Monday, October 19, 2015

Exactly How Impatient is God

People seem to think God is eternal. The claim that God transcends time - that time doesn't pertain to God - is not unique to any one theology.

Then, along come Modern man - or should I say, Modern, white man - and starts to kill people in the name of God.  Sure, the crusades and the missionaries and the jihads really weren't 100% about God, but they were at least done in the name of God.

So, people - or should I say, white men - put their timeframe on God.  You must convert and you must convert now.  Now is very important - you know, for the eternal salvation of your soul.  And if you don't, we'll kill you and take all your stuff.

But how do you jive these two thoughts?  That God is at once eternal and time-transcending while simultaneously looking for immediate results.  For a time-transcendent being, trying to make sense of a single human lifespan must seem like trying to pick out a single rose while flying overhead in a commercial passenger plane.  What if that one rose is out the other side of the plane?  God might miss it entirely!  [Note that for God to not run the risk of missing it entirely, one of God's natural states would probably also have to be transcending space, but I don't think that's a standard theological claim.]

Each religion claims to have received emissaries directly from God, urging immediate change.  People have been turned into pillars of salt, for Pete's sake, and there are frogs and locusts involved.  Lots of them.  Time seems to be very, very important to God.

I wonder how I would think about concepts like "now" if time didn't pertain to me.  Lots of very human concepts would become rather useless, I would think.  Planning, for example would seem pointless.  Remembering too. 

Maybe to a being for whom time has no meaning, linear or circular notions of time really don't matter.  Everything must seem to happen all at the same time through every moment.  It must be like watching bazillions of television programs at the same time.  Can God focus on all that stuff all at the same time?

It makes us feel better if we're able to situationally hold God to be both just like us and also very different from us.    It helps suit our needs.

The greatest sin is a sin against yourself.

No comments: