Tuesday, May 12, 2009

God is...

God is...

your answer to that statement could go in many different directions, depending on your belief system, how your day went, what stress you are under, the direction of your life etc.

on this day his Facebook status read "God is an @$#0(%!  Leviticus 26"

my friend wondered what my response would be. i have a couple...

1. "wow! he's being pretty real with his emotions." there is no question on where he is at right now. 

2. the sad part is that i am sure this sent many of his friends running for the hills with their lightning antennas up so they would not get hit. or they brought out the post to tie him to for the barbecue. or maybe that was just my experience earlier in life. i should not be too hard because its sometimes hard to know what to do when someone is that real with their emotions.

3. for his statement to be true, it implies a belief is God. the fact that he gives a scripture reference shows he read the Bible. i take both of these as a positive and he has opened a conversation with his statement, what more could you ask for.

4. i have been there. i have been mad at the world and at God, when i got busted. the scripture reference he used has to do with punishment for disobedience. which begs the question, "if you really loved me, why would you punish me so?" it's easy to get angry at those that try to hold us accountable for our actions. every action has a consequence, some positive, some not so much.

we can get confused about the freedom we find in love. if i really love you, i will hold you to a standard. if i just let you do whatever you want and don't address it, that's neglect not love. none of us wants to get in trouble and when we do we will do anything to get the spotlight off us. even turn the anger we have at getting caught upon the one that loves us enough to say something. 

5. what if there was a place where people could be real and could talk and deal with these issues without feeling like they had a scarlet letter on their forehead? i would love to work there. maybe we would even call it church.


roughruby said...

Thanks! Lack of capitals...hmmm.

Ronda Laveen said...

Honey, I believe you DO work THERE and THERE is your heart. I wrote more and deleted it. Sometimes less is more.

Ronda Laveen said...

I noticed roughruby's comment. I noticed the twitter qwik type too but then comment comes under judgement and isn't that the central theme of your post? Be free of judgement?

Brian Miller said...

@ruby - like taking off your shoes...

@ronda - thanks. less is more, that's for sure. intrigued as far as what you deleted though. :)

Daniel said...

I once fell into the trap that you speak of in #4. I figured I was giving room for growth and room for freedom. In reality, it was cold, hard neglect.

Candie Bracci said...

5/I'm in!Talk freely about anything without feeling judged and wipe away all those untolerant people that called themselves men of God!

Have a nice day :)

Brad said...

Great post!!

Lola said...

Been to #4 and back. Motherhood (and related discovering of true meaning of life) erased all my anger. I guess it's something that comes with age too. Less irritable, more pondered.

I believe. I pray (in my own way). I do not go to church. I live in Rome, under the shadow of the Vatican's big dome. I dislike the Pope. I know I am loved by God. I feel accepted by Her.

So essentially yeah, despite my faith, 3oo years ago I'd be burned on the stake in Campo de Fiori for being heretic.

Did you know you were opening the proverbial can o' worms with this one?

Brian Miller said...

@lola - i try to kick that can often...lol. No stakes here. : )

@brad - ty

@candi - all untolerables...have a great day!

@daniel - think if we are honest, most of us have been.

Rob said...

Good stuff. This is one of your finest posts.

Baino said...

Brian you get the grey matter whirling! Since I am not a godly person and cannot think of a single reason to believe if there was a god she'd be in the slightest bit inverventionist. Although I'm with Candie, I wear my heart on my sleeve am too honest for my own good and talk freely to anyone and everyone. If Church is where it works for you, then I'm extremely pleased that you have that as your sanctuary. Thoughtful post as always. Love em.

Mrsupole said...

God bless you.

Liza said...

....adoring Father.

this post made me read Leviticus 26. Thank you for that, I'm always up for learning more scriptures. BTW...still laughing at this week's TT.

Anonymous said...

I am “he.” I wrote the offending comment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your advice and insight. I would also like to respond to a few points in your post.

