Monday, August 04, 2008

A New God

Yesterday the Church of the Future addressed the question, "What is God?"

Even before you can meaningfully debate the existence of God, you have to have at least some concept of what God is - or would - be. As became apparent in our discussion yesterday, it can be exceedingly difficult for people to put an image of God into words.

There are lots of mainstream assumptions about God in my culture. To name a few,
  • There is exactly one God.
  • God likes people, or at least cares about them. God is good.
  • God is infinitely powerful.
  • God is everywhere.
  • God is a lot like a person. Josh Turner sings that he and God are like "two peas in a pod."
  • People can have two-way communication with God.
  • God has desires.
The people of the Church of the Future did not emphasize these assumptions, but neither did they go out of their way to tear them down. Instead, they tried to talk about their deeply personal experiences of "God." They felt God out in nature, during Bible study, with close friends, and in scary situations.

The people of the Church of the Future also expressed considerable discontent with their lack of a more constant and deep experience of God. Why don't we sense the presence of God more often, they asked. At least to most of them, the experience of God was a rare thing, and a moment to be treasured and pondered.

I find nearly all of the mainstream assumptions about God to be repugnant at worst and unsupportable at best. And yet, I'm not convinced that the term "God" cannot be useful. In the words of Tolstoy,
How important the concept of God is, and how instead of valuing what has been given us, we with light hearts spurn it because of absurdities that have been attached to it.
But still, what is God? Is it possible to put this into words? And is it important to do so? I have no opinion. With great cluelessness and carelessness I hereby propose the following non-creed. Far from saying what is God, this non-creed gives some examples of how one might use the word "God" in context (its meaning only to be inferred), without attaching absurdities. Admittedly, this non-creed is vague enough to allow some other terms, most notably "consciousness" to fill in for God, so it could be developed more:
  • God is beyond words. God is primarily felt, and to the feeler, a scientific description of God is mostly irrelevant.
  • God is immediately and constantly present to every person capable of self-conciousness.
  • God is in each person, and each person is in God (maybe).
  • People who work together with shared purpose often experience an increased presence of God.

3 Comments:

Anonymous dr perfection said...

this came from out of you and nowhere else?

4:36 PM  
Blogger My Freakwentness said...

Me and God.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

I think I like it. Have you typed up a pamphlet yet? Started knocking on doors?

10:35 AM  

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