Jan 5, 2009

If God Is Not A Man: What Are The Implications?

God Is Not A Man that he should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;(B)Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19

Some religious faiths insist that God is a man, and that we have been made in His image, mind, brain, eyes..., and therefore we look just like God!

Question: On the other hand, just suppose that God or what we refer to as God is not a man at all, then what would be the implications of such a finding? For example:

1). How will it effect the male female dominance dynamic that males have employed for years in order to justify the subjugation of their female counterparts?

2). How has the anthropomorphization of God negatively impacted human beings, and how has it limited our growth, intellectual development, imagination and potential, particularly if what or who we refer to as God is merely a super man?

In other words if God is an entity that merely happens to be superior to males and females in terms of knowledge, intellect, wisdom and scope, those who were merely been shaped in HIS image, that alone should give us cause to be concerned! Who can deny that man has shaped God in his image?

I suspect that God, IT, is bigger than that and that what we refer to God is non-human. Certainly its substance is different than ours as well as all other phenomenon inside the Universe! Some others will argue no that is incorrent, and that man is made in the image of God strictly in terms of his intellect. The latter does, however, make more sense former.

Part I

My outspokenness about religion has caused quite a stir among my friends, fellow clerics and acquaintances alike. Why? Some have been shocked by my outspokenness; however, my beliefs have not been cultivated of late, they have been parsed and reasoned over a considerable period of time. I can recall when I was a teenager, my mom, who was still living at the time, and I had a talk about religion.

She was shocked and somewhat disconcerted to hear that I believed in God, but not in institutionalized religion. Frankly, my feelings about the two have not changed that much over the years.

Having said that, I no longer believe in the anthropomorphized God that was created in man’s image. And, despite all of the good things that religions do, say and teach, frankly, I suspect that as Jesus once explained to the Pharisees, the number one reason that most humans cannot arrive at truth, even truth concerning what we refer to as God, can be attributed to the closed and self-serving nature of religion, its limited understanding and narrowly shaped-influences. In other words Jesus explained them to the Pharisees, you hold the key, and with it you have heaven shut or 'locked' up!

Karl Marx explained it in other terms, he said that religion is the opiate (dope) of the people, en masse! I suspect that Karl was correct after all, for most people pursue religion as an end in itself, only a small few are committed to seeking what is true, actual or real.

Under the umbrella and the rubric of religion there are many groups and even more teachers who believe that they alone possess ultimate and universal truth. Most of these groups are organized under a belief system that is wrapped around a certain deity. And whether they are theists or deists or something else does not matter, for humans tend to really believe in what they believe, or have been taught anyway. And, as far as they are concerned that is 'the truth', and everyone else should simply accept what they hold to be ultimate truth as absolute truth.

On KGO Radio in San Francisco this past evening, I listened late at night as a talk show host attempted to discuss religion with a member of the religious community, one of our religious nuts. The topic had to do with religion, Thomas Jefferson, separation of state and the First Amendment to the constitution.

Sadly, as talk show host Gene Burns tried to engage in a civil discussion with the close-minded Christian caller, he could seldom get a word in edgewise. Just as I have taught myself, he could get the caller to understand that he the caller, simply believed in what he believed in, most of what was uncorroborated, unfounded and unsubstantiated. I was embarrassed for yet another overzealous Christian, one who could only parrot back or recite what he had been taught as if it were the only truth.

I had some great teachers in my life, however, I do not believe for a minute that any of my teachers who shaped me had a monopoly on truth or what is actual or factual.

Jesus explained to the Pharisees and Lawyers on one occasion, as I alluded to above that they held the keys to spiritual knowledge, however, that they had shut up the Kingdoms of Heaven.

When I think of the number of times that religious people have been proven wrong with respect to their beliefs versus verifiable truth or proof, I am embarrassed for the religous world. I cannot help but to wonder what we are truly missing, and furthermore what have we been missing out on? What really lies out there beyond the reach of the religiously shaped limited understanding of corporate religious believers?

Most of my fellow ministers, as well as Christian laymen will argue for example that 'the Canon is the inerrant word of God'. When I ask them what was is the source of the Canon and how was it put together, they cannot tell me. All they know or repeat continuously is that it was inspired by God. But was all of it inspired by God?

Now that is amazing isn't it and a kind of a stretch to ask anyone to believe that a flawed Canon was put together and dictated by God. When the fact of the matter is that anything that is included in the Canon is considered to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth as far as they are concerned, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that some writings in the Canon were borrowed, or derived from myth or lore.

The truth is that the Canon is full of misinterpretations, borrowed ideas, mistranslations, as well as additions and subtractions for that matter. Many of the books that Christians believe to have been endorsed by Paul's assertion that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, Paul never observed himself. In fact, much of the New Testament that he so heavily contributed to did not exist when he wrote about God-breathed scripture!

Too many of our minds have been misshapen as a result. Is God a man or a spirit or a something else? The same Christian who will have you to believe that God is a man, will say that God is a spirit and then will begin to explain why it is that way. There is no wiggle room from their points of view. You either believe it, or expect to go to hell and to burn forever! Eek!

Again, I do not believe that what we refer to as God is human. However, having said that if what we refer to as God possesses the abilities that I believe IT possesses, and that most religious people it has, even those of other faiths and sects believe IT has, then it must have the requisite ability to utilize a body in order to relate to humans in human forms, animals in animal forms, and other unknown entities in their habitable forms; that is a non-sequitur.

What is my thrust? What is my praxis? As I explained to a wonderful pastor that I met earlier in the week who lamented the fact that so many Christians were criticizing the Canon, many of us simply want to move on. There are those of us who believe that what we refer to as God is even larger, and more dynamic than the God of the Canon. That God turned a river into blood, assisted men in physical warfare and affected miraculous healings here and there.

And I don't mean to minimize the contributions of the God of the Canon. However, I suspect that because of the limited understand or beliefs of the people that the God of the Canon place self-imposed limitations upon itself. Even Jesus once said, that because of unbelief there were times that he could not do a great work. Could he has also meant that because of the limited scope of the people that the great miracles could not be done at the time.

What 'miracles', as we refer to them, could occur in a 20th century context, if we could elevate our minds beyond the positions of a limited 14th century collaboration of books?

Jesus once said to his disciples, that the paracletos, not the Canon, that was to return would guide us into all the truth. Paul even wrote that during his time that believers could only see through a glass darkly. So what is God waiting for to illuminate the world? I suspect that IT is waiting for the people who are called by ITS name to grow up and to extend themselves beyond fear and apriori ideals!

For people who live in a post-modern era, I believe that we should be much further along. Instead, we are still killing each other, not with rocks, arrows or poisons, but with sophisticated weaponry. Isn't it incredible that we waste our intellect and put forth tremendous efforts, even at this hour, simply to kill one another? I suspect that we are stuck, because we are stuck in past century paradigms.

I believe that it is time to move on. I was thinking the other day that if the believers of today, could be teletransported back into time, say around the 1st or 2nd centuries if not before, many believers would be surprised to discover that they would be considered atheists or secularists. Why? What would be the reaction when a teletransported Christian who popped in a post-modern world, as Jesus did, mainly to inform people that their Gods were not real?

Are we doing the same to individuals today, who are trying to urge us on to seek after the truth?

Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon

To be continued....

Question: Why are the nations that represent the major religions of the world the most warlike? Each one of them claims that Yahweh, God or Allah is with them and therefore death to the infidels. What is wrong with the god's of these groups, or on the other hand what is wrong with the groups of these gods?