2/18/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~
Even a cursory reading of the Bible demonstrates that Bible-God is a crude caricature of a god. And this may be all the evidence one needs to believe that Bible-God is merely a man-made construct, and not a real god. Now, I’m not talking about any “higher order” conceptions of a god as, say, a spirit of love, or as a ground of being, or the Deist god. I’m talking about the god portrayed in the Bible.
It seems to me that we should expect, in a real god, all of the best personality attributes we find in the best of humans – and more. Yet, in Bible-god we find mostly what we find in the worst of humans. We don’t have to read very closely to see that Bible-god simply has no class.
Think about the character of Bible-God. He is claimed to be the ultimate intelligence and all-powerful, yet he is jealous of other gods and, indeed, says as much in Exodus 20. How does this make sense? This is like the President of the United States being jealous of the Mayor of Tulsa.
Bible-God is exceedingly insecure. He apparently created man for the companionship, but he requires worship from him. Wouldn’t we think a man was a bit weird if he demanded worship from his children? Does a mentally healthy man need worship in order to justify his existence? We normal human fathers try to act such that our children will love and respect us, but worship? That’s not necessary. If my children love and respect me, then I feel validated as a good parent; I neither require nor want their worship.
Worse still, Bible-God has a major hang up about having physical sanctuaries near man, where he can be constantly re-validated and worshipped. As one Christian blogger wrote, “God said something most interesting to Moses in Exodus 25:8, ‘And let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.’ There is more physical space in the Bible devoted to the subject of the tabernacle than any other subject even heaven, hell, Jesus, or the cross... anything.”
Bible-God is allegedly the ultimate intelligence, yet he lets some men change his mind, as Moses did in Exodus 32. In this instance, god says Moses’ people had corrupted themselves and would be destroyed. But Moses talks him out of it, apparently by appealing to god’s vanity as he asks, but what will the Egyptians think? Doesn’t it seem that god is rather unsure of himself here, since he defers to Moses’ judgment in this matter?
Bible-God is a bully. You won’t find any Mr. Nice Guy in these threats:
"Behold, I the Lord will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it." - Malachi 2:3
"Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you" - Deuteronomy 28:53
Bible-God is also a braggart. In Job 38, God is perturbed at Job for questioning god’s treatment of him. But, does god give him a simple explanation? No, god goes on for 71 verses, largely rhetorical questions asking what business has Job got judging god, since god has done so many amazing things. Was Job there when he laid the foundations of the earth? “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?” And, “Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” and “Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” And so on, and on, and on. One can almost see god pounding his chest as he shouts his defense.
Bible-God is certainly lacking in compassion. He apparently stood by unmoved as the waters of the great flood rose over the heads of nearly everyone on earth, including crying little children and babies. But those people were evil, you say? Really? Were the children and babies all evil?
Bible-God claims that to believe in him is the most important thing a man can do. So, it’s not what a man does or doesn’t do that matters most, not whether he treats others with fairness and compassion, it’s what he believes. Yet this god takes extraordinary measures to stay hidden. This may be the weirdest thing about this god; the most damaging evidence against his existence. We never see this god, or hear him, so he never really proves his existence beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet, he insists that we must worship him.
But, why is it so important to Bible-god - life and death important - that we believe in him? Doesn’t this speak of a pathological insecurity? Bible-god essentially says that if we don’t believe in him, he will send us to hell to be tortured by fire for an eternity. What is the reason for this intense insecurity? When someone who knows me ignores me in the supermarket, I can feel a little hurt, but I can’t imagine wanting to torture that person. My discomfort generally leads me to thinking of a way to let him - and me - off the hook. Maybe that person was just in a hurry, or maybe he is actually a bit shy, or perhaps he can’t remember my name – that happens to me sometimes. I am seldom troubled for more than a few minutes about this. In other words, I do not need recognition from everyone, all the time, for self validation. I seem to be much better adjusted than Bible-god about such things. Now isn’t that kind of strange?
As we have shown, Bible-god is a jealous, insecure, bullying braggart who is lacking in confidence and compassion. Now, would any of us really want to be like this god? Can we really admire and emulate him?
Of course, none of this actually proves anything, but I cannot believe that any real god worthy of worship would be so psychologically messed up. Wouldn’t any modern mental health professional recommend regular analysis and possibly medication for such a being? Indeed, if one reads the Bible and actually thinks about it, how can he take this mean-spirited, domineering creep seriously?
In sum, Bible-god is but a crude caricature of a god, totally lacking in the genius, wisdom, self-confidence, compassion, dignity, and grandeur we should expect of a real god who created and rules the universe. Put simply, Bible-god has no class, and that - at least to me - renders him unbelievable as an all-powerful, wise creator and sustainer of the universe.