The first topic we need to cover is God. We covered God briefly in the welcome post and said that God was Spirit, not physical body. The reasons we know this are two. The first is that we have been to where God’s dwelling was supposed to be, just beyond the clouds, and found God missing. We couldn’t even find his throne! The second is that Jesus told us the God is Spirit.
Why is this important? It’s important for a lot of reasons that will become apparent throughout the Christ Enlight program. Perhaps chief among them is that when we conceptualize God as some kind of super-human being, a kind of extra powered Superman, we tend to start projecting human attributes upon God. God now has feelings and can be happy, sad, mad, glad, jealous, and (worst of all) angry. I know that the human beings who wrote the Bible used these terms in describing God, and that reflects the limitations of language rather than the reality of God. It also reflects their culturally bound world view. How were they to talk about God when there wasn’t yet any God-language? They had to use the words they used to talk about one another.
The next important thing we want to say about God is that God is most definitely NOT an interventionist God. Contrary to what you may have heard, God doesn’t move us around like chess pieces on a board. It seems like whenever there is a tragedy we see someone on the news thanking God that the tragedy missed them. I will never forget several years ago when there was a sniper on the loose in the suburban Washington, D.C. area. The sniper struck at random, and one day he shot up a city bus. The national news interviewed a woman who normally rode that bus but had missed it that day. She proclaimed, “I just thank God for saving me from being on that bus!” Sounds good, right? Except that if God intervened to save her from the sniper it means that either God didn’t intervene to save the sniper’s victims or (worse) God actually put those people in harm’s way!
Another example of this mistaken reasoning occurred some years ago when a hurricane was headed toward Pat Robertson’s 700 Club headquarters in Virginia. Pat prayed fervently on the air for the hurricane to be averted, and then thanked God just as fervently when the tornado struck 500 miles up the coast causing property damage, injury, and death. Pat Robertson’s God protects him at the expense of others because Pat is extremely narcissistic and Pat believes that he controls God. I am sure the people who were injured by that hurricane don’t agree with Pat’s myopic vision of God, and neither does Christ Enlight.
Does the fact that God is not an interventionist God make God powerless? Not at all! One can hardly say that God, who is the Ground of all being and sustains all that is could be powerless. It does mean that it is not in God’s nature to play favorites or to micro manage the universe. It also means that the universe operates under certain natural laws. Stress builds up and must be released, and so things like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes occur. Those tragedies are naturally occurring, random phenomenon and do not reflect God’s favor or anger. If God were to intervene in the laws of nature then the universe would spin out of control and implode, so it is a very good thing indeed that God doesn’t do that!
You may be wondering, “If we can see God or find God, where is God” There are many things in this world which we cannot see but we know exist. Right now there are radio waves filling the room you are sitting in. You can’t see them, but they are there and you only need to turn a radio on to prove that. The same is true of television signals, the infrared signals from an alarm system, the very air we breathe, and the wind. We cannot see the viruses and bacteria which make us sick, and yet we know they are there. We very often can’t see the pollution and ozone which make it hard to breath (although sometimes we can) and yet when we gasp for air, we know they are there. Many people have no problem at all with the notion of ghosts or other beings which live on another plane and are not apparent to us, but scoff at the notion of a God who cannot be seen. This isn’t logically consistent at all!
Christ Enlight holds that God is not visible to us because God is a different type of being that we are and that God exists on a different plane that we do. We find the wind to be an apt metaphor for the the Spirit of God (and a very biblical one!) because we see neither God nor the wind, but we do feel the effects of the presence of both God and the wind!
We will be discussing God at length in future blogs, especially when we discuss subjects like the Bible, the Trinity, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the nature of salvation, and a host of others. Now that we have a general description from which to proceed, we are ready to move on!