Was That God You Were Talking To?
If I had a dollar for every time a minister said, “And last night God talked to me”, I’d be a rich man. Oddly enough, the only one who might actually be able to prove that he talked to God is Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty).
Funny thing is, though, no one has yet to actually describe him (God, that is). Considering that so many people are literally dying to see God, you’d think that someone would have described him by now. Then, again, perhaps as the Apostle John said, “No one has ever seen God.” So what, then, should one make of all the biblical stories about God. Well, let’s start at the beginning.
In the beginning there was God, and only God. There was no sound, no color, no matter. Then, God supposedly uttered the now famous words, “Let there be light.”(Genesis 1:3). So, tell me, who exactly was there to hear those words. After all, man had not yet been created. That didn’t happen until Genesis 1:26.
There are so many things that we don’t know about God. Here’s a very brief list, although there is obviously much more:
- What does God look like?
- Is God really a man?
- Why did God violate his own commandments?
- Why did God even need a covenant with the Israelites? Indeed, why would God ever need a covenant with his creation? Actually, there were several covenants, since the Israelites never seemed to live up to their side of the bargain; so why would God keep giving them second chances even though he obviously knew the outcome?
Now, I could answer all of those questions but what would be the point. Who would believe me anyway? Certainly, not anyone who has already been indoctrinated with a holy book, that’s for sure. Besides, as Brian McLaren said, the answers would be very unsettling to the average Christian.
Since we know virtually nothing about God (does anyone even have his email address?), how would we know God if we met him. Is he big or small? What color hair and skin does he have? Is he really a Him, or rather a She or an It? That being the case, if we had an other-wordly experience, how would we know that it was God who entered our life? Perhaps, it was an angel, maybe even a Fallen Angel; or maybe it was a demon…or the Devil himself. How could we possibly tell the difference?
In that vein, why should we believe that Joseph Smith talked to an angel (resulting in the Mormon religion)? How did he know that it was an angel, since he had never met one before? Actually, most of the people in the world don’t believe Smith, since Mormons number only about 15 million worldwide . Aside: The vast majority of Mormons were born to Mormon parents so they were conditioned to believe church doctrine from an early age.
So how about Mohammed who supposedly talked to an angel (culminating in Islam)? Well, most of the world apparently doesn’t believe him either, since there are only 1.6 billion Muslims. Aside: Of course, the vast majority of them were raised as Muslims because their parents were Muslims as well.
Then there was Abraham and Moses who brought us Judaism. How many Jews are there in the world after all? The answer is that there are only 14 million Jews in the world. Aside: I don’t know any non-Jewish people who practice Judaism.
Finally, we have Christianity which came to the world mostly thanks to one man, Paul, who had a vision of a man (Jesus) whom he had never met. How did he know that his vision was of Jesus? The answer is because the vision supposedly told him so. Nonetheless, Paul apparently was somewhat believable as today there are 2.2 billion Christians. Of course, that means that 4.7 billion people don’t believe the vision of Paul, and why should they? Does anyone today even know Paul? Of course not. Do we know anyone who knew him? Obviously not. Even if we knew him, why would we believe him? What makes his vision worthy of consideration when the visions of others have been discounted? His story may or may not have been factual and even if it was factual it may have been completely misunderstood by Paul himself. After all, he never saw anyone, only a voice from an invisible entity – a voice coming out of nowhere. So because Paul had this vision, suddenly his every word became gospel. His concept of God and the man, Jesus, he never met (at least not in the flesh) was believed over all the holy men of the day. This is the kind of thing that usually only happens in cults. A charismatic figure says that he is the second coming, of whoever, and he attracts a group of loyal followers. Even today there are people who say that they are the reincarnation of Jesus and some people actually believe them.
Paul’s Christianity originally went under the label of Roman Catholicism, thanks to the Roman emperor Constantine who used it to consolidate his power and his empire. There were no Protestants back then and actually no Protestants for another 1,000 years or so thereafter. For Protestants today, their form of Christianity is a “hijacked” version of Catholicism. Oddly enough, then, the Word of God for the first 1,000 years of Christianity has been replaced by… well, by a myriad of other definitions and interpretations of the Word of God. There’s actually a different Word of God for each of the many Protestant denominations. With so many denominations, everybody gets to define the Word of God in their own way.
Of course, Protestants don’t necessarily agree with the Vatican when it comes to the central tenets of Christianity. For that, we can thank primarily one man, Martin Luther – and he never even had a vision. So why did anyone believe him? Other than being a monk, what was his claim to fame and why should he have been believed over all others?
The history books would say that the Reformation was a rebellion against the power of the Pope and the Catholic Church. So once again politics played a major role in Christianity – from Emperor Constantine to Martin Luther. Of course, the Pope and the Vatican are still major players on the world stage today. They recently made a public statement that Christians will have to reevaluate their faith and come to a new understanding of the Bible. Pretty shocking stuff, right? I could tell you why they believe that but what would be the point? After all, does anyone really want to hear that the Word of God didn’t actually come from God? The Vatican understands this and they know that full disclosure is not too far off.
So in the meantime on a clear night in the Arizona desert, on sacred Native American land literally stolen from the Apaches, the Vatican’s top astronomer and his minions are busy searching the heavens through their new billion dollar telescope named Lucifer. Yes, they named their expensive, new toy Lucifer, of all things. So why does the Vatican have to spend such an outlandish amount of money on a telescope when people are starving to death in the world? Well, the Bible says that God arrives from the heavens – just ask Ezekiel. Obviously, the Vatican is expecting God/Lucifer to return, and soon.
Regardless, some people will only believe what their holy book tells them. They point to the visions of their prophets and recite the legends of those who have supposedly spoken to God. Now, if they could only just describe God to the rest of us, maybe the world might actually believe them.
– Joseph Campbell