how you try,
what means you use and where you see the problem,
must be accepted if you would be saved…

Make no attempt to reconcile the two,
for one denies the other can be real.”

- A Course in Miracles, Workbook, Lesson 96


The choice is yours, my friend.

In many ways, the entire Course in Miracles is about learning that we have a choice,

we can still make that choice, and how to make it.

And A Course in Miracles aims to help us shift from our belief in the ego’s story to the holy spirit’s story, from illusions to truth, from fear to love.

To your better life,
with tons of 💖

Eldad Ben-Moshe
Founder, Teacher, and Coach
Better Life Awareness Center





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