Sunday, July 08, 2007

What kind of God do you believe in?

I am always fascinated in how we as Christians understand God. I came across this sign the other day. At a first glance it is nothing but cute. But think about what this says.

The thing that gets me, is the implication that what we need in a god is one who is a life guard --- and what is a life guards job? To keep us safe. And our life guard is better than anybody else's life guard because our life guard isn't constricted to the natural laws that the rest of us have to live with. This life guard doesn't swim to save you from drowning, this life guard is so good that it can walk right out to you.

Again -- at first glance there is nothing wrong with it.
BUT, and you know me, there is always a but, what about those people who believe, but are still drowning? Still being ravished by cancer? Is this god fickle? Does this god like some people but not others?

As long as things are going smooth, this type of god makes lots of sense. But what if things aren't so smooth, and don't seem to be getting better. This type of god becomes nothing more than a pie in the sky, an unrealistic hope.

The BIG QUESTION is who is God and how does God operate in the world? Is God a rescuer? Is God a life guard? Or is God something else, and if something else, how in the world do we articulate that?

I believe that we as Christians need to develop a faith that is consistent. A faith that has integrity. It is a huge challenge, because to do that, we have to seriously examine much of the baggage we have about God.

Wish I had the answers, I just know, that God doesn't work the way that the sign suggests and it is time we start wrestling with how God really works in the world.


Christina is... said...

Hi! I have an idea about this. I spent all of 2006 examining (deeply) the question of faith and one thing I decided was that "God" looks upon us humans as a huge flock. We are all connected, we are a web of interactions. The energy of God is created by all of those interactions taken together. When enough people individually act in ways that are contrary to the flock, bad things happen (like armies bombing innocent children, even if by accident). And sometimes bad things happen by "chance" or "lifestyle choice" like cancer. In these instances how we empathize and take care of the sick (insurance companies) affect the flock. The choices we make among and between each other are the reflections of God. We as individuals can choose to make choices that better the flock, or we can make choices that better our Selves. But the choice is always ours, and in my mind a group of hundreds of thousands of people working towards the betterment of those they don't even know is MUCH more impressive than someone walking on water.

Steve Conger said...

Thanks Christina,

Very intersting way of putting it.