Saturday, December 16, 2017

Are you afraid of God?

Most people are afraid of God. The fear of God is unconsciously the basis of our human predicament, our deepest and most insidious anxiety and dysphoria. Unitarian Universalists sidestep the whole question and say, "You don't have to believe in God to be a UU. You can be an atheist if you like and still covenant with us." Francis David, the Unitarian pioneer in Transylvania in the 16th century, said, "We need not think alike to love alike." If we think that we can avoid fear by professing not to believe, we have missed the target. We can overcome fear if we embrace love.

We have been taught that God is the ultimate judge of our sinfulness. We speak, with some trepidation, about "the last judgment," the time when we "meet out maker." The dysfunctional religions tell us to fear God and then tell us that it is only they, the purveyors of this religious myth, that can save us. "Come to our church," they tell us. "Tithe and you will be rewarded ten fold," the merchants of the gospel of prosperity prophesy. The arrogance of pretending or even thinking that they know what God wants is preposterous and to the enlightened, laughable.

And yet, in our fear, many of us go along with this insanity for many reasons. The agnostic among us engage in Paschal's wager, hedging our bet that God exists even though we have grave doubts just in case God really does.

Fear drives us to what we call "faith" but this kind of "faith" is counterfeit. It is of the ego which we still don't want to surrender that is calling the shots. We still want control and to be able to be the author of our own "life," such as it is, full of drama, anguish, sorrow, anger, resentments, sometimes bitterness and despair. The first step of Alcoholics Anonymous is to admit that our lives are unmanageable.  Ultimately this is true for all of us whether we are alcoholic or engage in other compulsive mood altering behaviors. At some point, and we humans can tolerate a lot of pain and dysfunction, we must "pack it in."

God loves us, the mystics tell us, unconditionally. We don't have to do anything to merit God's love: God created us and shares God's life with us. We are well advised to give up the insane belief that God is a condemning judge. It is this belief which is at the basis of our most fundamental human predicament and it is what A Course In Miracles calls, "A tiny mad idea" that we can separate ourselves entirely from God.

1 comment:

  1. Kurt Vonnegut said, "There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look."

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