Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Thought On God

This could also be titled, "Man's Thinking On How To Operate With God"

I'm pretty sure more people than just myself have noticed, the bathroom can also be called the Reading Room. Don't worry, that's as graphic as it gets. The current book sitting in the bathroom is titled An Enemy Called Average by John L. Mason. It's basically one of those self help/positivity books written by a christian author. Overall, it serves its purpose, but I noticed in one of the mutliple short chapters covered in this book, a list on how to attain godly wisdom.

Most of them are pretty standard: Please God, Follow his ways, look to Him, Pray, etc etc. But to top the list I noticed something I found contradictorily odd. FEAR GOD!

Many churches I have been in attendance of at one time or another, tell me that God is good, and that all things good come from God. That negative things in our life are a result of our humanness, or influences of Satan. Fear appears to be a pretty big negative thing, and it is something that oftentimes holds us back.
God commanded us to move forward, to take dominion over the earth.

Many issues I have had with the churches, are that many of them are just loaded with certain human oddities, do this, don't do that. If you did what you werent supposed to do, confess to another guy and he can wipe it out for you, but if you dont, somehow you arent as good a member of the church as those who do, and so on and so forth. The basic core message we are taught as kids in Sunday School is that God is good, He is our God, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and if we believe that, we're good as gold and looking forward to our trip to Heaven. As we get older, suddenly a whole litany of rules and regulations get introduced to us, through whatever church we attend, and how these are how we should act to be a good christian.

Anyways, I'm rambling... So if God is good, and fear is bad, why would I combine the two? Why should I fear Goodness? If its good, I should like it and embrace it. If its bad I should shun it. At least this is the message I have gotten from multiple sources. Maybe I'm just not understanding things clearly. If I am gripped with fear of goodness, what motivation is this move forward and accept all that God has to offer me? Do good unto others is big teaching, but the whole message of "fear God" now suddenly adds an addendum to this: Do good unto others, ...OR ELSE!

It all seems to be one big mess to me. Do I operate with love in my heart, or fear? Courage or trepidation? Strength or weakness?

8 comments:

scotterb said...

I think the term "God" is something we mortal humans cannot truly comprehend. So we anthropomorphize God into having human attributes -- power, knowledge, or even anger. I suspect that this shows more about our limits than about the nature of God. I personally do not follow any organized religion because I find conceptions of God too limiting. For me, God is love, perhaps a force that is in all of us, part of us, and yet beyond us. We can't comprehend it. I have faith, even if I don't have any commonly accepted "religion."

Mookie said...

Scott-
Thanks for chiming in. I think it is the human interpretation that manifests itself so differently from church to church that has always had me a little put off by the organized religion. I have found some churches to be better, and needed at the time (more for the people in the church than the church itself), than others. but overall, I have been a more free spirited individual when it comes to my faith.

DeadMule said...

Mike, I think Biblical "fear" means holding God in awe and wonder, knowing that we cannot fully comprehend the Mind of God. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

swfreedomlover said...

Great post Mike!

I no longer follow any organized religion. I was brought up Roman Catholic and by the age of 12 realized/saw/witnessed the contradictions of the Sunday Sermons.

My first realization of contradictions was a sermon one Sunday about gambling. The priest went on and on about how gambling was such a sin. He didn't qualify it with some forms of gambling were good and some were bad, just ALL gambling was a sin. Before he left the pulpit, he then proceeded to remind the kids that they were expected to sell all the raffle tickets their teachers passed out the Friday before. He also boasted the winner of the drawings would be announced at the monthly bazaar held downstairs where there would also be gaming tables for people to play.

That struck me odd. IF ALL gambling is a sin, and IF ALL gambling is a game of chance hoping to win something........then wasn't the selling of raffle tickets a form of gambling? Weren't the gaming tables with their games of chance also a form of gambling?

Then I started thinking more and realized they preached constantly about God's UNconditional love. Well, spelling, reading and comprehension were my strong suits and I understood the word UNconditional to mean NO CONDITIONS. Then what was with all the "burn in hell if you don't obey the conditions" about?

