Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Honest With Me

I spent some time in Barnes with Fellow Seeker, Skeptic, and Devout today. We congregated in a Fiction & Literature aisle (I believe it was in the S's) and sat on the floor with stacks of magazines. One of the magazines that I had grabbed was The Progressive. It caught my eye with the mention of an article entitled, "God Owes Us An Apology." It was written by Barbara Ehrenreich, whom you may know as the author of Nickel and Dimed. The article was very good; if you're interested you should check it out. She basically wrote that the tsunami had nothing to do with man, and that an omnipotent, all-loving God has a lot of explaining to do. I loved this quote:

"If we are responsible for our actions, as most religions insist, then God should be, too, and I would propose, post-tsunami, an immediate withdrawal of prayer and other forms of flattery directed at a supposedly moral deity--at least until an apology is issued[...]."
It's like a God boycott. What a funny concept. I apologize to those who would take offense at my finding this amusing. But imagine if people started questioning God instead of simply taking all that is handed to us. Yes, I will certainly go back to church, just as soon as You explain Yourself, Mister. Reminiscent of talking back to our parents as children. I have been under the impression that you're not allowed to talk back to God. Friends of mine (Mentor and Future Priest, for example) tell me that it's okay to be angry at God. But just how much is okay? Am I supposed to voice my dissent and then just get over it? In social relationships, that's not how it works. Telling someone that they have hurt you doesn't help you heal. The healing comes when they either (a) apologize because they had no good reason for hurting you, or (b) explain the good reason they had. God is not prepared to do either. Is He? (Goodness, it's so tiresome calling God "He" all the time.)

Now I see what my problem is. I look at God as a person - a parent, of sorts. This is why this humility stuff is so hard for me. I respect my parents, but I expect them to be fair to me. Whether I expect that because I see it as my right, or because my parents have generally behaved that way, is up for debate. However, now that I'm older, they can explain why they did or didn't do certain things, and it makes sense to me. With God, there is no such explanation in this life. I look at Him as a parent who doesn't play by the rules. You hurt me (or allowed me to be hurt) without an explanation. Tsk, tsk, God. That's not playing fair. Come to think of it, how many of us were satisfied with our parents' explanations of "Because I said so"?

Every time I start writing how I really feel, I sit here and reread it and marvel at my audacity. Not in a good way, either.


Anonymous said...

Accountability! The devine can't escape it. If we weren't meant to question it, we wouldn't be built with the ability to.

sojourness said...

That's a very good point.

What's your name anon? Do I know you?

Tom said...

I think it’s self-serving to assume that God dabbles in feelings and concepts like "good and bad". To say that the death of 160,000 people is bad, you would then have to believe that the birth of 160,000 people was good. To deny the physical laws and attributes of this creation is not reasonable from our perspective. I can't grasp the concept of God as a bigger, more powerful extension of man. He resides in a realm without space and time.

Future Priest said...

Its okay sometimes to be angry in life, but to be angry at God isn't right, for God is love. He's fair believe it or not. We're usually the ones to mess things up. Now people might say the whole tsunami deal wasn't our fault. Its no one's fault. Those that passed are on there way to Him. He never said life would be easy, He told us to take up our crosses and die with Him. He only promised us His love to get us through the rough spots. God's the coolest in my opinion.

FP said...

Sorry for the typos in the last part.....Here's something else to make up for me being tired:

"Do not be always wanting everything to turn out as you think it should, but rather as God pleases, then you will be undisturbed and thankful in your prayer." -Abba Nilus.

sojourness said...

Point taken. Thanks fp.

By the way, I could have sworn that you told me it was alright to be upset with God sometimes. Am I confusing you with someone else saying that?