Is God losing his power?
Around three weeks ago, one of you (I think it was bohm) posted a link with a superbly written thesis attempting to prove Yahweh as depicted in the Old Testament doesn't exist. I'm nearly through with it (it's thick and parts of it are beyond my understanding, but it's fascinating). One of the arguments in particular stayed in my mind for a couple of days (I think it was the argument of polymorphic projection) and then something weird happened: in my prayer that night (yes, I'm still clinging to this habit; my love for Jehovah is still very real although I accept he may not exist) it occurred to me maybe the argument wasn't so far-fetched after all, maybe the God who lovingly created us has actually grown old and lost most of His power and He will die some day. And then I thought: "What if it is true? It's another possibility, isn't it? It would at least help to answer why He is not stepping in any more. Maybe all He can do now is listen to us in agony, wishing with all His heart He could help us out of our suffering but powerless to do so (imagine for example the pain of a parent whose child begs him to cure his/her cancer), putting up with our insults at His silence and passivity, totally heartbroken while He observes our plight, maybe even feeling responsible for it since He created us...". And I suddenly felt an overwhelming feeling of love and pity for him... PITY?!?! HOW WEIRD IT FELT! And then I said: "Jehovah, or whatever your name is, if you are there, if you are listening, I want you to know I love you as much as I always have, even if you can't help us any more, and I'm sorry if we are burdening you with our worries. I'm on your side, I love you for having created me. Don't feel bad please. I'm with you..." And I went on along those lines.
For the first time in my life, I felt sorry for God. This was a new feeling to me. It felt like a blasphemy a little. It may just be a subconscious strategy to cling to my belief in God while conveniently excusing His lack of evidence in our world nowadays. I don't know...
Those of you guys who are old enough to have gone through this: Do you remember the moment in your life when for the first time you looked at your father and mother as an adult and you understood the roles had changed, and how from that point on YOU would have to protect him or her instead of the other way round? It's sort of a painful realization, isn 't it? It happened to me with both my father and mother (at different points in life) and now I recognize this same familiar feeling in regard to my Heavenly Father. It's weird...
I'd love to know if any of you have ever had similar feelings...
By the way, I love you guys. A lot. I mean it.
Goldensky, long time no see! I have really missed you .
I can relate to what you're feeling because that's how I felt myself for many years. I went from being a fervent believer to my atheism of today. Yet, so many times, I felt like I could eventually turn to the bearded guy up there and speak my mind. I believe that is because I was still a believer, but organized religion didn't offer a suitable "container" for the faith I had then.
Yes, I can remember the moment when I realized my parents had become weak and needed my help. It was also the moment when I realized that I had outgrown them more than before. In years past I had been an adult, but they were still "higher up" than me. Now they weren't. I believe this is what is coming to you now. You have outgrown the figure of God as a higher up and have come to consider him like a weak parent. You still care for God, however.
Hope this helps.
I think that if we look for a God that will solve our problems, will punish the wicked and will fix the world to what WE want it to be, you may will be looking for something that doesn't exist.
Personally I look for and crave a personal realtionship with God and I don't ask him to fix my problems or fix thre world, just to give me the strength and endure for ME to do it.
I don't know if God gets old and I don't know if living really long equals immortality or if having lots of power equals omnipotence, but I do know that I don't require God to be both.
Hello, dgp! It's delightful to read your answer. Thank you. And do you know what? While I'm right in the middle of my deep ponderings, my husband (never a witness -only a witness to my life-long hard core stand) turns round in bed and asks me: "What are you thinking about?" "Oh, I was praying". "And what were you saying?" I doubt for few seconds and then spurt out: "I'm telling God not to worry if He can't help us any more because He's weak now because of old age, I love him just the same". He pauses and turning back to his side just says with concern in his voice: "Oh, come on, honey, don't think such weird things. Come on, go to sleep now". I laugh inside, my husband has been watching my reactions from a distance withough saying much since I quit meetings last June, he is so AMAZED he just can't get over it and I don't seem to stop surprising him these last few months with my novel ideas. Poor soul, in that respect he has little to offer. But you guys fill the void to perfection.
Perhaps God is just letting us grow up as a race by allowing us to go through and solve our own problems and by letting us suffer the consequences of our actions. Putting all the responsibility for cleaning up the mess on Him is abdicating the responsibility for ourselves and He's having none of that. Maybe.
I don't know any more than anyone else about this. I'm becoming more agnostic each day. I can't believe everything came from nothing; there is a consciousness that began it all and still exists somewhere, I think. But I don't think He's correctly defined by any of man's religions. Maybe He is a unique entity with a distinct personality or maybe he's some sort of universal mind shared by everyone and everything collectively.
I don't think he's necessarily old and weak but if you like reading fiction Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy for young adults depicts him as exactly that. Good read.
Dear PSacramento, I think you are very sensible praying for strength rather than for a solution. I think that's pretty much what I've been doing lately. My point is He may not even have the power to give us that strength. I'm a bit jealous of you for not expecting omnipotence or eternity from God. To me that thought is something new, since I've always assumed God possessed both for the simple fact of being God. It would take me a little while to assimilate it. For the moment it's just, as I said, one more possibility.
I think that power, the kind of power we need to survive and endure, is a byproduct of faith, at least for some anyways.
I think that power, that inner strength if you will, is something that never runs out as long as WE fuel it, but the fuel to me, as a christian, is our Lord Jesus and our Father and the hope and faith we have in them.
God may well be eternal, but that is truly irrelevant for US right NOW.
Dear Mad Sweeney, I love your openmindedness as regards the nature of God. I'll definitely mark those books for future reading. Thanks.
Goldensky. If power is defined as the "capacity to bring about change" maybe God LOST his power a long long time ago-