Archive for February 27th, 2009

Window On Another World

The light-up marquee sign out in front of the local Southern Baptist Church provides me with endless topics of contemplation, though I’d wager that my train of thought is not heading for the station they’d planned.  Exhibits A and B, from yesterday and today respectively:

If Jesus isn’t my Savior and Lord, then I’m an enemy of God.


Even when I pray and talk to others, God hears and listens.

The first one, while not surprising, is still distressing to me.  The idea that there can be no neutrality, no indifference, that you truly are either/or, for/against, with no middle ground and no possibility of a third road.  I honestly believe that some people’s minds are simply wired very differently from others’; how else to explain the existence of a worldview that is, to my way of being, almost entirely alien?

Yes, I know, there is a Bible verse that denounces what I would call indifference or neutrality.  In addressing the Laodiceans, Jesus says:

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

(Revelation 3:15-16)

Now, I’ll admit that I’m not exactly neutral or indifferent on the subject of the peculiarly punitive God that so many seem to worship; I’ve obviously got plenty to say on the subject!  But in point of fact, I am not a Christian, and I am not a worshipper of the Christian God, and so I should in fact be entirely indifferent to his desires, just as I would be indifferent to the demands that someone else’s boss places upon them if he is not my boss.  Jesus is not my savior and lord because I have not chosen to make him so; but that hardly makes me an “enemy of God.”  My saying no thanks to their proferred gift may make me at best ungrateful, but hardly an adversary. 

Of course, when it comes to those Christians who wish to legislate their beliefs and foist them off onto the rest of us, I then become distinctly adversarial; but I’d offer that I am in those cases an enemy not of their God but of His followers.  Ahem.

As far as today’s statement goes, that seems odd too.  Does it mean that their God is an eavesdropper, who sits around listening in on conversations people are having with other gods?  That’s…creepy.  Like if I’m addressing, say, Anubis, there’s Bible!God lurking round in the alley in a trenchcoat, like some X-Files villain, bugging my house and taking his little notes?  To what end?  The sort of things I would take to Anubis would be very different than the things one might take to the Christian God, I’d think.  For one thing, Anubis has a sense of humor. 

The God some people put forth for worship seems like nothing so much as a severely dysfunctional father or abusive husband–demanding, jealous, hypercritical, paranoid, capable of homocidal rages.  Where’s the love?  (Maybe those Phelps people aren’t so far off the mark after all, even if they are utterly batshit crazy and evil.)


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