Summary: This is installment 5 in my "Anchor Points" series.
“Beyond ‘The Force’”
February 27, 2000
Anchor Point #5:
“God is Transcendent, Sovereign, and Personal”
“’God is a concept by which we measure our pain’; I’ll say it again;
‘God is a concept by which we measure our pain.
I don’t believe in magic; I don’t believe in I-Ching;
I don’t believe in Bible; I don’t believe in tarot;
I don’t believe in Hitler; I don’t believe in Jesus;
I don’t believe in Kennedy; I don’t believe in Buddha;
I don’t believe in mantra; I don’t believe in gita;
I don’t believe in yoga; I don’t believe in kings;
I don’t believe in Elvis; I don’t believe in Zimmerman;
I don’t believe in Beatles; I just believe in me.
Yoko and me, that’s reality. The dream is over; what can I say?
The dream is over; yesterday I was the dream-weaver, but now I’m reborn.
I was the walrus, but now I’m John. And so dear friends,
You’ll just have to carry on. The dream is over.”
-“GOD”, by John Lennon
“The practice of Scientology is to bring one to a new state where he can reach his own conclusions concerning the nature of God or a Supreme Being.”
- from the Scientology website
Doukhobors believe that “where there is Love, there is God”, and become aware of “the Spirit of God within oneself and all human beings.” The Doukhobor understanding of the Holy Trinity involves the trio of our conscious understanding of things; our reasoning power; and the exertion of our wills in order to deliver the action that should be the result of the reasoning. The goal is to “unite with the Greater Force that is directing all people towards harmony and brotherhood.” - from the Doukhobor website
“May the Force be with you.” - Obi-wan Kenobi
One man, troubled by what he read in the Bible that didn’t make sense to him, wrote down his own theories of God and published in a book. In it, he develops the concept that life arose as the result of an initial unplanned, chance event, thru the hand of science, followed by a deliberate, planned event thru the hand of God.
One man writes, at conclusion of a poem he entitles “The Loneliness of God”, “we are all God, struggling to overcome our forgetfulness; afraid to return to the knowledge that God is the loneliest being there is.”
Yet another website, published by a group calling themselves “distinctionists”, suggests that God is “a concept humans developed to further their own development”, adding, “the concept of God isn’t required for personal development, but it is a wonderful option.”
Contemporary Pluralism either
- Latches onto a few elements from each religion in piecemeal fashion to try to point to common threads in all religions, or
- Tries to point to a greater Reality behind all religions
“Gods” of Contemporary Pluralism
1. “The Great Big Play-Doh God”
“And so man created God in his image…”
“Patty saw God as a voice inside that directed her to use the best of herself.”
2. “Warm, Fuzzy God”
“I like to think of God as love…”
“Dean experienced God as a presence that gave wonderful gifts and guided his behavior.”
3. “The Force”
“It’s, like, this power for good, like…”
God is an impersonal force.
4. “If it Ain’t God, It…Ain’t!”
“If you see it, it’s divine!”
“God is everything.” PANTHEISM.
One may either be a Christian or a pluralist, but one cannot be both! People want to invoke the name of God without thinking too deeply about the nature of God. We can no longer assume that just because one says “I believe in God”, that we each understand what is meant by the term. Gallup says that ca. 90% or more Americans say they believe in God; be certain that the definition of MANY is well-removed from our own.
- From the point of view of the pluralist, the Christian is a bigot! Hate-monger; intolerant; pick your adjective.
- From the point of view of the Christian, the pluralist is an idolator!
3 Truths About God to Counter Contemporary Pluralism
These three truths are effectively NEVER put together into one by postmodern man. He may think of God in one of these ways, but never the three together. But this scandal to the mind of today’s man is just the Bible picture of God!
1. God is Transcendent.
A. He draws His existence only from Himself.
Bible does not argue for the existence of God; it rather assumes it. “In the beginning God…” What we are forced to acknowledge is that there is SOMETHING beyond the laws of cause/effect; there is SOMETHING or someone who is eternal. We are left with the eternality of matter or the eternality of One Who created that matter. The Bible portrays God as the One Who is eternal, with neither beginning nor end.