The God Who Is Not

There are Christians very unlike the christian bloggers that we regularly read and hear from. In fact, I think that most Christians are very unlike the ones in the blogosphere.

These are good people who hold to good humanistic principles. They believe the best about people. They want people to experience happiness.

Their idea about the Christian God is also very different from the Christian bloggers we are most often in contact with here. Unfortunately, it seems that their idea of the Christian God is also very different from the ones (for there are many different concepts of God in the Bible) presented in the Bible and throughout church history.

It seems, to me, that these people are trying to squeeze an idea of a good god into a religion that is antithetical to that conception. We, intuitively, know that if a god exists, that god is the zenith of wisdom and morality and, as such, would not be petty about things like human mistakes, homosexuality, etc. We also, intuitively, know that if a god with that kind of greatness did actually exist, our world would look very different than it does.

I believe there is the idea, in the heart of every human, of what a god must be if one does exist, but there is also a nagging realization that this god doesn't exist (e.g. because of the prevalence of rape, murder, molestation, etc.).

What I think many Christians are doing is taking this idea of what a true god would be (i.e. what we know this true god would be if one existed) and trying to force it into Christianity. The problem, however, is that the Bible and church history are clearly opposed to this notion of god. This is a religion that believes its God told people to kill disobedient children and homosexuals; who told rape victims to marry their attackers; who invented the idea of hell to punish those who disagree with him.

There is this tension, though, because most Christians cannot make themselves believe that a true god (the god they know would exist if one existed) would do such awful things. They try to ignore the God of the Christian Bible and Christian history and put this other concept of god into their religion.

I can't help but believe that this is a blasphemous act, not toward the Christian God, but toward the god we know would exist if one existed. It is paramount to calling a true god a devil (i.e. one who calls for the death and torture of others).

It does not seem difficult to imagine what a god would be like if one existed. She would be a good god, a god that is not petty, a god very unlike the Christian God.

Unfortunately, the state of the world seems to be a clear indication that this "true" god does not, in fact, exist (things would be much different). I think most Christians also know this intuitively, but want so desperately for this true god to exist, that they try to squeeze it into a religion that is antithetical to it. I believe this is a great disservice to the idea of the true god, the god we know would exist if one existed.

So, while I don't believe a god exists, I feel compelled to defend the idea of a true god. I feel compelled to point out that Christians (and other members of the world religions) are blaspheming the real god, i.e. The God Who is Not.

Atheists are simply people who think too highly of "The God Who is Not" to attach her to one of the hideous world religions. We think too highly of her to associate her with this chaotic, uncaring world.

If any being worthy of the title "god" existed, I can't help but believe that she would be happier with the atheists of this world than the Christians, Muslims, religious Jews, etc. We are the only ones who refuse to disgrace her by attributing horrific deeds to her.

Atheists are the true worshippers of the true god, The God Who is Not. Our praise to her comes in our refusal to debase her by connecting her with backwards, morally-bankrupt world religions or with this uncaring, painful universe. Our thoughts of her are too high. We are better, more faithful worshippers than any religious person who profanes the concept of the true god by associating it with their hideous faith.

Let every knee bow and tongue confess that the true god is too good for this world and any of its religions! All praise and glory be given to The God Who is Not!

16 comments:

JustinOther said...

This is an excellent post. I like the way you present this idea. It makes a lot of sense. Bravo.

Zoe said...

Love this post!

Dr. Andy Jackson said...

I have featured Debunking Christianity on SmartChristian.com

Ralph said...

Not being facetious but if most people want an idealized god (I agree that most people do) then why do all of the gods that I have been made familiar with seem to not be that ideal. Is it not possible to have a god that get better as humans improve their understanding of what is moral and what is not? Is it impossible to have a flexible god, one that can grow with us. Not that I need one, it just seems that many people do.

Weak Rationalist said...

Just curious, but by what "intuition" can you claim to know that this world would be much different if an actual loving god existed? By "intuition" do you mean a solid rational process, or an educated gut feeling? Either way, you seemed to have ignored a gamet of assumptions in order to classify your conclusion as 'knowledge' in the epistemological sense. In order to make that kind of statement validly you would have to know everything that there is to know, and while you probably know more than myself, I would venture to say that you do not know everything. Perhaps half of everything? Would you say you know a tenth of everything there is to be known to leave no doubt that the world would be different if there was actually a loving god? I am just curious about the basis of that conclusion. I have more to say, but I will leave you with that for now.

