What is the future of God?

"God's Fortune Cookie" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“God’s Fortune Cookie” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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Certainly the future of a pale God with a halo, robe, and white beard, is at stake. Thankfully!

The word is not the thing. Our thoughts about God are not God.

Images… imaginations… about God are not God.

Abraham Heschel said that the first commandment forbidding idolatry was the first because that’s the first thing our minds do and where all the trouble begins.

John Calvin said our minds are endless factories for making idols.

We’re seeing massive change in our theologies. I hope so.

Just examine your own beliefs. Certainly the God you believed in as a child and the God you believe in now, if you do believe in a God at all, have changed. And the God you will believe in 10 years from now, if you do at all, will be different than the God you believe in now.

Someone said be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Have you changed your mind?

I have.

Come meet other people who have changed their minds and are in the process of changing their beliefs at The Lasting Supper.

SHOP

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19 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    I think god(s), spirits, superstitions and such will never disappear and always thrive in areas. We know religion thrives in times of economic and physical insecurity — and Krishna knows (Lord knows), nations will flux and insecurities always return. Gods will thus keep popping up.

    But for those of us lucky enough to live in relative security and prosperity, we have the luxury to examine our god(s), change our theologies and our friends. Truly a luxury, eh?

  2. Tim WB says:

    I think God enjoys change.
    Then again, I also think God finds cartoons like this hilariously funny.
    But, maybe I’m projecting…

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    Caution: the link to Tim WB’s name is a dangerous, insecure link.

    (great comment, though, Tim)

  4. Ducatihero says:

    ” be transformed by the renewing of your mind” indeed and any thoughts we have about God are not God yes, and these thoughts have human limitation. Son in the sense of God being being pale – skinned hmm with most westerners being pale skinned, I wonder where that came from.

    It might help to define the terms “God” and “the word” as we all may have different perceptions about these. So then what is true to these and what is idolatry?

    In the meantime, you are quoting one of my favourite theologians in Heschel whom on reading him has been eye opening and affirming I have found. We delude ourselves if we think we know it all. He writes:

    “Our sight is suffused with knowing, instead of feeling painfully the lack of knowing what we see” pg xxiv
    “Insight is a brekthrouhg requiring much intellectual dismantling and dislocation” pg xxv

    “To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence… the prophet’s words are outbursts of violent emotions. His rebuke is harsh and relentless… The prophet is a man who feels fiercely” pg 5 “The Prophets” Abraham Heschel.

    So yes indeed, an idolatrous “God” (or “god”) is indeed fucked – well said!

  5. Bernardo says:

    The Future of God and Religion:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the “bowers”, kneelers” and “pew peasants” are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. (e.g. Do no harm) .
    No pope, koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of “worthless worship” aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    “John Calvin said our minds are endless factories for making idols.”

    And Calvin’s followers made an idol out of him.
    And a New SCRIPTURE out of his “Institutes”.

  7. Everyone follows. Until they don’t.

  8. Shazza tha dazzla says:

    “Everyone follows. Until they don’t” Hehehehe……. Too true David. And then we find others who are independent thinkers like ourselves and join them. Not following of course………… It just feels better to be in a group somewhere, with like-minded people. Incredibly intelligent like-minded people, of course!

  9. Sue Bonner says:

    I think it’s important to remember that God is a whole lot bigger than we are. When someone says their way is the only right way it’s reducing God to the level of a puny human mindset. There is no way anyone can figure out the totality of God. It’s just not possible. Even the last verse of the Gospel of John acknowledges this. I have either visited to belonged to many kinds of Christian churches in my life. I even went to a Jewish synagogue once. They all have their good points and their bad points. I like to say I have a theology of one. I have taken the best of all of them and incorporated into my belief system. I consider myself a Christian who does her best to follow the teachings of Jesus.

  10. Bernardo says:

    Sue Bonner,

    As noted previously regarding the teachings of Jesus:

    The 10-30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of angelic” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).

    Added details are available.

  11. Ducatihero says:

    I’d like to pick up on a couple of things.

