Why does God need to be worshiped?

by Scully 132 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Pole
    Pole

    FMZ,

    ::I heartily believe in God, but not in any kind of anthropomorphic personification of a deity.

    Yes. This I can certainly understand. As for the mighty warrior-loving parent analogy. I see your point, but I actually meant the OT image of God as a warrior who kills pagan children. This image is then followed by the one of a loving parent in the NT. I don't think one can accept both of those images at the same time and still calim metaphors are verifiable.

    As for my personal beliefs, I guess I can feel the Absolute, but it escapes any definitions (see Narkissos's post above). Therefore my belief can't be verified in any way, and it isn't very interesting is it? :-)

    Pole

  • BrendaCloutier
    BrendaCloutier
    My personal belief is that it was all just a clever ploy by people in power, who decided that it would be a good idea to use fear as a basis for worship.

    I ditto that statement.

    I find it interesting that the "old religions", usually polydeist, had a better balanced view of women, and natural science. OT, NT and Qoran do not. This includes the hebrews pre-Jehovah where women had more power and respect.

    My opinion is that Polydeism probably more closely explains "god" and (He She It They) attributes than does a monodeistic, "one god" concept. The exception is when you get into the incestual roman and greek gods (and Norsk) and their excuses for natural "phonomena", but again, it was a human way to explain and understand the world around them, in human, understandable terms. But isn't that whe we are all trying to do, and falling far short of the goal?

    Bren

  • BrendaCloutier
    BrendaCloutier
    I'm just trying to be more of an optimist lately, so I'm trying to look for the good things in religion :)

    The good things in "organized religion" as long as they are tempered: Community of similar understanding. Basis and peers for morals. Religious community support. Solid upbringing for children. Counseling, encouragement, support. Especially when a church opens up to the community at large and embrases the support of 12-step groups and other open community programs.

    In the past: The local moral government in a village or town. The source of community, spirituality, medical attention, archives, writing, maintaining tradition, safety and security.

    -B

  • BrendaCloutier
    BrendaCloutier

    LT, FMZ

    To dig a little deeper, yes, our love often does need an object. Sometimes we must bring our view of God down a notch to fit it in a human body, so that we can see him in a familiar way. This seems to be an effective (though flawed) way of giving God worship in a directed manner.

    What about LOVE being a verb: To act in a loving manner and do loving things to everyone and everything.? It's not really difficult. It doesn't require money. It requires action.

    By analyzing our actions and attempting to determine if that action was loving, or self serving, we learn more about love. A great book on the subject is "The Greatest Thing In The World" by Henry Drummond first pub. 1880. It is a thorough breakdown of 1Cor 13 on love, and one of the very few passages Paul wrote that I can accept (I don't like Paul).

    And now abideth faith, hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.--I COR xiii.

    2 more cents

    Bren

  • Narkissos
    Narkissos
    Just in case, I've got a few other quotations (especially though not exclusively from the Psalms) along the same line... and without a happy ending.

    That would appear to be the way that some interpreted it, though what was the recorded end result? I don't recall any that didn't ultimately have happy endings (as every story should go). I'd be happy to look at such accounts, though.

    I was thinking of Psalm 39, which ends with a very strange prayer (O God, just leave me alone); of the conclusion of Lamentations; of the fate of secondary characters in well-known narratives (such as Uriah the Hittite, who is depicted as a faithful Yahwist).

    Of course Job immediately comes to mind, in spite of the prose Epilogue which is meant as a "happy ending". If you concentrate on the poetic dialogues, however, the thesis of the three friends is exactly the belief of the old Wisdom: "the righteous one is never completely forsaken" (cf. also Psalm 37:25). And it is completely destroyed by Job. Paradoxically the Epilogue which vindicates Job actually sides with the friends (because it is a happy ending).

    I don't think the eucharist is viewed as an offering to God anywhere in the N.T. This is later Christian theology. But Jesus' death is (as you are quite aware)...

    And hence the Eucharist is a symbolic re-inactment of that?
    Doesn't Paul take the symbology of the food sacrifices of the OT and apply them as shadows of the same? I'm just trying to establish some continuity, in respects of your comments on food sacrifices in the OT.

    As Leolaia pointed out some time ago on another thread with the Didachรจ version of the Eucharist, among Judeo-Christians the Eucharist was not connected with Jesus' death at all. Even in the Pauline writings which connect the Eucharist with Jesus' sacrificial death the only allusion I can think of is faint (1 Corinthians 10:21, in the context of the communion in pagan temples: "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.") The sacrifice imagery is usually referred to the whole life of Christians (Romans 12:1; cf. Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 4:18, a money gift; 1 Peter 2:5) or the apostle's ministry (Romans 15:16; Philippians 2:17) rather than the Eucharist. The same goes for Hebrews 13:15f (sacrifice of praise and charity).

  • Scully
    Scully

    LT:

    Their Dad may be bigger than your dad (in their eyes) but nonetheless, if you disrespect Him in their presence they're likely gonna black your eye

    When I was little, one of the neighbourhood kids beat the snot out of another kid, because that kid had said to him "Your mom is fat." Later that day, he went home and noticed for the very first time that his mom was, indeed, very overweight.

    Sometimes love helps us overlook flaws in someone we care about that seem obvious to others. As I said earlier, what I said initially was not intended to offend anyone (especially not you), but it was an honest assessment based on the knowledge - albeit limited knowledge - I have of God.