Travis said...

All you have really succeeded in demonstrating is that you don't happen to like the idea of the Christian God. By assuming your own standard, you are calling your particular brand of secular humanism true in advance of any argument, and then deduce that Christianity must be false, because that sort of God is not good according to your own standard. Hence, you beg the question. If you want to critique a worldview, you have to do it internally.

weak rationalist said...

Travis, you stole the words from my head and said them much more cleary and consisely. Kodos.

Jason said...

You do not have to critique a worldview internally to do it successfully.

CalvinDude said...

"You do not have to critique a worldview internally to do it successfully."

This is true, if you've already proven your worldview is true. Then you can critique everything that doesn't match it and do so quite successfully. Of course if you haven't done that, then it's only assertions of faith that your view is right. And then, of course, I suppose it depends on what you mean by "successfully."

Weak Rationalist said...

Agreeing with the previous comment, it is absurd that one would assert that their worldview is true without a doubt. All worldviews: naturalism, humanism, atheism, etc. live day to day on incomplete knowledge and therefore faith. Remember to distinguish ontology (being) from epistemology (knowing). We exist, decide, act on faith regardless of what we think we know.

Jason said...

You do not have to prove the truth of your worldview either in order to critique alternative worldviews (assuming that by "worldview" you mean something like the collection of beliefs a person has about the world/universe). All you need is the ability to think rationally. In terms of worldviews, this only entails something like the belief that propositions in the world abide by rational principles. A person P can use this to critique a worldview even if another part of P's own worldview is incorrect. If P believes that the universe is sitting on a turtle, that doesn't mean that P can't use reason to criticize another worldview. It might mean that P's own worldview could use some scrutiny, but that is not the same thing as to say that P is incapable of criticizing the worldview of another person.

Let's say that it really is impossible to criticize a worldview unless you do it internally or unless you have an air-tight worldview yourself. This means (from the perspective of a Christian) that it isn't possible for atheists to criticize another worldview (for example, Wiccanism) unless they do it internally. This would mean that atheists cannot say things like "the Wiccan belief in the spiritual significance bird feathers discovered by humans is without merit since there is ample evidence that birds do not have the capacity to form such intentions, and that they do not lose feathers intentionally anyway," while Christians can. What makes the criticism true only if it issues forth from a Christian? This notion seems plainly absurd.

Vanessa said...

I just had a question for you: why is it that you say that the idea of a Christian God is very different from the Christian bloggers you talk to here?

I understand your feelings about rape and molestation, I honestly do. But did you ever think that the reason that that stuff prevails on this earth is because this earth is ruled by Satan? The true Christians on this earth are in this world, but not of this world, therefore, we are capable of overcoming things like that.

I also believe that there is a prevalence of evil on this earth because people choose to use their free will in a way that God did not intend them to use it, although he did give it to us. People like rapists decide to do that because they have a hardened heart towards God and an open heart towards to Satan. Satan is able to influence their minds to think that they want that. God only has control of the heart that is open to His will, and not to their own will.

For your comments that Christians are trying to for a "good god" into their religion. I don't know what bible or church history you are reading, but they never opposed the notion of God. True Christians from even before Jesus was alive believed that the Old Testament was the true Word of God.

Also, God is a just God, and that is why he punished many people in the Old Testament stories. They were sinning through sexual immorality, and by murdering.

And for this comment that you made: "Let every knee bow and tongue confess that the true god is too good for this world and any of its religions." I totally agree with you. The Christian God is a God that is not of this world. And true Christians would agree with you that our God is too good for any religion. It is all about our relationship that means the most to us. True Christians don't believe that we need to worship at any given time of the day. We don't believe that we are allowed to kill someone just because they don't believe in our God.

Now, I respect you for voicing your opinion. I thank you for doing it because it helps me realize how powerful my God is, and how much more faith it takes to believe there is no God than to believe in the Christian God.

Jason said...

If God is a just God, then why did he punish the descendents of Adam and Eve for something that they did? Every answer to this question just adds wheels to the problem but they never hit the dirt. That is not justice, and your imaginary God is not just.

