Sympathy For God
|Usually all I hear are from different people asking for sympathy
from God. How many of us consider how we should also have some sympathy
for God? With some of the friends God has speaking in His
name, He doesn’t need enemies. His well meaning friends are His worst
enemies. It is God’s friends who ignorantly do Him more harm than good. For them it is “Forgive them,
Father, they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34) It is Gods well meaning well wishers and unbalanced
creed holders inside and outside the churches who tend to sully God in the public eye.
God’s undoubtedly well meaning friends dirty Him through demonstrating God as madly intolerant and not loving while claiming they know the mind of God and that is that. The fact their minds are too small to contain the whole knowledge of God and His infinite Will does not seem to bother them a bit. But it bothers me and I believe it also bothers others quite a good deal. How could it not bother sensitive people?
Some of God’s friends have concluded overmuch from theoretical reasoning or narrow scripture passages rigidly applied who God is going to grant eternal salvation and who He is not going to grant eternal salvation. These sully the infinitely larger mind of God with their very small conceptions.
Let us be fair to God. Don’t say, “I can’t believe in God because the Muchie-Wuchie denomination has declared it a sin to eat cheese on week-ends.” Face the truth. God has to suffer with some of the most positively unbearable people with unbelievable ideas who proclaim they are on His side. They are serious, but in a strange way they are also slightly comic. It is one thing to have religious eccentricities and quite another to smash into an army of ecclesiastical lunatics Jesus would have called zealots. “The zeal of thy house has eaten me (spiritual sense of perspective and balance) up”. (John 2:17)
Should you not believe me, look around you. There is around us in religions of all faiths, Christian and non-Christian an army of silliness. Some believe transfusions of blood are wrong. Others believe if you are killed killing others in a holy war, you go directly to heaven. So much for the brotherhood of man. Others believe a holy man who sits in a special chair to proclaim faith and morals is infallible, when, of course no human is infallible on anything.
Others say there is all free will or no free will. The silliness and eccentricity go on forever. We do not have time to go into the questionable means by which these beliefs have been arrived at, but the fact is they are out of line, disgrace God, and they are there. Such views in the long run do not help advance religion or belief in God. I find they are usually short term beliefs resultant from panic and anxiety attacks in faith under pressure at historical moments.
At any rate God who may work in the foreground, but usually influences in the background, can rather be manipulated by God fearing peoples. These peoples are noble in that they are God-fearing, but they are questionable in their views. They are children of God and must be loved too. After all, it is not unanimity of intellectual agreement but unanimity of love that holds us to Christ or God.
Because we disagree with others has nothing to do with our obligation to love them. Love is possible without understanding others fully as people or accepting their beliefs. We may not even respect their beliefs but we must love the people who hold them. This can be done. It is simply more difficult to do and is not the product of cheap grace or a cheap morality. It takes what my father colloquially termed “ Deep River grace,” which is not an action of shallow grace, easily done, but an action that calls for struggle inside to get over, crossing a “deep river.”
I feel deeply for God. He is the Ultimate Celebrity. Lies, distortions, exaggerations, misquotations, misinterpretations, and uncharacteristic words literally put in His mouth are everywhere. If you can feel sympathy for celebrities hounded by the press constantly ,then you ought to have some idea of what the Ultimate Celebrity, God, suffers throughout the Ages.
Of course God is talked about, but there are worse things than being talked about. One is not being talked about. And such is the sense of the presence of God, the Invisible Spirit, brooding over earth that God has been and always will be talked of. However, to be fair, the experience of the Spirit God has not always been reported from people direly lacking common sense and an awareness of reality. It has often been reported by all sorts of people throughout history. If you are a daring spirit, try it for yourself. I preach that everyone needs an awareness of God to awaken them from the coma of the materialistic life they are sleeping through. They need to be awakened to the transcendent life to be found in Christ. I suggest you too may need to be awakened to the redemption awaiting you.
Nor should we forget that because people are sinners, no totally pure communication from God is going to filter through to us. Our minds are simply not big enough for the qualifications and the fullness of the vision nor are our bodies capable of the spiritually transcendent state twenty four hours a day, so we try to find those communications from God that are most pure, sound and healthy and lead to a life seasoned by Christ and laughter.
We shall not achieve either purity or perfection in this lifetime, but in falling short of purity and perfection, we still maintain the obligation to try to be superior persons and superior people. By superior I mean not in a self-righteous manner, but one superior in being spiritually awakened from the materialistic and mediocre moral coma the average person is sleeping in.
The call of Christ is to awaken to the spiritual dimensions of life. It is to wake up to the call of trying to be a spiritually superior person and more than a mere materialistic animal of the flesh. This is done through an awareness of Christ. We are not to deny the existence of the flesh but to intelligently discipline it. We are not to be perfect, for only Christ was perfect, but we are to better ourselves so we will be children of Christ’s spirit and not be found among those spiritually sleeping who are mediocre in life and insensitive in their attitudes to life. Nor will we ever stop sinning but we can shape our lives to less sin and more service to God that He be glorified.
But as for me I am convinced there is a God active in this world who moves about awakening people to their spiritual dimensions. People are awaked to glorify God in their lives and to help and serve each other. As they are active in help and service, God works with them, and as they are passive in help and service, God withdraws from them, as they are frustrating grace. They are but passive materialists unaware of the transcendent dimensions of life.
I tell you clearly there is a God and I, as well as many others better than I and worse than I, have experienced Him. All manner of people experience God. Do not pay so much attention to what people say is current knowledge, but look to eternal values which are shadows of eternal verities and pre-herald their arrival in the Stone Ages we live in now and have lived through.
Build your life on God. Do not build on the shifting sands of our kaleidoscopic materialism. Nor build on all the nonsense that has been built up over the Stone Ages to obscure God in much trivia, silly creeds and confusing practices. You may eventually want and work out or accept a creed of some sort about God, but first you must meet God, not just talk about Him. Face God and speak Mind to Mind.
Pay attention to truths you KNOW from inside. You do not need a study to say you love your children or family or one to say there is a God. After all, is not God love? “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God...for God is love.( I John 4:7-8) You know God who is an Invisible Spirit of Love is alive from your own experience. Claim Him. Praise Him. Tell of His Mysterious Spirit And The Difference To You He Has Made.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.