First I would like to make a small correction. If you will forgive my profanity, I said, “Yahweh is and asshole.” God, as I perceive, and Yahweh are two very different characters.
To respond to your first point, I feel that you may have misunderstood my state of mind when making that comment. I was not angry, upset, or emotional. It was a logical conclusion. Someone much smarter than me said it very well:

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; petty, unjust, unforgiving, control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty, ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticide, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevent bully."*

This description very well fits my definition for the profanity I used. So, again it was not an emotional reaction but a logical conclusion. I can not reconcile my values, which are based on the inherent worth and dignity of each and every human being, with a god who unapologetically caries these qualities. A god who possessed any of these qualities would not be fit for worship or adoration.

Your second point makes me sad as well. You very clearly demonstrate some of the moral weakness inherent in Christianity. I assume you will agree with me that if I were to offend you terribly it would be an overreaction for you to pull out a pistol and shoot me. Why is it unreasonable to hold God to the same moral standard? The story of the Israeli people claiming the land of Canaan is a story of god sanctioned genocide. If the reason Yahweh found the Hittites displeasing was that they were heretical why didn’t he in infinite love show and convert them with miracles? Why didn’t e give the order for the Israelis to go in and massacre them? I don’t like your behavior so I am going to wipe you off the face of the earth is a terrible moral precedent.

If he can’t be held to the same standards a moral human why is he worth your adoration. I refuse to accept that the divine smiting is an appropriate reaction for any sort of disagreement. And that fact that the Christian believe system is such that you assume that people should feel afraid and run to the hills if terror of Yahweh’s wrath is, I feel, deep neurosis in the collective Christian consciousness.

I abhor violence. I, with the author, am deeply saddened that my comment likely inspired people to lust for my heretical head on a platter. How is that spirit of revenge against and offence to Yahweh different than the spirit of revenge that deems it admirable to blow up a bus full of children in Palestine? I agree with you the moral and spiritual culture of modern Christians is saddening.

Point three, though I do believe in an ultimate consciousness that can be called God I generally do not call it God; least it be confused with Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, or any of the other anthropomorphic bully gods. And yes I am familiar with The Bible; it is an interesting and tragically dangerous piece of literature.

For your fourth point I somewhat stunned. I would encourage the author to reread it and imagine how it reads to me. Of course there are consequences and people should be held accountable to them. I am in fact a huge fan of justice. It is only naturally to be guilty and angry when you get caught. And a natural consequence should follow based on the merit of the error. You asked, "If you really loved me, why would you punish me so?" I would ask Yahweh, “If you were composed of unconditional love why would the threaten me with turning the earth to a desert, multiplying my blows sevenfold, kidnapping, genocide, murder, petulance, etcetera. I don’t understand how you can equate getting a spanking for stealing a cookie and genocide for mowing the lawn on Saturday. This is not a moral story about being a good person, or living a good life; it is not a story about not stealing or cheating, and not hurt anyone. This is a story about the threat of complete annihilation, and being at the mercy and whims of an egomaniac (kind of like life under George Bush).

Given the choice between the wrath of Yahweh and described In Leviticus 26 or neglect which would you choose?
Forgive me for being harsh, but I find the implication that church is a safe place to disbelieve is patently absurd. I can say without doubt or hyperbole that the church has been the single must damaging institution on my life and spirit. Please don’t insult your integrity or my intelligence and pretend that my experience is unique or even uncommon. Again forgive me tone but strongly disagree with you that the church as an institution is a place to be real.

In conclusion, Yahweh, as I perceive him is an asshole. I can not reconcile the Unconditional Love with his character. If my opinions are distasteful you I would like you to help me understand whit.
I would like to thank you again. I have enjoyed the opportunity to express some thoughts. I would be interested in reading your thoughts concerning this post.

Love and Light

*Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion p51.

Brian Miller said...


I appreciate your thoughts and glad we could open a surprising dialogue. Would love to grab a cup of coffee and talk. If you are open to it. Message me.

I'll put together a few thoughts, but won't insult you with an off the cuff thoughtless response.