English, Theologie

On Civilizing God

Yesterday I wrote about people are leaving church because they don’t find God there anymore, but rather some civilized idol, an image of God we made ourselves and civilized, to have in control.

Anybody remember the commandments? Wasn’t there one saying we should not make an image of God? Right! But this was rather about statues. The God of the OT is to be invisible. Yet we do still need some image, to think „God“ at least. When do problems start?

I think the angels in the bible have a point starting conversations with „fear not“. Of course this refers to their appearing in the respective verses, but not fearing is a good idea as I think fear is the reason why people are civilizing God, even though they want to worship Him.

I believe that all people are fearful. They fear for their lives, their living conditions, even for other people like friends and family. Fear makes people want to control things. Because the more they control the fewer things could harm them and their beloved.

And there is basically nothing wrong about this. It is thoughtful to care for friends and family and to be careful about things. But when it comes to God, we cannot have control. That’s only normal, because He’s the one in control, and He will care and provide for us.

We are to fear God in one way, that is that we have to accept Him as major to us, but we are not to be fearful, like being afraid we’d do something wrong and He’d smash us for it. After all, He is a loving God.

But not all people are told. And not all people really get it. So they try to please Him, with all kind of tricks and behaviours. They are afraid of His wrath and thus try to avoid wrongs. They become very restrictive in the rules to live by, all to avoid the wrath of God, all to please Him so He wouldn’t punish them.

They put up hard punishments within their communities for breaking rules, to be sure no one transgresses God’s will. All instead of trusting God and praying to Him for forgiveness in cases of fault. They try to be perfect on their own, to show God, who made them, how good they are and how they not deserve punishment in hell or elsewhere. But they are not perfect and cannot be, for they are still humans and nobody is perfect but God. They forget that it’s all about faith in God and not about good deeds.

The rules they put up themselves remind me a bit of what Jesus said of the man made laws the Pharisees followed: Precautious rules to not molest God with breaking the law.

The whole behaviour shows their lack of faith. They have no faith in their Father to forgive them their sins, though their bible tells them: Ask and you will be given.

They rather make themselves an image of God, of what they think He wants of them and how they think He would act on certain things. By this they deprive God of His position. (and I guess this is a major criticism of Jesus towards the Pharisees of the bible)

They take the position of God and make the rules, just to be sure nothing will go wrong and nothing will be done wrong. They put themselves into control where the control should be God’s alone and do so by making themselves an image of God that fits their rules perfectly. And doing so they are depriving their image of God of the real God so that after a while there is nothing left of God in the image of their god. Finally they are worshipping a man made image, without having a material idol like Isaiah described in chapter 44.

I want to confront them with a quote by Martin Luther:

Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.

There’s nothing wrong with being a sinner. We all are. What is wrong is not confessing to be a sinner. What is wrong is trying to hide the own sin. Be a sinner and do not fear God for it. God does not want you to stop being a sinner. How could you, you can’t even change the color of one of your hair! But confess your sins, let go the pride and let go the rules you put up for yourself. Be free of those rules and put all trust in God. Don’t try to control and civilize Him, He’s too big to control and too wild and vital to civilize. Let His vitality be the source of your joy, of the ever new liberation of all wordly troubles and fears. Be redeemed by the Lord our redeemer.

Commenting Media, English

No good plan starts with magic sperm

I commented on another video by darkmatter2525 yesterday (which lead to some discussion on diapsora*), and if you checked the source page where I found it, you’ve seen that there’s also another one. This one.

Somehow I even like this one. It does a fair bit of critizising satisfaction theory, which I do not consider correct myself either. It might not be doing the satisfaction theory justice, but it points out some good points that speak against it.

The most important question might be, why an omnipotent God cannot forgive.

Ad this is my major problem with satisfaction theory, too. Why does God have to see blood in order to forgive? Standard answers go like God was too holy to forgive, His glory would be affected, or His justice. People tend to cling to that satisfaction theory as if it was the good news. But what is so good about a God that has to sacrifice His own son in order to be able to forgive us?

