Will the real Lord Almighty please stand up?

Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, January 7, 2016
Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, January 7, 2016

God seems to have a serious mixed message problem lately.

There are lots of people claiming to be His exclusive spokesperson lately, from the Islamic terrorists to the evangelical Bible thumpers. From the Trump-supporting tow truck driver who left a disabled Bernie Sanders-supporting woman on the side of road because “the Lord came to me and he said get in the truck and leave” to the Republican lawmaker who said that God personally told him to warn against same sex marriage. (I find it interesting to note that many of the challengers for the Republican presidential nomination claimed God told them to run. Yet the eventual nominee (Trump, as well as his two leading Democratic challengers) didn’t claim that divine persuasion was behind his run. You suppose God was pulling their legs?)

There are also those on the other side too, the many bloggers I link to in this blog, as well as this blog itself saying that God has told them a completely different thing from what the conservative Christians say God has told them. (Oh and don’t forget when athletes from sports teams all over the U.S. thank God for their win (never hear anything when they lose, do you?) even if they’re playing against a team that God supposedly favoured just last week. (Besides, I have it on good authority that God is a fan of the Winnipeg Jets and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, so they’re wrong.)) It’s gotten to the point that God has had to call a press conference angrily denouncing those who claimed to speak for him. (At least, according to the Onion. That’s a reputable source, right?)

This isn’t a new problem either. One of my favourite Bible passages is 1 Kings 22. In a nutshell, the king of Israel sought advice for how an upcoming battle would go for him. All of the prophets said that it would go well except one (after giving what is probably the most awesomely sarcastic reply in the entire Bible. Is it any wonder why I love this passage?) Despite not being a ruler who has ever shown any presumption to care about what God has said, he knew that this prophet was actually saying what God wanted him to say. How could he tell?

Homer the theologian
Homer the theologian
Probably because God often doesn’t say what we want Him to say. The sports teams above? They want to win. All those Republican candidates? They want the nomination. The tow truck driver? Well he’s against Bernie Sanders supporters, so God must be too, right? This is why God is God and we are mere humans, God is far wiser than we are. We, as humans, have agendas to push. Earlier, I compared the Bible to Wikipedia, saying that it is easy to add in our own agenda and make it say that it’s something God wants. And, as illustrated above, conservative Christians often have no problem doing that. Whereas one of the central tenets of progressive Christianity is questioning, an answer that readily agrees with what we expect isn’t going to cut it with a progressive Christian.

So the fact that there are so many different voices claiming to speak for God, all of which are different, and all of which conveniently fits what the speaker wants you to believe should be a good indicator if what the person is saying is really from God or is just a fake testimonial.

Either God is having fun and trolling everyone, or someone is lying.

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