There’s been quite a bit of fuss over an nationwide ad campaign sponsored by some humanist groups who are determined to make us hear, in this the Christmas Season, that they believe God does not exist.
I agree with them.
These ads are reacting against a judgmental, limiting, inflexible god who’s main purpose seems to be to oppress humanity and destroy freedom. I would have a hard time with such a god myself. And so, I agree, the god they are reacting to does not exist.
The God I know is a god of relationship, a god of love. Love transforms you. Therefore, the god I know, a god of love, cannot be inflexible and unchanging. Just as God’s love changes us, our love must change God. My god is not a god of oppression, inflexible judgment or limitation. My God is a god that would (and did) die for us; a God who wants to walk with us in the both the light and dark times of our lives.
So, my advice to those offended by these “God does not exist” advertisements is to agree with those who have such a viewpoint, then show your love to them, to those who seem to hate God. What they hate is the pain inflicted on them in the name of a god that does not exist. Let the love that God has placed in you show them that there is a different God, a real God, a God who loves them, too. A god who gives us the freedom to love back, or to choose to not love at all. To love God is our choice, if it isn’t a choice, then God’s love would be meaningless.
Copyright (c) 2010, Allen Vander Meulen III, all rights reserved. I’m happy to share my writings with you, as long as you are not seeking (or getting) financial benefit for doing so, and as long as proper credit for my authorship is given (via mention of my name on your site, or a link back to this site).
6 thoughts on “God is Dead, God is Love”
You know what ? I think you are also a confused person, like them.
Why bother believing in a god, if your god is what you think him to be. Your fooling yourself.
A Christian religion, is not in a democratic form of worship, it is a totalitarian form of worship. If you want to obey, obey totally, nothing more nothing less. It is not an obeying to “what I want to choose to obey commandments only”.
So those people who said that “God does not exist” are maybe, foolish , or lazy, or who does not understand their existence in this world, or maybe have not heard of the existence of such God, the Father of Jesus Christ or of Jesus Christ due to the ignorance of their religious leaders.
Now, pertaining to what you say, ” Our love must change God”. It depend in your kind of love .
a) If it’s only in your own righteousness , and not in God’s righteousness, I don’t think so.
b) If it’s only lip service, I don’t think so.
c) If you do not submit to God’s righteousness, I don’t think so.
As I examine your article, I say that, you need to read again the bible and try to understand them fully.
Dove124, I appreciate your frankness in expressing your beliefs.
Consider, though, that we, as human beings survive both as a species and individually because of our relationships with each other and with the world around us. Without relationship we would not exist. It is also clear, starting with the book of Genesis, and right up through the Book of Revelation that relationship with God is one of the central themes of the Bible.
Consider also that when the Angel spoke to Joseph and told him to wed Mary despite her pregnancy, that the angel said the child would be known as “Immanuel” – “God with Us.” The whole point of the incarnation of God in Christ, therefore, has to do with God wanting, and needing, to walk with us. In no other way could God show beyond all doubt that we matter to him (or her) except by being willing to share in all of the experiences of being human, as a human in every sense of the word: experiencing birth, pain, joy, hunger, love, and, in the end, death.
Relationship is a central fact throughout the universe and throughout all life, from both a scientific and theological point of view. A planet orbiting a star is in a gravitational relationship with that star, and both are physically affected by it. When we are in relationship with another person, it changes us, and changes them. So, all relationships in the Universe involve change to those who are in that relationship, whether it is the relationship between a planet and a star, or between us and our neighbor. The Bible (Paul’s letters to the Romans and I Corinthians, for instance) also tells us that we can discern the God through what God has created, meaning all of Creation is a reflection of the nature of God. Therefore, relationship, which is so central to the nature of the Universe, must also be central to the nature of God.
Yet, we also know that relationship changes the things that are in relationship with each other. If we believe that God is a God of Relationship, as I believe both the Bible and all of Creation tell us, then we must also acknowledge that God is in some way affected by our relationship with him.