Actually, it’s even unbiblical. Which is why it baffles me that biblicist Christians still cling to it, though they usually also cling to the letter of scripture. God does forgive oftentimes. Also throughout the Old Testament, without Jesus even being born by Mary. Biblicists claim that God was only able to do so because Jesus was crucified later.

Of course darkmatter2525 presumes that all Christians would follow satisfaction theory. We don’t. And this is why his critizism of it might be nice, but I still would like to see that there is the alternative as well. Any of the alternatives. Let me tell you about the one I consider the most probable:

The first question I’d like to address is: Who was reconciled with whom? Was it God who was angry and needed to be reconciled with us, or were we angry at God and needed to be reconciled? While satisfaction theory says God needed reconciliation, I do believe that God was all fine, loving us and all, while we were the ones full of hate for God and whom not.

The cross was there to reconcile us with God. We needed to be changed. So the death of Jesus wasn’t God’s fault, He didn’t need Him to die. We needed it, we wanted it. And we would do it again.

Imagine some person coming down to earth and telling us in the face what we did wrong, without even hating us, just telling us. We’d be angry. Imagine someone who would make you realize how many people had to suffer for your sneakers, your clothes, your food. How your way of living destroys lives somewhere else, destroys nature. How your bank account and the interest you get leads to other people losing their jobs, homes, maybe make them starve? You’d hate the person who reminds you of that. You’d call him names, and you’d seek a chance to pay him back. And you’d use that chance, if it came up. And after a while he’d be killed, for whatever reason. Main thing, he’s out of the way and we can go on living the way we do.

So God doesn’t want Him to die. We do. And we did when Jesus was around. Jesus was God, fully, completely. You can hardly differ between the two. So anything Jesus had to suffer, God suffered. It was God there on the cross, it was God who died. We wanted Him to die, we want to be our own Gods. We want to run the world.

We needed reconciliation, and He was willing to give it to us. But how can you reconciliate a horde of haters?

Love prevails!

If someone keeps striking you, how can you overcome him, without doing him harm? You wouldn’t want to harm someone you love. God loves us.

So He endured all we did to Him, He endured even death. And rose again.

So now there are two possibilities. Either you hate that God that just won’t die and be dead so you can be God instead, or you see that this God is really God, almighty and worthy to be praised eternally.

Why would anyone of us want to be God in the first place? Because we want the power t ourselves, to care for ourselves, because we fear if we are not in control, whoever is in control could turn against us and harm us. We fear to be harmed, so we try to take over control.

When you see that there is someone who even overcomes death, who promises love and lives it (sic! why else would an all powerful being endure all that pain, crucifiction and death if it wasn’t for te love?), you have no more reason to fear. So you have no more reason to try to take over control, because you see control is in good hands, in God’s hands. And you have no more reason to hate anybody. Instead, you grow strong. You grow strong enough to endure. If you can endure, you can also love. And all through the faith in God, the faith in His crucifiction and resurrection.

If you don’t see that is was really God who died and rose there, if you miss that faith, you must hate Him even more, you have to deny Him to cling to that target of yours, to be the one in control yourself, to get rid of fear not through the power of Gd, but through your own power. Anyone who claims you wouldn’t be able to make it must be an opponent, who is trying to hinder you from getting rid of your fears by gaining power. What others cal the good news is rather disturbing. People not following the rules of gaining power, of „taking their lives in their own hands“, that’s just not predictable. You don’t kow what they are up to next and how they’d harm your attempt to gain more power.

All would be so easy, if you’d rather cling to love. But it seems to me, that people cannot be made to seeing what happend in the crucifiction and resurrection. God needs to show it to them individually. And He goes by His own timetable. So we have to be patient and wait. And keep on loving in the meantime, because by love we overcome the world.