I want the Bible to say: Be loving, caring, don't hurt anyone, seek peaceful resolution, seek fair trade, seek the fair treatment of fellow men, try to live a life that does not mistreat or abuse anyone, try to treat animals well. Try to treat animals in a way that minimises their suffering. Seek sustainable solutions for the worlds ecosystems, seek the long term wellbeing of the life on earth. Do nothing perverse or disgusting. Do not entertain ideas which support or tolerate acts of violence against other peoples. Do not speak in support of criminal activities. But you can explore the whole argument pro and con for each human activity, exploring the likely consequences of each action.
Treat others well so that you can feel good about yourself.
To what extent does the Bible say this? There are many voices in the Bible. Many different people wrote things in the collection of writings called the Bible. Which ideas do you agree with?
It is really the idea of hell and the idea that most might go there that I found most upsetting. Especially the idea that I might go there just by not believing the right things or just by not being a chosen one. If you delete that idea and delete the idea that anyone is receiving text messages or communication from a God then the rest of the Bible is not so bad. If you read the Bible as just people trying to guess rules which might make for good society or trying to guess what a good god might want then it becomes an interesting book- non threatening, non scary.
Does the idea of 'love your neighbour', have any real meaning?
The Bible is really irrelevant. The main engine for anyones life is to have a skill set which allows them to earn a living wage where they can at least support themselves, preferably support others as well. Well maybe that isn't quite correct because the most basic thing is to be sane and socially functioning.
Greater love needs no man than that he goes and works 40 hours a week and brings in enough to provide for himself and pays his pension contribution, insurance, taxes - which provide for those in retirement, childhood and sickness and also gives him credit that he will be treated likewise in his retirement or sickness.
To be able to work you need to be focussed, on the ball, calm ,clear thinking, good memory, organised, in good enough health. However there also needs to be work available. You need to be living in a social system where you have a chance, given your skills, to get employment.
Schools are right in emphasizing the importance of gaining skills, passing exams, going on to further education to get pieces of paper to suggest that you are heading in a promising direction, that you have not go bogged down in worries.