When I Was a Child …

I guess I have been naive as concerns religion.

I say that because it has just hit me that, although there is but one God, there is no one theology. As many people as there are, there are that many different “theologies,” or belief about God.

I used to be confused, when I was little, because my mother taught us that God was good, and that God wanted us to love everybody and forgive everyone. She would say that even more as we saw people squirting water from fire hoses on innocent women and children, and allowing dogs to attack them.

I was confused, because it didn’t seem like this God that my mother had taught me about would be OK with that, and, with a little girl’s reasoning, I couldn’t understand why, if these people with the hoses and dogs were so mad, why didn’t they just pray to Jesus so they could forgive them? I didn’t yet understand racism.

As I have gotten older, I have become even more fiercely wedded to my belief that God is good, that God made everyone, that God loves everyone and that everyone is precious to God. I have grown more and more convicted of my belief that God didn’t make any mistakes, in terms of who God created.

But I have also finally come to understand that not everyone has that conception of God. I have come to understand that theology is subjective, not objective at all.

For some, it is OK to hate someone else, just because of his or her color, race, sexual orientation or religion … and still claim to love God completely. For some, it is even all right to kill someone of another race, color or religion. They believe that they are doing right in God’s eyes.

It blows me away. It’s like there are two Gods, or at least two.

We believers even read the Bible differently. While it is crystal clear to me that the Bible says we are to care for each other and do justice and hate oppression, not everyone agrees with that or sees that in the same Bible!

In my moments of frustration, I question God, and ask why He or She doesn’t fix it. Fix .. what? Fix the people who are obviously mistaken in my mind because they don’t see God like I do, nor do they understand what God wants according to the Bible as I understand it?

Sometimes, it feels like there might be less angst on my part if there were no religions. It would be a really nice thing if God would just make a visit to earth and set the record straight. But that record … would be things as I see them. If God were to come and do that, I mean, explain and interpret things as I do, would vast numbers of people reject Him or Her?

I wonder, if we got a group of “believers” in a room, how many different interpretations of The Lord’s Prayer or the Sermon on the Mount would emerge? How many different interpretations would emerge of the 10 commandments, or even THE definition of agape love?

I find it all very disconcerting. One God. One Jesus…and millions of different theologies.

That is a candid observation.

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6 thoughts on “When I Was a Child …

  1. You pose an interesting thought. What if none of us is right? What if God comes back and we find that we have all been off the mark in terms of his teachings. If there is one thing I’ve learned to be true its that everything I think I know is subject to revision. Especially the things I think I know about the the truth. It seems things were much more simpler before I found religion. During those times I relied on a spiritual connection that did’nt need definition. I find today that yesterday’s practice enabled me to build a stronger foundation in the truth than any theology I have experienced thus far.

  2. As a member of the church you pastor, I am blessed that you see God the way that you do. That you remain fiercely wedded to your vision of God. After experiencing various forms of story’s depicting Jesus’ crucifixion during this past lenten season, I am going to have to summit a yes to the question if God were to ‘visit’ and explain things the way you see it, unfortunately yes he or she would be rejected I feel, because there are soooo many theologies. Maybe that’s why the next time God returns he will be coming like a thief and a robber…. So in lieu of, God has put people like yourself in place to teach members, and others THE WAY so we will be ready when he or she comes. No, I don’t think God is going to visit again to set the record straight, look what the theologians did to God the last time he came to earth to set the record straight. Our God is too intelligent for that.

  3. I think the best solution for me when it comes to interpretation of the wonders of God is to stick to how my mother raised me. Plan and simple to trust in God at all times. It is evident that people have tailored made what God believes based on their own belief. When we start looking for the reasons of his actions we loose sight of staying focus and building a personal relationship with God.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. It has been great food for thought. You always make me see things in a different light. And I love this !!

  5. I now fully understand why I am a member of your church. For your vision of God is the vision that I have always had. The different theologies is one of the reasons for why I searched for most of my life for a church home. I agree with Stealing Peace, if God came to set the recorded straight half the people would reject and the other half would want to kill him or her. Our God is way too intelligent for that.
    So thank you for shining a light of truth in this dark world. Thank you for being obedient and for being my Pastor.

  6. To further complicate matters, the Ten Commandments has God, God’s self saying, THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.” That is to say that there ARE other gods. Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego tell the King, “…WE WILL NOT SERVE YOUR GODS” which is to further suggest that there are many Gods (or gods) — not just One God and many theologies!

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