God (Part I)
I keep having these thoughts in my head concerning God. Or, at least, mankind’s perception of what he/it is. One good thing about my job is that I don’t have to deal with customers. The other is that I have a lot of time to think while I’m putting freight away.
All of the wars and strife in this world over what one person or the other believes God is. This person is an infidel because he disobeys my God. This person is a heathen and uncivilized because he doesn’t believe in my God. You’re going to hell because you weren’t born again and saved by my God. And so we kill each other. Murder, death and misery over who has the better imaginary friend.
I’ve always (always as in the days since my departure from Christianity) thought of Jesus as the Santa Claus for adults. As kids we’re told to be good because “Santa is watching.” As adults, we’re told, basically, to be good because Jesus is watching. And instead of presents as our reward, we avoid eternal punishment handed down by our unconditionally loving creator. Who needs big government, domestic spying & unwarranted wiretaps when there’s a spirit who happens to be everywhere all the time – omnipresent. A spirit who doles out eternal punishment for the slightest offense. It’s kinda like that guy who’s got the “Beware of Dog” sign in his front yard, but has never owned a dog in his life.
I’m not sure what started these thoughts, but they are all pretty much centered around prayer. What prayer is, what its role is in religion, and how, after giving it careful thought, I find how absolutely ridiculous it is.
Here is my line of thought. What is prayer? Its supposed to be man’s way of communicating with God. The Bible itself says that prayer is the most important element in a Christian’s life. Now, when you look at the character of God, who he is supposed to be, and the traits he is said to possess, the tool of prayer quickly dulls its edge while at the same time destroying the foundation for God, as he is said to exist. In short, the Bible says God is all-knowing, all-powerful and omnipresent (everywhere at the same time).
When we pray, we are expressing ourselves to God. Our hopes and fears, our wants and needs. Our religious leaders ask us to “pray for so-and-so,” or to ask God to “bless such-and-such.” Now, if it was at all possible for prayer to have any effect on God’s will, it would totally disprove Gods all-knowing quality. God is supposed to carry out his will with the results always being good – as opposed to evil. In effect, when you pray and God does what you want, he is, in essence, changing his will. Now, there are two sides to this coin. The first is that by him granting your prayer wish, God is admitting that you were more aware of what was good or evil than he was. The second side has to do, also, with his all-knowing trait. From the beginning of creation, God, being all-knowing, knew everything that would happen from that point on through eternity (This point I will argue more on later). When the day came that you made your prayer asking God to bless or heal someone, and he did it, he changed the future, and thus, in effect, surprising himself – while also altering what his intended will was for eternity.
In this way, prayer cannot be logically argued as a viable tool for spiritual life, at the minimum. The very use of prayer gives God human qualities -those of fallibility and error, compassion and sympathy.
God, if he were to be who he is claimed to be, would be more like the CEO of Exxon-Mobil, and us “sinners” would be likened to the guy that pumps gas at a Mobil station. God would be totally inaccessable. The only way you would know he exists would be from someone 5 or 6 promotions up from you saying they talked to someone who knows someone higher up in the company that heard someone talking about someone who met him – or you’ve seen his picture on the internet. And even then, I wouldn’t put enough faith in that information to base my life on it.
To Be Continued…