Monday, January 19, 2009

God in a box

Warning, no fiber content in this post, and there's some back story that isn't in this post. I may post the backstory at some point.

The following is a condensed form of a journal I just wrote.

So here I go starting to try to sort out some of what I learned/discovered/whatevered over the weekend. I spent much of the weekend railing on paper about why God allows things to happen such as allowing a MI to masquerade as the Holy Spirit, and ranting about legalistic churchianity and stuff like the prosperity gospel. I did come out of the weekend feeling God’s presence, which was a big breakthrough for me. I hadn’t felt that presence for a long time.

I’m still struggling with the things that are stumbling blocks for me, which I think pretty much boil down to conservatism. I ran across a comment on Slacktivist that got me thinking, to the effect of “for some people, it isn’t Christ that they’re worshiping.” Hm, I’m starting to think that some conservatives, literalist, legalists etc. aren’t worshiping the living Christ so much as worshiping a political theory, or a particular translation of the Bible, (AV 1611 comes to mind here) or worshiping certain rules and regulations, cherry picking the verses in the Bible that support those rules and regulations or that political theory (shrimp cocktail, anyone?) or whatever.

I’m actually starting to feel sorry for such people, because they can never feel God’s grace and love so long as their object of worship isn’t the living Christ but is a man-made construct. False idols, much? I know there are verses about not worshiping false idols but I don’t recall them off the top of my head. And I don’t want to fall into the same trap fundamentalists tend to fall into – “if you violate verse X, you’re condemned” or whatever. Probably better to ask God’s grace and love to fill their hearts so that they aren’t trapped by fear and hatred.

Maybe some of the other Slacktivist comments got me moving in this line of thought.
In the latest LBTM post, Fred explores a scene between Rayford and Hattie and comments on an interview in which Tim LaHaye said that a RL encounter between an airline pilot and a flight attendant was the genesis of that plot line. Which engendered a number of comments to the effect of, LaHaye must think that it’s impossible for men and women to work together because ZOMG that will lead to sin… and therefore LaHaye must think that for him, any encounter with a woman other than his wife must be avoided, because he can’t be exposed to temptation because he doesn’t want to risk Being Left Behind…

Yanno, it must be terribly sad to live that way, to think that your every action could lead to being condemned to hell. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Jesus was here for and what he died for. He died to save us, not to scare the hell out of us (literally and figuratively).

And don’t get me started on whether people and dinosaurs co-existed. I do think that being trapped in a mindset that the world can’t be more than a few thousand years old, and that God literally created the world in 6, 24-hour days, and that dinosaurs HAD to be on the ark because Noah was commanded to bring critters of “every kind” on board, has to be incredibly constraining and difficult.

God is too big, too powerful, too wonderful to be squeezed into a box. And when we force him into a box of our own creating, we are forcing ourselves into that box as well. No wonder so many people reject God, they look at that tiny box and can’t imagine being squeezed into such a tiny, confining space – and they don’t realize that the box isn’t God.

I spent too many years seeing only God-in-a-box. When I rejected the box, I kinda threw God out with the box. I think by doing so, I created a box of my own. Only now am I realizing that God isn’t the box, and the box isn’t God.

OK, I know this doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'm still sorting things out.

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