Most of the religious teachers in Judaism and Christianity are teaching the obedience – the obedience to the rules and rituals, violation of which would bring punishment from the Above. The perfect representatives of such religious teaching are Haredi and other strictly Orthodox rabbis. 

However, most of the advances and discoveries that are making our real life better (both spiritually and materially) for everybody are being made by challenging (disobeying) the existing rules and rituals – in science, arts, business, engineering, architecture, etc. Here are just a few names od such “disobeying” personalities – Abraham, Moses, Maimonides, Albert Einstein, Mark Chagall …

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Why does such fundamental discord exist between the religious teachers and the outstanding real-life personalities? It looks like it is so because of different perceptions of the “Image of God,” although some of us do not know even that this image exists and affects our life.   

For the religious authorities, the image of God is an image of all-powerful, father-like authority that demands from his subordinates the absolute obedience and provides in exchange a sort of “absolute happiness." In the definition of happiness by Orthodox rabbis, that is the pleasure we get from appreciating what we have (as it is said in "Ethics of Our Fathers", "Who is the rich man? He who is happy with his portion"). For the religious authorities, the people who they spiritually guide must obey all ritual rules the religious authorities create. There are no rules allowed to be debated, rejected or tailored to the circumstances of the real life of individuals, such as for example, the 613 mitzvoth in the Orthodox Judaism. 

For many Jews and Christians in the real life, the image of God – although many of them would be surprised by this question – is an image of the creator in all spheres of human activities they are involved in, such as science, arts, business, engineering, architecture, etc.

God the Creator (as Bible proclaims) created all humans in “His image and likeness” as creators, and being a creator means looking for ways of challenging/improving of everything what exists. 

I have never met people who do not believe that there is a mysterious power above them which influences their life in a profound way.

Of course, I met some people who call themselves atheists. However, what I have discovered they reject not the very idea that something powerful above them influences their life – rather, they reject the image of this power presented to them by traditional religious authorities. They reject the image of God who demands an absolute obedience to all his orders and punishes for any suggestion that an individual life circumstance may require a different approach.     

However, there is another image of God. This image is the Torah/Bible image of Intellectual God the Creator, the very essence of whom is to reason, to discuss, to deliberate with the goal of finding the best possible solution for individual and collective life circumstances – finding the best possible solution based on the Torah/Bible unchangeable moral fundamentals and on the God/Nature’s unchangeable Laws of Science.  

Many are confused – they respect both their religious teachings and their real-life adventures and are looking for a “happy marriage” of both. How to do it? It could be done by modifying both religious and public teachings. Below is an example of how it might be done regarding two Commandments – YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and YOU SHALL NOT STEAL.   

Religious teachers shall teach: “You shall not murder but it is your religious obligation to diminish, restrain or eliminate – through the military actions or scientific/engineering developments – everything that is the Bible-defined Evil (for example, the murderous Nazism, Bolshevism or MS-13 gang). 

On the same subject, public teachers shall teach: “When you develop anything that may be used – intentionally or non-intentionally - for individual or collective murders, try to make sure your development cannot be used for murdering the Bible-defined innocent people”.

Religious teachers shall teach: “You shall not steal not only individually but collectively as well by encouraging the government to redistribute national wealth – to forcefully take from the very wealthy and give it to the less wealthy”.

On the same subject, public teachers shall teach: “When you consider which the government wealth-redistribution policies to support, support the policies which aimed at helping the Bible-defined unfortunate people – you may not support the wealth-equalizing policies."

Finding a common ground between religious and public teachings is not a violation of the constitutional separation of government and religion. This separation prohibits having one religious domination leading the government – not the Judeo-Christian morality leading the government.



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