|Facing Reality is Hard|
“God is weak and powerless in the world.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1944
Time and time again, I’ve challenged believers to tell me how to make their God (or Jesus Christ) function. In other words, how can one provoke God into action just like God did in the Biblical past (Old Testament, Gospels and Acts) or the future (Revelation)? (Oddly, St. Paul seems not to be able to make God function either.)
Last night two Mormon Mission Elders (it could have been basically any Christian believers) stopped by and asked me what I thought about the Restoration of the Gospel and the testimony of the Book of Mormon? Their point (a doctrinal assumption) is that at one time the purity of the Biblical record had been corrupted by sinful humanity just as clear spring water is corrupted into sewage after humanity has used it.
My response to them was that there was NEVER a once pure totally correct Biblical record, but though the evolution of Judaism, competing Biblical myths fought for dominance among the ancient superstitious illiterate masses. As such, today we find denominations, sects and “cults” fighting for their group’s dogmatic place in the minds of superstitious humanity (we should noted that the horror movies industry is very dependent on and thankful for the power of religious claims on believers for its annual box office sells).
I told the Mormon Elders they were little more than salesmen for the LDS Chruch, much like a Ford dealer who knows his auto product is the best on the market, but that I was Christianity's Consumer Reports testing marketed religious claims.
Returning to my above point, I pushed the Biblical fact of just how I could get either their Heavenly Father (God) or the Savior (Jesus Christ) to function in the here and now? One elder quickly pointed that the New Testament warns, "He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!” (Matt. 12: 39). To which I countered that without proof positive, just how do we know God / Jesus hears requests and functions without events being left entirely to a subjective interpretation? For example, if an event is interpreted religiously, faith is increased such has a believer being healed (via modern medicine often stated as "God working though the hands of the doctors") from cancer. However, if the event is not interpreted correctly (such as the case of a believer dying), then religion is hurt with being weakened faith and theological spin is in dire need (Who understands the mind and ways of God?)
I was told that God demands our total trust and faith if we expect Him to act. I then presented the fact that insurance policies have a clause which protects real property from Acts of God. I asked the Mormon Elders if their Ward (the title for the local LDS church) had such protection. The response was, “I’m sure we do.”, to which I told them to prove God as a reality by requesting the LDS Church drop all such coverage protecting their property from Acts of God and totally depend (faithfully trusting) on the function of God to protect their vast real property assets from the Acts of God (I think the term used now is nature). My point being that if faith in God was really protected by such secular methods, then why should I wasted my time as a believer?
One Elder tried to read a section of the Book of Mormon as a proof text of God testing our faith to which I pointed out that the very fact they had a secular method of church protection, what's the relevance of any holy test?
I used another scenario:
Let’s say I worked for the mafia. I showed up at your Ward on Sunday and told the Bishop and his council that either I got $500 a month for protection or, after two months, my thugs would burn their Ward to the ground.
Now I asked, what would you and your LDS Church do: A. Trust in God (Jesus) by totally claiming on faith the mighty acts of God in the Bible . . . that by crying out to God in prayer 24 / 7 , God would send down fire from Heaven burning us to cinders or smite me and my thugs dead with a plague. B. Call the police.
The reply was, “We would pray, but we would also call the police.” To which I replied: “Thank you and point proven!”
How does one get God to function? Apart from fantasying and wishful thinking, God won’t because he can’t. That's honesty!
Thus, be it a blasphemous atheist cursing all divinity and challenging God to smite him or her down or the small believing child and family at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital pleading to God in prayer for relief from cancer; apart from a mythic Biblical past and futuristic propaganda, both God and Jesus’ functional reality is as empty as is Jesus’ own promise in the Gospel of John's emphatic claim in 14: 12 – 14 that God will render divine functions simply if a believer asked.
So the next time the issue of In God We Trust comes up on our currency or whether the United States is a nation founded on the promises of God and the Bible; consider this post along with the fact that faith has no recourse except the truth that God does not function and this, no matter how sincere one is or the amount of faith one has apart from subjective interpretations or wishful thinking better known as theology!