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If I was God… July 13, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Theological Reflection.
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If I was God I’d throw myself under a train and get it over with — and poof! The whole damn universe would disappear with me, space and time and eternity all swallowed up into the infinite void…

I’m thinking it must be a total nightmare to be God: you can’t even kill yourself and when you try you end up coming back to life three days later, but you’ve been so radically transformed by the experience that your best friends don’t recognise you anymore, even when you’re walking down the road with them or cooking them breakfast on the beach. Then when they do recognise you, you disappear. Madness.

If you were God, what would you do?



1. Dave Marriott - July 13, 2009

If I were God I would create a utopia where there is no pain and suffering and everyone does nice things according to what I desire. That’s what everyone wants, right?

2. fromthesamesky - July 13, 2009

Wow. Very self-destructive impulses there. It does sound pretty sucky for God right about now.

Hmm. If I were God I would feel oppressed by the sheer amount of suffering and confusion and would have no idea how to fix it for everyone. It’s a jolly good thing that I’m not then really. Phew.

What I want to know is how the hell he holds back from fixing things? I would want to fix everything there and then. I couldn’t look at a child being hurt and just let it alone, even if I knew it served some higher purpose. I’d be in there, bam, rescue and love. Does that mean I’d screw it up?

Phil Groom - July 14, 2009

Every day I’m faced with a choice: jump on the train or jump under it. I choose to jump on it because I know that whilst jumping under it might solve a few personal problems, it wouldn’t make the causes of those problems go away … and would cause a helluvalot of hassle and inconvenience for a lot of other people. But for God — to be able to make it all go away: wow! … so it’s perhaps as well for us that it’s not really an option for God…

But as for God holding back, as for so-called “higher purposes” — pardon the expletive, but bugger that. It’s a concept of God that the Church has been peddling for … well, pretty well for ever, I guess. Even the author of that godawful book The Shack can’t get away from it, makes it his final justification for God’s failure to act.

Sorry: complete and utter crap. God doesn’t step in and intervene because s/he’s already there in the midst of it. God was on the bonfire with the babies being burnt alive by the Nazis in their death camps; and those deaths were evil, vile, abhorrent and they served no higher purpose because evil has no purpose and that, I think, is the most evil thing about evil.

But the God I believe in, who I struggle to trust, s/he’s there in the midst of it … and one day, one day I hope that somehow I’ll be able to see things as God sees them … the ‘Eternal Now’ … and all the evil will be gone, over and done as the veil is lifted and the letters are rearranged again to let us live as love finally, somehow wins.

I’ll never be a mother. I’ll never know the pain and indignity of carrying a child to term and giving birth in agony. But I think there may be a message there for all of us in that experience: there is no purpose to the pain of childbirth that I can see: but afterwards, for those who survive, there is joy and love so deep, so profound that the pain that felt like it would kill — that all too often has killed — becomes bearable.

Perhaps it is so with giving birth to a universe… and we are being born. Christians like to talk about being born again — perhaps if we could remember the horror and mess of being born we would be less keen to lay claim to that image…

3. fromthesamesky - July 14, 2009

OK, great – God is in the middle of it. What good is that if God is not doing something about it? It’s all very well sitting alongside the suffering individual – but if I know I could fix the problem and I don’t – that is wrong!

Phil Groom - July 14, 2009

Exactly so. And that’s what tells me that the deity that’s been peddled by Christianity for however long it’s been is a fake: a complete scam.

All of us know that any parent who simply stood at the side of the road and let their kid run out into the traffic on the basis that giving them their freedom would teach them — or other kids — how to cross the road safely next time would be a complete travesty of parenthood, a obscene monster who deserves nothing more than to be pushed out into the traffic themselves.

Yet that’s the way God is portrayed and we suck up to this monster and say there must be a greater purpose. Complete codswallop (much stronger words come to mind but I’ll restrain myself).

I guess you’ve come across the weaver illustration — the idea that we’re looking at the underside of a beautiful tapestry and can’t see the finished work which needs the dark threads woven through. Well yeah, sure, of course it does: and those dark threads are made of wool, same as the light threads. No tapestry maker uses barbed wire, which is what we all smile blithely and say God is doing. So yeah, put on a garment woven with barbed wire and see how that fits. One bloody mess.

No: if God could fix the problem just like that, Tommy-Cooperesque, he would. The reason s/he doesn’t wave a magic wand and make the evil go away is because s/he can’t: the only thing s/he can do is precisely what s/he has been doing, is doing, and that’s go through it with us; and equip us — you and me, darlin’! — to fight to the best of our ability.

To the false God I say: up yours! Go rot and burn in your own bloody, flaming hell! But to the God who is — who is going through hell with me — to that God, I bow down, and we weep together in the agony of this birth…

fromthesamesky - July 14, 2009

But who wants a powerless God?

Phil Groom - July 14, 2009

Who wants a mother who bleeds when giving birth? Who wants a father who can only stand by helplessly as the mother of his children is wracked by the pain of childbirth?

Is it not rather a question of accepting the reality of what is, of who is, and working with that?

It is not that God is powerless but that the power that we wish to ascribe to God, the power that the Church and Christianity have ascribed to God, is a lie. It’s a flying teapot: take the lid off and it’s empty. Time to bring it down to earth and make a fresh pot — this time with fair trade tea: honesty!

So, at least, it seems to me: Finding God

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