Coralius said...

[Quote]Vanessa said....

I also believe that there is a prevalence of evil on this earth because people choose to use their free will in a way that God did not intend them to use it, although he did give it to us.[/Quote]

If he didn't intend for us to use it the way we did, but he has perfect foreknowledge of how we were going to use it, then why bother in the first place?

And before you make the "let children make their own mistakes" argument, I'd like to point out that that analogy falls apart when the mistakes are lethal, or in this case, lead to eternal damnation.

I'm sorry, but this has always been a huge sticking point for me. I can't even get into the rest of your comment, because I can't get past this point.

firefly09 said...

Very insightful, i commend you. I too still retain the belief of a true god, probably old habits from my christian days. IF there is a true god of the world than he is far from the distorted christian view. A true of this world would be like the world it created, balanced. This world has life, happiness, joy. But it also has death, sufferin, and anguish. A truely benevolent god would never allow such matters of suffering to go on. No, this true god would only create both and allow both because that is how the unverse is, not good and not evil, but balanced with both.

Insanezenmistress said...

Jason, (and select points of others)I enjoyed your thought about How that you can feel as if the "real" True god was so, she would happier with the atheists. and i would throw in, According to the bible.......god's first commandment is that we should have NO imagies of him at all, so you are not in sin, by holding no image.

Yes there are so many ways to veiw god from the bible, and those that severly contradict some of the other ways that have become "back bone" of history and theology.

What if they are simply tieing together the wrong notions? The oompa pa powerfull ones because of our human desire to have it all and just the way we want it?

Small minds take grand truths and turn it into bullshit, your argument is you can't polish a turd.

I agree. but aren't shits good things to have?

but what of the grand truth, in the first place?

I am not saying the obviously illlogical, that i have to force my ideal god into including the very obvious evil acts he is reported to have done.

But i sure dont belive that the world would be ANY different even if the ideal god existed. I belive the real true god is so, therefore the world is as it is.

To ralph, you said..."most people want an idealised god, then why have the gods that i have been made familliur with seem to not be THAT ideal? "
God wont share his glory with an idol, maybe he wants to give it to you. ANY image, veiw, forced set of reasonings, constricting theology and totalatarian religion cannot introduce you the the real and ideal god. The real god acts, immediatly, the real man receives,experiences, questions and filters(rationalises) and settles on a world veiw that totally makes sence of what that god thing ment.
Already that lesson he speaks or the interpretation he gives will be flawed. The god thing is here and now, and as man grows he will refine the understanding of that god thing untill man and god can find common ground. You have not found any that suit you because you are looking to attain some dead man's limited interpretation.

And to the other notion discusssed, about how can this person judge the world veiw of that person and why would there nessacarilly need to be a "Different" kind of world IF that real god existed?

A person's true world veiw is baised on their mind and their experience in life. Wether it includes any god or is purely realist, no one can actaully judge someone elses world veiw. This is why we will never convinve each other that our's is in fact correct. it is correct unto ourselves and some other like minds.

Like minds gather and seek more understanding of and testing of what ever world veiw they have.

Somtimes peole with a world veiw gather into little groups and talk about it, and sometimes people get together and force others to "get it right" Any little group that would control the larger group by their just right ways, has already violated any real true god's agenda.

Lets pretend this god did not exist, i would see the world that i see and experience things and relate them to my perosnal mythology. I see that nature is dasterly and immoral.

Yet uppon closer inspection is is very intricate and meaningfull.

Maybe it is narutal that man is like that too. Perhaps god. And therefore we need to keep refineing our understanding on god to include science and mystical and natural. in order to find what could be truth and understanding.

If you dont mind, i can see the god who is not, anyplace and it is not nessacary to proof to me wether the crucifixtion actaully happened or not. According to my interpretation of the events in my life and understanding, i have patterned a pretty meaningfull life out of pretending those lessons had real god's seal of approval.

I have used or transposed something if confirmable truths in observing and useing the spiritaul picture of the Story.

Other people do this, it is natural, you watched a movie or you have heard a radom line of truth in your life and applyied it to your worldview, and grew in this or that direction. Must i in light of your rational, give up my illusion, if it work'd for me as do your pearls of great price?


Justine