Monday, February 28, 2011

Describing the Unknowable

God does not equal "acts of nature".

God does not equal "the Church".

God does not equal "the Authority".

I can't tell you what God is but I'm sure that if your concept of God evokes fear not inspired by awe, guilt, a lot of sorrow or anger, I'm certain it's not really God you're thinking about. My guess is that if your understanding of God inspires any of the preceding emotions, you're dealing with familial, cultural and religious indoctrination rather than a direct experience of God. God is God and thus, unknowable and indescribable but my understanding is based on my experience with God and I can say that God may be many other things (or every other thing) but most of all God is Love.

What seems weird to me is how many of us completely reject all the "thou shall not" religious beliefs we were given but continue to accept the idea of God as "judge, jury and executioner" that went along with the religion. We reject the Old Testament harshness of religion as misguided at best but also manipulative and wrong and then, rather than examining those messages and trying to figure out what, if anything, is still meaningful to us, we spurn all of it. I don't think God should be blamed because some people use God's name as a way to control others. If you don't like the message you've been given, reject the message but then figure out for yourself what message would be OK with you. If God seems like an arbitrary, temperamental Zeus-like diety, spend some time thinking about if that really is God or if it's just an idea you've been given.

I find people who claim to be atheists based on their rejection of God as "The Authority of the Church" to be as deluded as people who are religious fundamentalists. Both seem to me to be immature and simplistic belief systems. If the choice was between God as The Authority or no God, I'd claim atheism, too. What this type of atheist doesn't get is that this is a false choice. I suspect there are as many ways of approaching and conceptualizing God as there are people so I think it's OK to deny the narrow and negative ideas as long as you don't get stuck there. Open your mind and your heart and try out some other ideas of what God may be for you.

I try to avoid projecting human emotion or motivations onto God. I don't believe that God punishes some and rewards others; I think things happen and God is to be found in how we respond. Yes, God created the world and set everything in motion in some metaphorical 7 days way. God is recorded as knowing when a sparrow dies but nowhere does it say God made the sparrow die at that moment. I reckon God must have created entropy but I don't think God uses catastrophe as a weapon against us. Things happen. Nature happens. We humans do things that cause harm. There is evil in the world. God allows it but I don't think God wills it. We find God in what we do with what we have. When bad things happen to us we can respond by becoming bitter or we can respond with love. God is in the love.


"Tis a gift to be simple" said...

this post is the reason I think your one cool chickroo :)


Diana said...

Couldn't you just be in awe without naming or defining anything?