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.