We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
One of our team posted a piece written by a psychiatric nurse, of all people, about peoples' views of God. It's a wonderfully provocative subject.
Often, when Christians discuss the pagan or heretical things that people worship, we discuss the things that we are tempted to put above God - the false gods: ego, money, comfort, power, worldly success, pleasure, toys, popularity, etc.
I cannot claim to know exactly why we were given the gift of Jesus and His sacrifice, but He sure made it easier to worship God. However, when we think of God himself, what do we think of?
The answers are highly varied. It's like a Rorschach test, probably telling more about the person's psychology than about the nature of God.
My opinion? The face and mind and nature of God is too big for any human to get his mind around. Is that a theological cop-out?
Phoenix, agree that the article could have used a good editor (as I know I could) but it was at least accessible, and made good points. My Bible study for teenagers (kids alienated from church who asked me to lead it for them because they were curious and wanted to know more about God anyway) had a very animated discussion after reading it. Especially re: the struggle to define oneself vis a vis parents. All drawn to the person of Jesus and mystified, overawed, at times repelled by the idea of God...
Karl Barth, when asked to summarize his own at times indigestible and often boring and verbose theology said it all came down to the song he was taught in Sunday School as a small child: "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!"
My personal favorite one liner right now about God is that He afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted. Like most things we say, probably says more about me than the subject...
And I thought I went to church because the people are so kind and I get inspiration to get thru the week with, feel closer to God and my fellow man, get and give and some encouragement to try and do the right thing...guess I am just a deluded peasant...
For something completely different, if you are concerned about the machinations of the powerful http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/grail/grail-03.htm
I quit the religion aspect of belief when I finished eight years of being head of my youth group in the Presbyterian church in Canton. I loved it because much of our work was helping the elderly. We also waited on any group that chose to use our huge hall for banquets. One evening two hundred old men came in for dinner and a meeting. They all wore hats - regular old-timey hats - and they put them on the hat racks in the foyer and hung their overcoats up. We did the serving and had to wait around for the meeting to end to clean up. It took hours and we got bored hanging around in the foyer. I went over and picked one hat and exchanged it for a hat on the other side of the room. Within minutes we had all 200 hats moved. Then we had the unmitgated gall to stand around and watch the chaos. It was all we could do not to bust out laughing as one man put on 'his' hat and it dropped down over his ears and another put on 'his' hat where it perched high atop his head. We ran to clean up as soon as the men started getting cranky. :)
I don't like church when the preacher tells me I have to fear the Lord. I don't believe God wants believers who believe out of fear. Just like he probably has little use for those who engage in Pascal's Wager. God is in me when I do the right thing. I don't need religion or church for that. The majesty of Gospel singing is another thing. Some of my students got me to attend their small church.... I was the only white person and wow....I was hugged to death. The singing made God sing as far as I'm concerned. The fire and brimstone preacher probably bored Him.
And no doubt the community of a nice church is a haven for people. I saw that at my mom's funeral in the little island church my great, great grandfather built. It was extraordinary and it made me think I should join a church. But I won't. The people in my town are too snotty and I can't stand the preaching of fear.
Ha --mika, well, considering how many generations your family has been chased around by fascist killers, you'd be crazy not to be a little cynical. We've got it better over here, industrial-scale evil is still abstract to all but but our WWII oldsters, our combat vets, and residents of Manhattan.
Phoenix, that's why I quit the Presbyterians, too. I think the national organization did me in, the leftward slide (except for the de-vesting of Israel, which is a rightward slide). Silly, destructive politics, unworthy of a house of shepards of souls and all. IMHO hasten to add.
Want some GREAT gospel music, check out the film "The Ladykillers":
Thanks, Buddy. I'll check it out. I read the reviews and may fast-forward to the singing. :)
I was too young to understand the machinations of the Presbyterian church at the time I left it. I just left church. I did not join another. But when I understood the concept of predestination and how Presbyterian was the religion of the planters, I declared I was an atheist. What a perfect religion for slave holders. It made me sick. Not slavery - I understood that. What I despised was using religion to make slavery acceptable.
And yes, the church's current politics are terrible. But I don't pay attention anymore. Too many Christian sects and none are pure. My mind is my church.
Here's something snarky: We are not allowed in a Mormon tabernacle. Can you accept the idea that we might have a president whose church we non-Mormons are not allowed to befoul by our ungodly presence?