9/27/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S ~
Dear Convinced Christian:
Mom and Dad won't always be there for you. Your beloved may not always be faithful, always love you, may never meet your expectations. Friends may disappoint you, even betray you, move away, and even die. Let's face it, life is unpredictable, even as we continually keep making order out of its chaos. Where is there any 'home base' to tie up to?
Here's what you've been taught as you grew up: There is one sure thing you can depend on, God. He will always be there for you, of that you can be certain. But, even that certainty itself changes, if you're willing to learn.
Well, YOUR god is the Real Thing. Previous gods were worshipped, special prayers were formulated to win their favors, avert their wrath, defeat their enemies and yours, and, of course, rituals were created so that there would be guarantees these beliefs would continue forever. Magnificent edifices were erected to these invisible spirits who are in control of the heavens and Earth. Gods are still in societies today, and not only in polytheistic religions. Three of the major religions each have their own true one: There is the God of Islam, that of Christianity, and the ancient god of Judaism. Millions of adherents to each are assured they own the One Sure Thing, the Ultimate Security.
A previous god would deliver the True Believer from evil, famine, disease, earthquake, flooding, drought, etc. But that god wouldn't deliver everyone. Only a select amount survived to praise him. The god cured, through miracles, and answered enough prayers to assure its believers of its continual presence and approval of the priests who spoke for the god's wishes and commands. The god also kept worshippers on a leash as they attempted to understand what pleased or displeased him.
What happened to those previous sure-thing gods? Millions worshipped them, died for them, and sometimes children were sacrificed to them. Their existences were a given, obvious everyday reality, permeating civilizations. What happened? Did their myriad manifest miracles cease, their powers wane? Did all the "proofs" of their existence start to be doubted, gradually and persistently? Were they replaced by yet other gods, equally invisible? And were there not always those who noticed that life was no different with any of those gods than without them, and who went on with their daily lives, faring no better or worse in life than the believers?
|7 Lucky Gods of japan (Photo credit: Steve-kun)|
Wait a minute. Don't all religions (and Nazism, fascism, communism,) also arise out of the convinced mindset that, "Here, at last, is the Real Thing , the Real Deal,” with people finding tons of rationalizations to support that premise and totally buying in to it - just as they did before, with all the previous, real-deal gods? Didn't they "know in their hearts, know in their blood, not their reason" what is true and totally commit to it? Ah, such faith! (Oh when will they ever learn?) But, YOU, no matter what monotheistic religion you belong to, must rest in assured contentment, knowing that your god is the one true one who will never let you down.
Hasn't it ALWAYS been a Wager on the One Sure Thing, that eternal and dependable One, no matter which one? The stakes ARE the highest, the gods, including yours, all invisible, inaccessible to the senses, and having preference and domination over human rights.
Sure, keep insisting, "My God is the One True God,” the Sure Thing. All the others are false. You sound like all the other believers before you, and there is danger lurking in such righteousness. Don't be so sure there is any god because, without proof, evidence, that the others also lacked, you may be no more right than they were.
Live and learn, they say. Well, live but learn: one thing's for sure, all life is change. As the endless parade of once-worshipped-then-discarded gods proves - beyond a shadow of a doubt - there is no "sure thing" guarantee.
But, I’ll wager that you’re listening to the same kinds of god-spokesmen those people of bygone days were. It's a bet I’m bound to win.