In closing, I might add that the best example of this would be a tiny baby that the Gospels and tradition say was born in a tiny village in Bethlehem about this time of year, a little over two thousand years ago. That Baby was vulnerable. It needed protection, it needed sustenance, it needed love. Without the relationships surrounding him and providing these things, that little boy could not have survived, and the promise that God is With us would not have been kept. God shows his Love for us through that tiny, vulnerable baby.
Love means being vulnerable to those we love, trusting in their love for us. Love means responding in love to the vulnerability that those we love in turn entrust us with. Love means being willing to be changed by Love.
I think people need god to be the restrictive, judgmental deity they’ve created. This type of god is instrumental in fulfilling a basic human need for differentiation and segregation. I believe people are fundamentally uncomfortable in large, undifferentiated groups. The larger the group, the greater the need to find cause for division. This is why there are so many religious denominations and this is why people insist on having a restrictive judgmental god. Just my theory. I hope you are well. Merry Christmas.
Great to hear from you. That’s an interesting if not compelling thought, and one I’ll definitely ponder. Thanks for the feedback.
Blessings to you and your family this Holiday Season!
Allen Vander Meulen III, says his “God is a god that would (and did) die for us” but he seems to forget that the Bible says The God of gods Who all should recognise as the Only True God is an eternal spirit, Who can not be seen by man or they would die. God has no beginning (no birth) no end (no death), cannot be tempted, cannot sin and does not tell lies.
The speaker seems to mix, like many Christians two different Biblical characters, namely the Divine Creator and Only One God, plus His only begotten son, Jeshua (Jesus Christ) who was born, seen by many, tempted more than once, could sin but did not, only wanted to do the Will of God and not his own will, prayed and called unto his God, the God of Abraham, to Whom he learned his followers to pray too. Jesus really died, was three days in hell and got taken out of the dead by his heavenly Father, the Only One God of gods.
We also noticed that on this blog God is often referred to as “She”, which indicates probably that the owner of this blog knows that The God, as a Spirit, has no flesh and bones and has the characteristics of a “He” as well a “She”, which is right, because all (men and women) are created in the image of God, and as such men and women can find elements of them in this Creator God. Though traditionally when people speak about God they use the “He”. Though using the “She” would clearly make it impossible to take Jesus as the God, because he was clearly a man of flesh, blood and bones, and as such a “he” and not a “she”. After his resurrection Jesus also proved to his disciples he was not a spirit by showing his wounds.
Jesus, who we must take as our saviour but not make him into our god, is the only begotten son of God, and should receive our respect for all he did. Followers of him should keep to his words and honour his heavenly Father as the only one True God, not having any other gods besides Him.
I rarely approve comments on my blog that appear to be from groups or organizations, rather than individuals. So, I ask that your future comments (if any) do not emerge from behind the mask of a corporate identity. Also, your comments seem to be more intent upon putting across your own point of view as the right one, rather than engaging in a constructive discussion, which I also rarely approve for others to see here.
I certainly respect that you have a right to your own views, but the point of this blog is to encourage discussion about matters of faith. This is based on my own conviction that we all are on a journey towards greater understanding of the Nature of God and our own relationships with God, with each other, and with all of God’s Creation. Combined with this is my conviction that no finite being can have a correct or complete understanding of the Nature of God, and that the Bible (and other ancient writings) are a record of an evolving relationship with God – not a definitive or final statement as to what our faith is, or how it is to be practiced. No person’s views on the Nature of God can be correct, including my own. Therefore, we must all listen and learn throughout our lives.
I see Orthodox Christianity as my own “Language of Faith” – not the only one, and certainly not the perfect one. But, it is the one I was raised with, and does a good job of enabling me to develop and express my understanding of my own faith in a way that others can understand and benefit from.
Finally, you say that “on this blog God is also referred to as ‘She’.” Actually, while I agree with you that God comprises and expresses all genders; only one posting, that of my most recent sermon, refers to God in the feminine. I almost always refer to God in the masculine or using gender neutral language – mainly because of the limitations of the English language, which has no gender neutral personal pronoun, and because it is important, in my own view, to emphasize the personal nature of our relationship with God.
I look forward to hearing from you again. The Christadelphian tradition is one I’d enjoy learning more about, but only within the framework of a mutually respectful and beneficial discussion.