They told us that God created all things, then go on about all the people that God doesn't love because they don't follow these certain rules. Huh?

That starting me wondering why I would want to worship something that had to be feared? Why would I worship something that said one thing and did another (love your brother but hate anyone who is different from your church preaching)? THAT is not love to me. THAT is bullying.

My belief is that God is in every single one of us. All we need to do is to open our hearts to the instinctive love within and let it flood our heads. In doing so, we will then be following our individual paths moving forward.

That is what Jesus meant when he said "I and my father are one". That is what Jesus meant when he told the people that they too could do all he was doing.

Something I've come to realize lately is that faith alone is not enough, you have to truly and sincerely believe. You have to change your thinking so that you shed all the hype and fear we've been fed all our lives and still harbor subconsciously. By consciously telling ourselves we are good, we see the love and beauty, peace and harmony, health and success that is God all around us and feel it in us. By doing this, we can actually start to feel these things from deep within our spirit and feel it rejoice at being set free.

We are ALL children of God therefore God IS within us.

To me, God is not a static being that I can put a face to. Nor is God any one gender, or a strict parent or a vengeful being full of human insecurities that need to be pampered. To me, God is everything.......the air, earth, water, fire, sun, moon, planets, stars, plants, animals, people, all life forms and energy.

To me God is the universal ALL, the force.

And this is why I have no use for organized religions and their man-made rules to control the masses.

scotterb said...

I agree with swfreedomlover, that's very close to my views of God as well. I've also been intrigued by recent theories in physics that the universe is really a hologram: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/a-holographic-universe/

swfreedomlover said...

Scott,

I read your link and found it interesting. Physics is waaaayyyy above my comprehension levels, I'm not too proud to admit, but I understand the premise of what you were saying. I've read in several different books on spirituality and psychic development the same thing. That life as we know it is not solid but more of an illusion held static by the overall mental thoughts of all of us.

It's quite interesting when you really consider it.

I like your blog by the way, and would like to add yours to my blogroll if you don't mind.

renaissanceguy said...

The fear of God and the love of God are things that Christian mystics have written volumes about. Because of God's absolute perfection and holiness and power, we fear Him. We fear him in the sense of being awestruck and realizing that He has the power to do anything He wants to us.

Yet, in our fear we run to Him for safety, because He is also love and light and mercy and grace. He is both our biggest problem and our only antidote.

It's a tension, perhaps even a paradox.

If God is a benevolent king, as He is often pictured in the Bible, then He has the power to do whatever He wants to us, but in His benevolence He chooses to love us. We should fear Him in the sense that people fear a security guard who has the authority and the weaponry to kill them but who has no intention of doing so if one is not trespassing.

SW, unconditional love does not preclude holding people to a standard. In fact, to love somebody includes having high expectations for that person. I'm so glad that my parents loved me enough to help me become a respectful and responsible person, though it didn't always feel like "love" at the time. To demand a pass for one's evil deeds in the name of "unconditional love" is a bit childish.

swfreedomlover said...

To demand a pass for one's evil deeds in the name of "unconditional love" is a bit childish.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that people like me "demand a pass for our evil deeds". I don't recall saying anything to that effect. YOU on the other hand will tell me that all I need to do is confess my evil deed to some middle man (priest) who will tell me to say so many "Our Father's" and "Hail Mary's" and all will be forgiven.

I am a firm believer that what we put out will come back to us three-fold. I am a firm believe of Karma.

I believe that if I confess my "evils" directly to God/Goddess/Universe and ask forgiveness, learn from my error and not repeat it, that I WILL be forgiven.

I also believe that when my soul leaves my body and moves on to the next plane, that I will review my life and see all that I have done, and will go on to rectify any wrongs I left unsettled.

You and I will never agree on this topic, and we both know that. But please do NOT put words in my mouth nor twist what I say. Fortunately there is NO universal law that demands we think alike or believe alike. I can respect your choice of belief system (even as I don't respect that system entirely) because we all have free will and we each exercise it according to our inner guidance.

Therefore, please do not resort to calling someone else's belief childish or any other name meant to demean.