    First Stanza you talked of independence. It’s better to be independent that in an unhealthy codependence, however if we stop at that then what is there to prevent us from being individualistic an disconnected? For connection to happen surely we must be interdependent not independent should we not?

    Bernardo, why are you approaching Sue with this idea of “hallucination “. You have mentioned this before. Anyone can just as easily say you are being deceived and in that sense having a former of hallucination and it be just as valid.

    It’s very difficult or impossible to have a reasoning conversation when different but equally valid views are not respected which is what you are doing with the “hallucination ” you allege exist in beliefs you do not share.

  12. Bernardo says:

    Ducatihero

    As noted previously, anyone who thinks he talks to Satan or thinks he can raise dead men from the grave or thinks he can change water into wine is either hallucinating or is having his biography “mythicized”. In the 21st century the latter rules.

  13. Caryn LeMur says:

    My understanding of God does indeed continue to evolve… even my understanding of Jesus continues to evolve.

    What worked in 8th grade had to be abandoned… the Angry Tribal God had to be removed… the God that would stop the Normal Course of Nature (just for me) had to be released….

    Yes… definitions humbly in flux quite often… and… I think that is good.

  14. Ducatihero says:

    Bernardo,

    It is your opinion that the account of Jesus in the desert talking with Satan etc is him hallucinating or that his biography is a myth and therefore this event didn’t take place. Therefore what you suggest about hallucination is one possibility. There is an element of truth in what you say about the idea of a myth being preferred. Einstein said of Jesus “no myth is fulled with such life”.

    There are a couple of assumptions in that, that either events such as Jesus talking with Satan did not exist or that Jesus was hallucinating at the time, imagining the existence of Satan who wasn’t actually there. This rules out the possibility of the event having taken place and Satan existing as a being, not just a figment of the imagination. Without objective and indefatigable proof of the non-existence of Satan the argument about Jesus hallucinating is an expression of an opinion of what the truth is, not a fact. It is therefore disingenuous to present it as fact, not opinion. Once it is established that an opinion is being expressed then that opens up the potential for a dialogue and sharing of ideas.

    What you posit and have noted previously about Jesus hallucinating therefore is debatable. It follows (using the same reasoning) that other proposals of truth that you are making are debatable too.

  15. Ducatihero says:

    Bernardo,

    PS in keeping with the OP about our thoughts of God, the idea of Jesus hallucinating, of being mad, is one among many about him. To you that was who he was (or he was non-existent), others may have different ideas.

    Take a look at this. https://youtu.be/SY0_qNywK1M

  16. Bernardo says:

    Final summary on angels and satans:

    And the Infamous Angelic/Satanic Cons Continue to Wreak Stupidity Upon the World:

    Joe Smith had his Moroni and Satan/Perdition/Lucifer. (As does M. Romney)

    “Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.”

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God and of course Satan and his demons.

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tinker bell” got around) and of course the jinn.

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Many contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these “pretty wingie/ugly/horn-blowing thingies” to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

  17. Ducatihero says:

    Brenardo,

    You commented, “Jesus and his family had/has… Satan…Many contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these “pretty wingie/ugly/horn-blowing thingies” to the myth pile. We should do the same”.

    That is your opinion.

    My opinion is that there are scholars who take different views of the historical accuracy of the scriptures and that there are different views about the existence of Satan.

    To imply that those who hold to Satan being an actual being are delusional (which is what you are doing by talking of Jesus hallucinating) is to make a mockery of the position they hold. If someone is delusional it is cruel to have fun at the expense of their disability.

    Furthermore with any sane normal and healthy person it touches on their basic instinct not to have fun made at their expense just for being different. Language is a powerful thing, the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany went from Jews being described as rats and the holocaust as the final solution to the Jewish problem. It’s a dangerous game to play.

    Proponents of this line of argument hold to the big bang theory of the universe evolving from nothing. Any particle physicist can tell you that you cant get something from nothing. Therefore it is deluded to think that the universe came about purely from nothing in way that is explainable by scientific means alone.

    Your stating of Jesus having hallucinations about Satan as a fact rather than an opinion is a misguided delusion.

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