February 1, 2009

Random Musings

On God’s First Commandment—Do you recall God’s first instruction to humanity? It was this: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. While human history suggests we’d rather leap over these initial directions on our way to subduing the earth and exercising dominion over its creatures, the priority of God’s commandment lands squarely on our responsibility to be good stewards. Shouldn’t Christians, therefore, be the greenest of all people?

On Levels of Heaven—Followers of my religious tradition believe heaven contains various degrees of glory and that those who attain the highest level become like God Himself. If the notion is true, I believe our Heavenly Father will allow us to select our various kingdoms. If we weren’t comfortable hobnobbing with the sanctimonious here, we won’t feel any different beyond the veil. As for me, I think perfection is overrated. Quirky is my preference. I’d rather associate with people who can fart and laugh about it than with the pious creatures who believe they deserve Godhood.

On Mercy and Justice—Who invented the need for justice? Justice by another name is payback and is little more than revenge when its sole purpose is to exact an eye for an eye. Does justice restore the eye? If not, what cosmic order does it maintain? To punish a child already bludgeoned by guilt is akin to piling on and demands more than any reasonable parent would ask. But to assume God—who knows the content of our hearts—does so is antithetical to the idea of a loving father.

On the Atonement—Why did Jesus have to die for my sins? Even an imperfect court of the land would balk against incarcerating my brother for a law I broke. Why would God require something so blatantly unfair? In the end, I’d rather burn—if that’s what justice truly demands—than allow someone I love to pay for my sins. Hopefully, I’ll have a choice in the matter.

On Praising the Lord—To assume God needs us to praise His name is to believe He has a self-esteem problem. Conversely, if we think He’s offended by what we say or think, we really don’t believe He’s much of a God. Worship, as a component of any other relationship, is unhealthy. Why must it come between us and the father of our souls? To me, it seems far better to approach God as one would a respected and trusted teacher. Worship is more akin to fear than love.

On Eternal Rest—What kind of a reward is eternal rest? The notion causes me to shudder. Death, without the gospel, gets us the same thing. As for me, I hope there will be plenty to do when this life is over. Even bowling would be a better option than rest.

What bothered me most about my church’s response to Prop 8—While so much zeal was applied to passing the proposition, there was nothing said about the people who would be most affected—no prayers were uttered on their behalf, no outreach of love and concern was ever offered. So many of our young gay members have gone on missions and tried to live the church’s directives, only to resign themselves to who they are and commit suicide with feelings of utter desolation. If you believe God condemns gay marriage, campaign against it, but also pray for gay men and women everywhere that they will find refuge and God’s love somewhere. Hopefully, we can be instruments of peace in that regard.

On Satan's Role—If we're to be tested here on earth, couldn't the devil defeat God's plan by withholding temptation?

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