Friday, September 30, 2005

God Has Low Self Esteem?

Isn't it strange that God should require total obedience? That God should require constant praise, have us tell Him all the time how wonderful He is? That God has a temper and if He doesn't get his way He destroys? What does that sound like? A despot! We go to war here on earth to get rid of such people!

Do you really think God needs you tell Him how wonderful he is? Do you think maybe he already knows this?

Of course this is assuming God exists and is like us and thinks like us. God to most people is made in our image. It is we humans who need constant praise, who want things our way. It is we humans who seem unable to love unconditionally. People of religious persuasion talk of God as loving us, yet He clearly does not. Why? The love He has is conditional and love is not love if it is conditional. I think we find that hard to grasp.
Any God who says if you do not do as I say, I will destroy you or punish you for eternity, is not a good God. I don't believe such a God exists. We have made Him up, we have made Him to be like us, with our worst traits.

We are 'punished' by our sins not for them. Even those who foolishly believe they are 'saved' because they believe a certain story are punished by their sins. They do not escape the law. We all reap what we sow.
I once watched a documentary about belief. One of the interviewees was a woman working among the poor and sick in a 3rd world country. When asked why she did this work, her reply was because 'she loved Jesus'. It wasn't 'because i care for these people and can't bear to see them suffer'. It was because she hoped to score highly in the Heaven stakes and get on Jesus' good side! For me, there lies the problem with believing in a jealous, vengeful God. How can we ever trust our own or others motives if we believe that if we don't do what we think our God wants, we will be destroyed?

No matter what we believe, we suffer the consequneces of our 'sins'. No one takes that from us, no belief takes that from us. It is we who make the errors and we who suffer as a result. It is we who think what we think, believe what we believe and act as we act. Thus it is we who experience the results of that. In other words, we are Personally Responsible. We cannot shift this to another.
None of us is perfect, we all make mistakes in thinking and belief. We all live accordingly. Some people, especially so called 'New Age' people, believe we are to blame for our diseases, poverty etc and by magical thinking we can overcome all. In fact, if we are good enough, all will be well. Not exactly original and not really any different from Religious Fundamentalists!

People seem to find it hard to accept uncertainty. We cling to the belief that bad things only happen to bad people. Thus we spend our lifes trying to be good, not realising that we are inately good anyway and most of the bad stuff comes from our belief system! We can become very self centred in our desperate quest to control our lives.

We need to trust that we can cope with whatever comes our way. That whatever comes our way, just does, that it isn't meant to be.

Shit happens.

Do you really think it's God's will that a child is raped and murderd? That it was meant to be? If so, then the murderer was merely doing God's will. I think people do not think these beliefs thru. We all hear stories of people who for some reason missed a flight only for that flight to crash killing everyone on board. So we say that God saved that person, they were meant to be saved. We don't say God wanted those 300 people who did get on the flight burned to death do we? That they were meant to die horribly?

There is a power greater than ouselves, that seems fairly obvious. That power can be used to help us live with uncertainty. No point praying for this that or the other. Don't pray for the bad stuff not to happen. if you must pray, pray for strength and courage to live life as it comes. Find quiet times to sit and be still, you'd be amazed how this builds your strength.
Regardless of your personal belief in a Higher Power, or lack of, this quiet time will still be of value.

Fear is the root of all evil. No one is free from it. How we cope with it, how we lessen it, shows in our lives. It is importnat to know that no matter what you think, no matter what you have done, there is no need to fear God . If God exists, She is totally benign.

Total faith, lack of doubt, is a sure path to trouble. For you and for others. The results of Total Faith and No Doubt are visible on our TV screens everyday. The results of child abuse are there too. Yes, teaching children religous ways, the no doubt variety, the vengeful God nonsense, is child abuse.
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