|The Church believes itself to be the instrument through which God chooses to teach His people His most important truths, the premier one being that we must learn to love God with all our heart and soul, and to do this we must come to know God as our Father, who has a Son, Jesus Christ, who as the Son of God is also God, and through whom the Father sends to us His Holy Spirit, who is also God, in order to make us Holy. I agree with this, and belive that God has guided the Church to a basically accurate understanding of His truths and laws. I also believe, though, that learning God's truths is a process to be partaken in by living life, and that how God's truth and laws apply at any particular time evolves with the development of our capacity to respect and respond to God's truth. God reveals this to us in life.
God's method of revelation can vary, from mysterious miracles to logical deductions through rational thought processes. It is my belief that as we grow in our experience, both individually in our own lives and as a people in our history, we are called by God to expand our capacity to become more aware of His truths through our rational thought processes. As the Apostle Paul put it, when I was a child I thought like a child, now that I'm an adult, I am expected to think like an adult. If we don't use the gifts that God has already given us He will not compensate for this failing by reverting to the methods of revelation that He has used in the past when we, as a people, were younger. This would undermine His goal of teaching us to be adult children of God. Adult children of God understand that if we are looking for more awareness and presence from God, we had better first use all that He has already offered and given to us in order that we might become more aware of Him and become more worthy of His presence. When we do this, and only then, should we expect Him to grant to us an even greater awareness and presence.
|This concept of growing to be adult children of God does not contradict the point made by Christ that we must become like children in order to receive God. Children have an inherent innocence and humility which enables them to trust and respect their parents, as we must trust and respect our Father in Heaven. This requires that we lose our pride and skepticism when dealing with God. Being child-like though does not mean that we are meant to reject the responsiblities that He chooses to give us.|
|In order to understand the logic behind God's laws, one must understand the nature of the free will that God gives human beings. In order to become a being of the highest order one must have free will. When God grants free will, He must restrict His own will, or all choices simply become His. The free will that He offers to us always has some restrictions, or parameters. There are some that naturally result from our lack of capability. We can't, say, create a universe, so we don't have a choice to do so. There are other restrictions that apply to actions which we are capable of, but which God demands that we don't partake in; murder for instance, or eating the forbidden fruit while it is forbidden. These are mortal sins that offend God to the point of Him withdrawing His presence from us, making us susceptible to death. Then there are choices which God would prefer we don't make, but are of a nature in being wrong in a relatively minor way, usually because they represent a more difficult path to perfection and can sometimes lead a person to more serious wrongs. These are usually referred to as venial sins. There are choices of which He might have an opinion, but doesn't express it, because the nature of the choice is personal preference, such as, possibly, musical taste. Then there are other choices of which God has no opinion on at all, such as, what color shirt we wear today. I believe that there is a knowable logic as to why God determines that this or that is a sin. We are called to learn this logic so that we can understand the restrictions on our free will, thus more easily live within these restrictions, and also, come to see how these restrictions change with changing conditions, ultimately bringing us to a point where we can easily and perfectly follow God.|
|As we grow in our understanding of this logic, we are allowed more free will and are entrusted with greater opportunities by God. There is always a logic as to how God's laws apply at any particular time, and as our understanding of this logic develops some restrictions on our free will diminish. For example, in my opinion, God eventually removes the restriction on eating the forbidden fruit, but only after He has prepared us for the experience, and He allows us to eat from the tree of life, but only after embracing Christ. It is the Church's function to come to understand the logic behind God's law, and to facilitate the development in awareness and application of the law within the world. On the following pages I will attempt to give what I believe is a rational explanation of how and why the application of God's law should evolve on various issues.|