09
Aug
09

The Nature of God

eye_of_godA lot of people get hung up on the concept of any kind of god, much less an all-powerful creator of the entire universe. They scoff at how ridiculous it is that such a being could exist, even as they don’t skip a beat accepting that they live in a universe that must, then, have popped up infinitely out of nowhere.

But you know what, I’m going to cut folks some slack for having trouble believing in an all-powerful, ominprescent universal God, and I’m going to tell you why it doesn’t matter, pratically speaking, whether you make God “infinite” and maybe, just maybe, it will be easier for you to consider He might exist if you can scale the possibilities down to something more manageable.

Creator of the Universe

OK, so what if He isn’t, really? Technically speaking, the Bible really only spends significant time talking about His role in creating the Earth and managing it, and spends precious little time on anything temporal beyond our little corner of our little galaxy.

By considering that He might “only” be creator of the Earth and the life here, I don’t think I’m exactly de-powering Him that much. Relatively speaking, any being that might have arisen in the universe and possessed the ability to create life and give that life a spiritual side as well is still a creator that is, for all intents and purposes, the ultimate creator…at least relative to our puny human abilities.

All Powerful

All right, maybe God isn’t everywhere at once. Maybe He isn’t all powerful with infinite abilities. Maybe He doesn’t reach beyond this planet. Regardless, this is still a level of power that might as well be infinite. I know I’d certainly give more than a passing bit of respect for such a being.

Perfect

A common criticism of God is that if He were so damn perfect, why is the world so messed up? I’ll pass on my usual argument that we humans messed it up, really. Instead, let’s define perfection. Still working on it? Good luck. Do phrases like “without error” or “faultless” really help here? If a being exists who created this world, whether as a sick game, or a social experiment, or a proving ground for spirits that He will send forth, or the setting for a strange conflict, or whatever, the fact that He created this all would make Him more perfect than any of us.

Look, if I create a story on the page, I’ve created my own world. It is, in a sense, perfect. Even if I make a continuity error or contradict something, those things can be changed to bring everything back in synch. The story hasn’t been changed substantially, but it loses the jarring element(s). If I start an ant farm in my house, I might as well be “perfect” because the changes made in those ants’ lives are being dictated by someone with almost total control over the environment.

So, perfection, like the other things I’ve mentioned, is a relative thing.

I know this post isn’t likely to turn any agnostics or atheists my way. In fact, it is probably much more likely to get me branded a heretic by some Christians for even considering these possibilities.

The point is that it doesn’t matter whether my God is master of the universe or master of the world. If the former seems too much to stomach, the latter…while easier…still makes God so much more powerful than I am that it hardly matters.

And given the level of creative and destructive powers we humans have, is it really so hard to consider that a being might exist who found it fitting to create life on this planet and who finds it necessary to remain largely invisible to us?

Aren’t we, as humans, striving toward reshaping worlds and perhaps creating our own? Don’t we conduct experiments without the knowledge of the animals or people involved sometimes? Don’t we change the nature of the game midstream at times for very good and proper reasons?

Why is it so hard to imagine a being greater than us that might do similar things for even higher purposes than our own? And wouldn’t such a being be worthy of some kind of respect, for any number of different reasons?

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7 Responses to “The Nature of God”


  1. August 10, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Faith:
    2.Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

    And this is why there are so many religions in the world. Whatever floats your boat, eh Deacon.

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    August 10, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    True enough. But I’ve seen faith achieve great things where logic utterly failed or where logic dictated that it was a lost cause.

  3. August 11, 2009 at 12:43 am

    O’ course, then there’s all those times that logic kicked faith’s butt… 😉

    Interesting post. Especially the latter part, seemed to imply God as I big person in the sky playing Legos with human beings. I know, I know – not quite the same, but you get the idea. I think the nature of God is far more impersonal than that, more ubiquitous, more complete. The power of God is like the sunrise – totally silent, completely harmless, as gentle as the sweet breath of a sleeping baby – and yet no power on earth can slow it down, change it, divert it, stop it – and it brings light to the whole world.

  4. 4 LightWorker
    August 11, 2009 at 3:13 am

    “Why is it so hard to imagine a being greater than us that might do similar things for even higher purposes than our own? And wouldn’t such a being be worthy of some kind of respect, for any number of different reasons?”

    Interesting perspective, Deacon Blue. Here’s another. Perspective that is. Whether it’ll be interesting or not, well…who knows?

    Let me say first: God is an existence, and not a being (This is just my perspective, not meant to counter any other, but to provide an alternative view.) As such, he has always existed, and always will. That view makes Something the Great Reality, and Nothingness the Great Illusion.

    Further, since God is largely that which has always existed, that fact alone makes him a miracle, and miraculous. From our perspective we tend to believe that a thing must have a beginning, and end, even if we think of it as eternal, or infinite.

    In short, the concept of an Eternal Existence boggles.

    This Existence we call God is not greater than us, he is us. As individuated beings (using the term, beings, as we’re wont to do in this relative world) we experience ourselves as separate from the whole, when in fact we’re part of it, One With It, now and forevermore.

    Because of our oneness with the All, God is neither “greater than,” and we “less than.” Even our individuation is an illusion, a contrived existence. What we have is a God who separated himself into parts (for a divine purpose), the parts existing relative to the whole as though the parts and the whole are two different things.

    Actually, God can individuate himself, without dividing himself, remaining whole in relationship to the parts.

    In short, we have innumerable gods within the One, all gods having a specific relationship with the One and the Many. That relationship is pretty clear: Out of One Many; From the Many One. From God’s perspective, it would be something like this: “I feel like many, but I’m One.”

