31 October 2012

God the 'Father'

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one God 

Really, this seems quite straight forward. But there are so many, many assumptions. 

'One God': yes, I believe in one God. But I think that humans call 'him' many things. I see more God in my agnostic/Buddhist/whatever friends who help me move from one house to another, who offer advice and love when needed, who have more grace for my pitfalls than any of my Christian friends, who have more faith in me to do great things than I ever could. If God is Love than all expressions of that Love are the One True God. That includes all religions. Because if we/I truly believe that God is bigger than all I can think or imagine...well, I can imagine that God has been so desperately trying to connect with the world that he shows up as the Allah, Brahman, Zeus, Jesus, the source of Higher Consciousness and it's up to the humans to get that revelation a little wrong. Believing that God is all of these does not make the understanding any less potent, that is a deception of an us vs them worldview to say that if one thing is right, then the whole belief system is right and everyone else's is wrong. That's outdated modernity. God has been subjected to cultural interpretation for as long as humans have had a consciousness of a power outside themselves. He is the oneness that connects us all together, and makes us all the same at the foot of the cross. And whatever actions that are done in his name, if they result in love and peace, then they come from God. Actions that result in hate, anger, bullying, or any multitude of sins, they are not from God. 

the Father, the Almighty

There is this whole question of 'he,' or 'Father.'

God is not a 'he,' it's simply the most convenient way to refer to God especially since English does not afford a pronoun of neutrality other than 'it.' It is also the most traditional way because of the rampant misogyny of the church. I really don't like referring to God as 'it' because it's not personal enough.
And I still believe in the personhood of God.
I don't really think of God in terms of 'he' or 'she' anymore, it only comes out that way in speech, but not in my thought patterns. But in terms of being created in the 'image of God,' I honestly don't know what that means. I think the super religious Christians are overly obsessed with genitalia. The thought of ascribing God both physical features of a male and female is not weird to me, because I have become used to what the drag world looks like, it is simply the incorrect focus. God is both 'he' and 'she' without us knowing what that means physically. Just as you do not know, nor need to know if someone who is transgender still has all the sexual organs they were born with or not. You don't need to know, it's not your business. But in all honesty, God the Mother/Father is probably not physical anyway. Jesus was/is. 

maker of heaven and earth

Yes, I believe God made all of heaven and earth. But I'm not a creationist anymore. I left that behind about four years ago. God was the Big Bang. And he was there with creation as it formed. 
I'm interested in what it might mean if there are other Earth-like planets out there. Are there any human like creatures out there?  Did Jesus die for them too? And by 'out there' I mean completely beyond the reach of our telescopes. Something so far, we don't even see the light. The light is one of the things that really converted me to a Big Bang/evolution believing lady. That and string theory. Because if the light takes a million years to reach Earth, you would have to say that God defies his own laws just to prove that he could make the world in six days. That idea seems so ridiculous to me now.  

Those passages in Genesis are poetry, not science.

If God didn't want us to creatively use our minds to discover and be enraptured by his world and all its complexities, then we would still be monkeys. Even then, what are the laws of physics when they are discovering such things in the quark world that completely defy what we observe to be true about the big things?

Also, belief in evolution completely changed my understanding of God. Because if God is a God who likes to watch his world change, unfold, grow and develop into something new every day, then that is how he sees us. This mentality of 'create, perfect, done' that is spouted by creationists then puts the pressure on the human being to think of themselves that way. 'God made you perfect, why are you not behaving perfectly??' is how I have felt most of my life. It helped me feel ashamed of who I was rather than accepting that I am a growing changing person who will always be growing and changing and that God loves me that way.  

God loves this planet so much. 
 He loves this universe. It's gorgeous in the gaseous violence that occurs in the stars every second of every day (which, to be fair, I'm using a metaphor with concept of time, which is a relative thing depending on gravity and rotation and doesn't exist in the same way on other planets, stars, or in the darkness of empty space).
This is the core of the difference between the political left and right on environmentalism. If the right's worldview says 'the world was once perfect, now it's all just going to hell in a handbasket,' of COURSE they aren't going to care about trash heaps, pollution, climate change, etc. But the left says 'this world is constantly changing and evolving and we must help it change for the better,' then of COURSE they are going to care more about clean energy, recycling, all that green hippie stuff. It's one of the reasons that I switched sides politically.

of all that is,
seen and unseen.

Now, see, I actually kind of love this. Because this gets into my obsession with string theory. At least, that's how I interpret it. We can't see the other dimensions that are proposed by string theorists and the maths and all that jazz. I know that the original writers of this probably meant the angelic/demonic realm, and I think that on some level that those things actually do live in another dimension that exists within our three dimensions.  That's the only somewhat scientific understanding I can make of it. Because it's those tiny unseen vibrating strings that have only been proven in the math of the universe. But they found the Higgs Boson this year!! And still God created it.

I apologize to anyone who is not familiar with string theory, because that all probably just sounded like a bunch of crazy talk. Suffice it to say, that scientific discovery has me more interested in the creation that is unseen rather than thinking about supernatural forces that might be at work. I really don't know if they exist or not. I have no personal experience of it, though I know people who have. But at the same time, Radiolab has nearly convinced me that that stuff might all just be a glich in the chemical processing of the brain.

Though, to be honest, I'm kind of hoping that the Doctor exists in one of those parallel worlds.

an experiment in belief

I have not posted on here in nearly a year. It's been over a year since I've written.
My, how things change.
My thoughts and beliefs have changed so much in this period of time that I feel the desire to write here again. To express things that are difficult to put into words. Because the fact of the matter is, I'm not sure that I'm really a Christian anymore, or that I know what that word means, or I even wonder if I ever truly was. I'm more inclined to think that I never actually knew what it meant rather than I never was or that I'm not. Rather, I am attempting to redefine who I am and what 'Christian' means to me. But more on this later.
This experiment is an exploration of my belief. Belief is something I question a lot these days (what does it mean, why does it matter, blah blah blah) and I had an idea that I might truly assess what I still believe and what I don't and what I question by going through the Nicene Creed, step by step, line by line, and see what happens. I will start this endeavor with my next post. Below is the text I will be using, which is the form I memorized when I attended All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal.

And so, dear world, I jump back into the blog. Without knowing where I am headed, but with a good deal of hope for some clarity of mind and spirit.
I warn any who might read the posts to come that I'm not looking for an argument; this is for me. Comments from anyone, even those who disagree with me, are welcome. BUT I'm not looking to debate on the internet. Call me up and have coffee with me if you want to debate something.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.