    Love, Scully

  • Narkissos
    Narkissos
    You're talking about advanced theology, I'm talking about folk knowledge and the actual impact of religious metaphors on millions of people who take them seriously, give them a real ontological status and apply the consequences of the abstract analogies in their lives believing they do service to God.

    You're perfectly right. Actually, realizing this is what decided me to come out as an atheist (even though I'm still very much interested in theology as you may have noticed ). From the very beginning theologians have been using the word "God" as an unknown "x" and feel free to ascribe it whatever definition they wish. But "God" is not a "x". It is a popular word with a well-established meaning (Creator, First Cause, Almighty, etc.). And when you use the term against popular usage you are just fooling people and yourself. I'd love to use "God" as a metaphor, as we can use "Apollo," "Dionysios" or "Venus". It is possible in some limited circles, but as long as you deal with people who believe in God "for true" the term is not really available for metaphorical use.

  • LittleToe
    LittleToe

    Didier:

    (How many metaphors in the last paragraph? )

    A LOT!!!
    LOL

    I was thinking of Psalm 39, which ends with a very strange prayer (O God, just leave me alone);

    Not the normal run of things, huh?
    Was it abridged?

    Of course Job immediately comes to mind

    Wasn't he proved to have an entirely wrong pattern of thought regarding such things?

    Paradoxically the Epilogue which vindicates Job actually sides with the friends (because it is a happy ending).

    Ahhh, and all is finally well with the world, as we get to merrily trot our way home after listening to the storyteller...

    ...but as long as you deal with people who believe in God "for true" the term is not really available for metaphorical use.

    Just use a small "g", it works for me

    Leo:

    Anyone remember that old Star Trek episode

    I remember it well. Gawd I hate how that dates me

    SP:

    Yes, Muslims apply their beliefs to everyone. If you are not following the Koran, then you won't get the blessings.

    And is BibleGod TM any different?
    You don't receive the blessings unless you actually are in the covenant, regardless of how much you might think you're in it (at least that's how the story goes).

    Brenda:

    Simply, if you don't like what's being said, it is probably hitting a soft spot of your own (one finger pointing produces three pointing back) possibly your own doubts being triggered?

    Ermm... No - LOL
    You've been here how long? Quit psychoanalysing me, already
    If you read some of my past posts you may get a different picture of me than the one you appear to have acquired.
    Nonetheless, thanks for the hugs. They are ALWAYS appreciated (((hugs)))

    Pole:

    Ok, mate. I re-read your original comment and you used a lot of hedge words in it indeed.

    I like hedge words
    Besides, I'm rarely offended, especially on the subject of religion.
    Nonetheless, I do feel I have the right to stand up for those who might feel they are oppressed.
    We're not a dictatorship, we're an autonomous collective...

    I guess I can feel the Absolute, but it escapes any definitions

    And there stems many of the problems, especially if one is myopic enough to think that one's own god-view is the only "truth". Unfortunately many have and do, yes?

    FMZ:

    My personal belief is that it was all just a clever ploy by people in power, who decided that it would be a good idea to use fear as a basis for worship.

    People consciously worked through that logic?
    Well, maybe some did, but I have to question whether or not that was always the case, and in every case. I see plenty of sincere religionists who want nothing to do with power-struggles, so to leave the comment at that would be IMHO disingenuous to the majority

    To dig a little deeper, yes, our love often does need an object.

    I honestly can't think of an example where love doesn't have an object.
    Nor can I recall of a de-personalised source of that quality.
    I know it's using human concepts again, but that's what ya get when you use human terms to describe something that's allegedly transcendant.

    Sometimes we must bring our view of God down a notch to fit it in a human body, so that we can see him in a familiar way. This seems to be an effective (though flawed) way of giving God worship in a directed manner.

    Some do that, yes.
    Others do no such thing, but when trying to describe the ineffable, use such terms as they feel they may, whilst reserving the right to state that "it is all that and more so..."

    Scully:

    As I said earlier, what I said initially was not intended to offend anyone (especially not you), but it was an honest assessment based on the knowledge - albeit limited knowledge - I have of God.

    S'ok, there really is no offense taken, I assure ya.
    Luvs ya back some

  • Narkissos
    Narkissos

    Ross:

    There are many possible ways to read the book of Job, in view of its complex history and poor textual transmission. I feel there was something very provocative in Job's words which several consecutive additions have tried to hush up in different ways: Elihu's and Yhwh's discourses, then the prose Prologue-Epilogue setting.

    Yet I always find amazing that the last word of Job in the response to Yhwh's discourse is still highly ambiguous (as if something of the subversive character resisted the will of later writers): as it is in Hebrew it can be interpreted as complete subjection or utter rejection of Yhwh.

    Other subject: the problem is that the capital initial in "God" changes the meaning. "God" is not "a god".

  • LittleToe
    LittleToe

    Didier:
    Do you think the Jobian prologue/epilogue was an addition, as they seem to carry the same kind of language, encapsulating the prosaic body quite neatly?

    Taking the line that the end result was rejection, surely that would then take him outside of the "family" and thus the covenantal blessings? Ergo if the original story ends badly, then it's potentially an example of what can happen to even the greatest of people, if they ultimately reject God?

    I suspect that "God" can probably be used symbolically too, if there's tolerance for accepting that different parties will use the capitalised version for the name or concept of the "Almighty" they prefer (be it the Trinity, Allah, Jehovah, etc., etc.). It's a noun, at the end of the day.
    But generally you are correct. The lowercase "god" is a less loaded term (albeit marginally, for some).

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