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Posts Tagged ‘God’

Being

July 29, 2009 1 comment

To start things off, I want to remind my vast readership that I am a follower of Christ.  I also believe in God.  My aim in this post is to discover all the mysteries that surround God, dispelling all doubts once and for all…

And while I float back down to reality, I do want to work through some ideas of God that I’ve been reading about.  Now remember, I do believe in God but, I, along with perhaps only a few others, find our current definitions of God quite inadequate.  Here’s what I mean.  If we believe the Bible to be an authoritative text, there are some things we must consider.  For example, let’s look at the 10 commandments.  What is the first of those commandments?  “You shall have no other God’s before me.”

Here’s what I, along with help from a few authors who are much further up the curve than I am, find striking.  In ancient Jewish culture, to name something meant that you had power over it.  To be able to describe something meant that it was something that was personally known to you and could be touched and handled.  The ancient Jews refused to name or describe God because that would then mean that they had power or authority over God.  Track with me here.  Consider our modern thinking and how we define God today.  I mean, think about the implications that we even have the audacity to define him at all.  We’ve got God all figured out, right?  He is a holy and just God.  He is jealous, yet kind, compassionate and loving.  He often acts in human ways and has human emotions.  He’s our protector, our provider.  He is our abba who comforts us when we are in distress.  He’s the great physician, a healer, our rescuer.

Are you seeing what I’m seeing?  We seem to be walking a pretty thin line of making our definitions of God, our own fabricated understandings of God, the god in themselves.  Is it possible that we worship the descriptions of God rather than God himself?  Do we really believe we’ve got God all figured out?  Can he really only exist in the box that we’ve placed him in?  Is it possible that human words and definitions are nowhere near enough to define “I AM?”

Now, I say all this not to argue any points or prove any positions, I simply want to explore the possibility that there is more, infinitely more, to God than we could ever hope to describe or understand.  So, maybe the life of a Christian is not one which is defined by rules and coming to understand what God wants us to do and how he wants us to do it, rather it is acting in ways that are etched into the very fiber of our being from our creator.  What if we act justly because we abhor  human suffering?  What if we embrace our humanity and speak for those who have no voice?  What if we live freely to ignite a passion for life and love as Christ did?  What if we exist not to debate and squabble over the specific things God wants us to do but to instead live as Jesus and Gandhi and mother Teresa did and cultivate kingdom life here and now?

I would argue that God is far greater than any definition we could ever lay on him and honestly, I don’t think it is up to me to boil God down into a set of rules and a tidy little box that I can carry around.  If I believe that God is over all, through all and in all, then I probably should take Rob Bell seriously when he claims that everything is spiritual.  No longer am I bogged down by constantly wondering if I’m doing enough good or if I’m following all the rules.  Jesus lived for the sake of humanity.  I believe his assertion that the Kingdom is near was and is baffling because it challenges us to a new life now.  If God is up in heaven counting down the days until he throws down his fiery wrath, I’m not really sure what I’m here for.  But, if he is a God who is the foundation of all being, who aches when we plunder the earth, suffers the pain of starvation and relishes the silence of the wilderness, our lives for him suddenly have much more meaning and purpose.

We don’t live to follow rules, but we live for the sake of living, because he lives.  We do good because he does good.  We ache and groan at the suffering and injustice of the world just as he does.  When I love recklessly and frivolously, I am loving God.  Now we start to realize that life is different, it’s exciting, it’s new with wonder and amazement.  We become people who are in tune with the world around us and long with everything in us to make this a better place because that’s why Jesus came.  He came to show us how to tap into the foundation of being, to live as conscious, intentional beings, full participants in the movement and construction of a better life here and now, the Kingdom of God.

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