Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The God of Facebook

I wonder sometimes
if people are developing a “Facebook Theology”

a way of thinking about the Sacred
shaped by clever memes
and not so clever blogs (such as this one)
and quotable quotes (yes I am guilty too)
and links to awful videos and movies (such as the horribly shallow and formulaic God is Not Dead, which many of my friends will dearly love, sigh).

I have some concerns about that!

there is much we say
which when you roll it out in a systematic day
makes God a cipher  
makes faith formulaic
and which
if swallowed without careful thought about the contents
might be spiritually toxic

As I see it, here are some primary facets of Facebook Theology

1.  God is very, very hard to please and probably needs more coffee.
I’ve come to this conclusion because people will quote perfectly lovely Bible verses,
and then make comments beneath them that they sure hope they are living up to those versus, because if they don’t God will be very displeased, and WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.  Somehow even while talking about grace, grace seems to disappear behind a curtain of fear.  I must love, because if I don’t God will not love me.  I must try to follow God, because if I don’t God will punish me.  I have to please God or the consequences will be quite severe.

2.  God is very , very busy and probably needs a vacation.
It appears from Facebook that God is very busy running around micromanaging everyone’s life, controlling every little thing that happens.  “God has a plan for every step”, “God never gives us more than we can handle”.  You know the ones.   I do believe in the Sacred’s presence, and influence, and know that this presence makes a difference…. but this is very tricky territory, which can get us in to trouble very quickly.  What does God cause? What does God allow?  What does it say about God if God behaves in the ways we intimate God does?

3.  God is actually a personal valet to each person who believes in God strongly enough.  God is pictured as waiting around with nothing better to do that deal with the fact that I can’t find the USB chord for my I-Pad.

4.  God is very, very confused.  God hates “this”.  No, wait, that’s not true, God really loves “this”, but he hates “that”… no, no wait, God is very much for “that”, but on the other hand…..

5.  God is American!  Why else would so many of the memes about God have American flags in them ?

6.  God plays favorites (and if you get on God’s good side you will be wealthy and God will joyfully smite your enemies)

I am being a little sarcastic this morning, and I apologize.  
 But I really do struggle with the God of Facebook. 

The God I know is present.  Present inside me, and you.  We don’t have to “go find” God.  All we have to do is wake up to that presence.

The God I know exerts influence over my life and my decisions (not as much as would be desired, but that is not God’s fault)

The God I know is love.  Period.

The God I know wants me to live a unique way, because I and those around me will be happier and healthier, not because if I don’t I will get punished (Just wait until Father gets home)

The God I know is for everyone, equally.

And that is really about all I know

Yep, that’s about it
God is
In me
In you
and that is good

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