Was That God You Were Talking To?

02/09/2015

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.

 

 

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought.”

                  – Joseph Campbell

 

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18 Responses to “Was That God You Were Talking To?”

  1. Nan said

    I wish everyone could/would read this. Outstanding!

    The questions about God are spot-on and … if one is truly honest with themselves … unanswerable.

  2. Jessica Leach said

    I find your views…boring. Paul is not the main reason Christians believe..i mean really, do yourself a favor and stop preaching some thing you know obviously nothing about. Do the rest of us a favor and stop being condescending to your readers.

    Much Thanks,

    J. Clark

    • chicagoja said

      Thank you for your comments. I would appreciate it, though, if you would tell my readers who elected you the expert on this matter. Until you do, your opinions are just that – opinions, just like mine. Obviously, I have hit a raw nerve somewhere with regards to your belief systems. So be it, although I’m curious to know why. As for Paul, it’s not just my opinion but the opinion of many highly regarded theologians and historians who have put their reputations on the line in that regard. Thanks again for visiting.

  3. Nan said

    Not at all, chicagoja.

    And Jessica (or J. Clark, whichever you prefer), you need to do some reading outside your faith. As the blog owner said there are numerous scholars who would disagree with you.

    Christianity today is called Pauline Christianity by many for a reason. It isn’t just something they pulled out of a hat.

  4. NewgenerationArmy said

    Connected

  5. http://vaticanobservatory.org/vo-news/news-archive/98-news-archive/vatican-lucifer/515-vatican-lucifer
    So the vatican did not named the telescope lucifer, i found the info on many sites. About Paul… well if you really research the history of Christianity you will find out the insteresting fact why people followed Christ as the son of God, I mean just speaking about Judaism… we know that jews held to their traditions for centuries no matter what even to death! Then here comes this man (Jesus) self proclaiming himself as the messiah, well he ends up being crucified as no one believed him… but all of a sudden Christianity expands all over the empires like a wild fire! Something must have happened were people believed! that my friend we claim to be his resurrection! Jesus Christ is real, he is not some idea invented by man…of course we could never grasp his reality but he left many clues and established his church through Peter… The Catholic church is the Church of God, there are so many miracles… the Virgin Mary apparitions, the incorruptible bodies of saints, the shroud of Guadalupe, all of these things have been studied and no explanation. When we search for truth we must be free of all preconceived ideas of the church or Christianity, I am blessed to be a Catholic. Christianity is the only religion that asks us to test everything (2 thessalonians:5-21

    • chicagoja said

      Thanks for commenting. You have your sources (the Vatican) and I have mine (people who have visited the observatory and interviewed the people there). As far as Jesus is concerned, I believe in Jesus the man, not Jesus the son of God. I believe in the man that told us that we would do greater things than him (John 14:12), which would not be true if he were the son of God. There is no proof that Jesus was divine or that miracles, if they actually occurred, had a divine source. Thanks again for visiting.

    • Nan said

      “Something must have happened were people believed!”

      Yes, what happened was Paul came along and twisted and turned the Hebrew religion into something that would be compatible to the gentiles. And voila! You have Christianity.

      • chicagoja said

        If that wasn’t enough, Constantine put his stamp of approval on it – meaning the Roman Empire citizens were suppose to adopt this new religion. That’s why, today, we have “separation of church and state.”

      • Hostorically that makes no sense. The book of Acts claims that Paul, having already persecuted some believers in Jesus, has a visionary encounter with the risen Christ. Paul himself describes that encounter as an “apocalypse,” or a revelation. In any event, Acts agrees with Paul that the new apostle turned for support to a community of believers that already resided in Damascus.When Paul converted it was around 2-3 years after Jesus death and by that time there were Christian communities spreading beyond Judea and Galilee into Samaria, Syria and other parts of the ancient Mediterranean world how then can you claim Paul invented Christianity?

      • chicagoja said

        I’ll leave the history lesson for others to expound on. However, the Bible itself states that Paul was in conflict with the Church of Jerusalem (to which the disciples belonged) with respect to Paul’s version about Jesus. It was Paul’s version which survived to become Christianity while the real story of Jesus (and his teachings) became, in effect, heresy by way of a vote of church bishops at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.

  6. About all these other denominations you are right on it, that is why I say i am no follower of man… I will trust Jesus Christ who established one church. I really admire all who search for the truth with non-biased ideas, eventually God will show himself to us somehow. Blessings to you =]

    • chicagoja said

      Actually, Jesus didn’t establish any church and he was generally against organized religion. As for God showing himself to us, it’s not possible as it would be a violation of our free will. We are either free or some sort of AI. You choose, but you can’t have both (as most religions try to do).

      • So what are your thoughts on God? are you a believer of God? do you belong to a specific religion? are you atheist? agnostic?

      • chicagoja said

        Yes, I believe in a Creator – just not the one generally described in holy books (so I have no need for religion).

      • Thank you, I was just wondering. We’ll definitely there is a creator and I just wish you the best, it seems you unknowingly are searching for The truth as you seek to find the problems with current religions. As for me I am a Christian (catholic) It’s known to any educated historian that Jesus existed, he died on a cross, that his followers claimed to have seen him resurrected, and that his followers began sharing the gospel, and that this ignited a rapid movement that centered around death and resurrection of Christ. 29 different accounts document the life of Jesus (outside of the Bible) and they were written in his time period. If you want to prove that Christianity is wrong then strive to prove there was no resurrection. After 2,000 years there is still no compelling evidence that it didn’t happen. The fact that Christianity went from 12 disciples in 30 AD to 25,000 people in 100 AD to an estimated 20 million in 310AD proves that it was more than a passing fad. It went from being illegal to the centralized religion of the Roman empire in that time as well. I could go on and on but in the words of Thomas Aquinas (who I reccomend) “If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because He Himself is the way.” I just think that if you already know there is truth, you must seek to find it… maybe we cannot fully understand our creator but your soul will rest in knowing you will meet with him one day.

      • chicagoja said

        Thank you for your reply. The Bible says that you have to seek the truth. After many years of searching, I discovered the reason why. The answer is that the truth is not self-evident; you can’t even find it in the Bible. If it were otherwise, the Bible wouldn’t tell you to seek the truth because presumably the Bible already is the truth. That is, if the Bible already was the truth, you wouldn’t have to look for the truth. I can’t agree with your version of Christian history and neither can most theologians and historians. For example, Christian theologian Brian McLaren was talking about people like you who believe the highly sanitized version of Christian history. You should also know that the Vatican has publicly stated that Christians will have to come to a new understanding of the Bible (translation: the old understanding of the Bible was the lie that they told the masses). I have to give you credit for one thing though -“maybe we cannot fully understand our creator but your soul will rest in knowing you will meet with him one day.” Truer words were never spoken – and that’s the truth.

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