    5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God….

    The inclination is to believe that we’re humans be-ing, rather than a gods god-ing. That’s understandable, given the daily affirmations from every quarter that insist we’re more human than godly, more flesh and bones than spirit. You’d think that Jesus Christ was never born, and never taught that the Kingdom of God (Spirit) is nigh, and taught his disciples to share this Good News almost exclusively.

    This “Nigh Kingdom” was not just a Kingdom that was to come at some indefinite time, but one that was readily available, if we only knew–hence, “nigh at hand.”

    We respect God, because we can’t truly disrespect ourselves. I know: it seems to be that way, but appearances don’t always take all into account. You’ve alluded to that. Hence: “We love him, because he first loved us.”

    God’s purpose is our purpose. And contrary to appearances, we’re carrying out that purpose. It can’t be otherwise. If God has a purpose for us, trust me, freewill or no, we’re fulfilling that purpose. There’s Only him. It would be like my hand refusing to carry out my purpose. It’s my hand. It has no choice. So is freewill and illusion? Not exactly. You see: we All agreed, because One agreed, to carry forth the purpose. We willingly and gladly accepted the divine purpose, and the path to see it through.

    “A common criticism of God is that if He were so damn perfect, why is the world so messed up? I’ll pass on my usual argument that we humans messed it up, really. Instead, let’s define perfection. Still working on it? Good luck. Do phrases like “without error” or “faultless” really help here?”

    I see “perfection” a little differently than you, but for now to be “errorless” is sufficient. God is indeed errorless. She can’t make mistakes. And if He could, she wouldn’t be God. A God who could err is not a God, but a mockery of one.

    And I agree: to the degree that we see a “messed up” world to that degree we humans, we gods, are at fault.

    But here’s a newsflash: The world is perfect as it stands. We have perfectly created a world that we say we don’t like, we say we don’t want, but we keep creating it, nevertheless.

    We create using our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. Creation becomes automatic when our thoughts, our words, and our deeds are held long enough to become beliefs. And when the energy and power of these beliefs conflate with others, they become universally held, and are considered the stuff of mass consciousness, universal belief, or collective thought.

    The process by which we created our world is absolutely, incontrovertibly, categorically perfect. And that’s the Good News. If we can create the world in ways that we label a “mess,” we can also change our minds, and create it in ways that appeal, without the mess–that brings us joy, peace, and heaven on earth.

    Truly, we don’t have to go through hell to get to heaven. We’re always at choice. There’s that freewill thing, again. Yet, what we have created, the “mess” has its purpose, as well. That purpose is more important to us than we remember, or care to remember. Rather than remember, we’re content merely to use the “mess” to experience who and what we are. Nothing to forgive, we can’t experience forgiveness. No war within and without, no peace and contentment to experience. No distress and disturbance, no happiness and joy to experience. Nothing to fear, no Love to experience.

    In short, without that which is not, that which is, is not. A conundrum, no?

    Here’s perfection, also: To match Intent with Outcome. God is perfection itself. Outcome is never in doubt. As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end: “In the beginning God….” Genesis 1:1

  5. 5 Deacon Blue
    August 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Thanks, Seda and Light Worker, for some very interesting additional perspective on this.

    Regardless of how it all washes out, I am certain that God is far more complex than we are capable of truly appreciating right now, just as I am certain that the universe is not the spirit-less place that so many atheists insist it must be.

  6. 6 thewordofme
    August 15, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Deacon,

    “…OK, so what if He isn’t, really? (All-powerful, omnipresent, omniscient universal God) Technically speaking, the Bible really only spends significant time talking about His role in creating the Earth and managing it, and spends precious little time on anything temporal beyond our little corner of our little galaxy…” my parenthetical addition.

    Yeah, I really have a hard time thinking about this God who is so powerful and can do sooo many things, and then reading in the Old Testament about Him telling people how long to ostracize a menstruating woman and how you are unclean for a time after spilling your seed, and what to eat and how and when to eat it, etc., etc.. And why do you suppose He was after so many other tribes back then? The apologists say it was because they were “sinning” so much…so what. To this God, sinning was so little a thing as lighting a fireplace on the Sabbath, or making a snack.

    Look at the laws listed in the Old Testament and tell me how many of them are thought of as totally ridiculous today. Would a real God be responsible for this? Well you say…he was trying to protect His flock from the dangers of the day…O.K…why the heck is this stuff even canonized; it has nothing in the world to do with life as we know it, and meant little to other people of the times.

    And just how do you think God can listen to 2.1 billion or more prayers a day here on earth, and still look over and listen to the prayers of the people on *Theta IV, and all the other million civilizations spread about our galaxy alone?? 🙂

    *obscure reference to Scientology.

  7. 7 Deacon Blue
    August 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Well, TWOM, it’s not inconceivable that a being might have the multitasking abilities to listen to trillions of prayers all over the place. I mean, the universe itself, even on the observable level, is way more immense (and I don’t just mean size) than we can truly grasp.

    But there’s no requirement that the God of the Bible be truly infinite in His powers, of course, to still be a GOD. And one that we might never hope to equal in power or knowledge.

    As for canonization of some of the more “silly” laws, I still see those as object lessons AND as safety/health measures for the people at the time. I don’t think it was God’s intention that dietary and hygienic laws be maintained past their need as people advanced in knowledge and technology. It’s people who kept that going, of course, and people are the biggest problem to spiritual enlightenment, really. They get in their own way AND in everyone else’s in many cases. 😉


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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