Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Living Spiritual Rhythms–October 7

It makes me want to puke when churches or Christian organizations appeal to God’s faithfulness to explain their longevity and ministry. It goes something like, “we have existed for x amount of years and accomplished this or that due to God being faithful to us. Others are not as fortunate, have ceased to exist, and failed.”


This appears to be the height of self-indulgence and hollow piety. How presumptuous – excuse me – puke again. Now, I’m not putting God’s faithfulness into question, but I’d like to see it re-examined or at least re-measured. In the midst of bombed out hospitals, gunned down innocents, and millions pouring out of war torn countries, which also makes me want to puke, let’s question traditional understandings of God’s faithfulness and in doing so hopefully come up with something that has across the board credibility and is far less Me/Us focused.


Sisyphos said...

Makes me think of the woman who once told us in some kind of Bible Study group: "Thanks to the Lord. I did not study for an exam but passed." The most urgent prayer is the scream and the most sincere prayer is the cry. Then there are those who reply: "It is necessary to appeal to God by his right name." Well, too bad then for some children that that they do not have the conceptual phone number of God when they are in agony. Either "The first thing he created, I believe, though the Bible does not tell us so, is children's crying." ( OR There is no God OR he is powerless OR has withdrawn himself in shame when he saw what he had created. It matters for our hopes and fears but not for our actions. What matters is if I, that is the one who writes these words, lives up to the standard he just set up: to listen to the ones who cry - without pity but with compassion- and not indulge in the dark night of the soul of the other. This dark night of the other is a safe and thrilling place - for the one who is not living though the dark night of the soul.

Greg said...

Sisyphos - contact me sometime. Thanks for your comment. I wanted to add to my last comment. Yes, this hyper subjectivity is rampant in Christian circles. It strikes me as pompous and entirely speculative, but people claim these kinds of things all the time. Not really sure what they base it on?? But it is difficult to discuss such matters with the supposed enlightened.

As to what you write next. When we observe the natural world informer it doesn't appear to definitively clarify that God is not, or is powerless or withdrawn. Perhaps the whole notion of Divine action & faithfulness needs to be revised, which would inevitably mean re-exploring the whole notion of God.

Only the uncaring and unwise do not live through the dark night of time and space.

Sisyphos said...

I read your post of a few days ago. I believe that the question: "Is there something existent behind this image?" is not relevant. What is relevant is: "Is this image worthy of being followed and mirrored by myself?" There are some images of God that - if they represent him - I hope to never follow; regardless of what punishment may await. There are some images of God that - if they represent no existent being - I hope to want (sic!) to follow. I think the best way to interpret the passion of Christ is to imagine him believing that there is no resurrection for him - or not being motivated by the belief in his own resurrection.
My introductory remarks may be countered by the objection that my will to follow an image may not depend on God's existence but on the existence of the ethical good. Maybe.

Sisyphos said...

"I read your post of a few days ago. I believe that the question: "Is there something existent behind this image?" is not relevant." When I started like that, I did not want to imply that you think that way.

Greg said...

Sisyphos, Thanks. Do you mean the Camus post of September 16?? If ethics are merely a human enterprise, which the likes of Taylor, Ricoeur and others would dispute, then to follow an image is to follow a human. Granted, this may be, depending on one's view of God, our only possibility.

Sisyphos said...

I was referring to your post of September 14. Now to what you are saying: There is another alternative: the good exists and it is represented in some images - it may be God or not.