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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An article on "God as I don't understand Him"

My friend Red reminded me last night about the new AA catch-phrase, "God as I don't understand Him."  He's hearing it more and more these days in his neck of the woods.

We've all read about 'God as we understand Him,' and we know this is meant for the addict to abandon his old ideas about God and open himself to the experience of God found in the 12 Steps.  After all, sober alcoholics experience God's grace enough to stay sober, right?  Or, is recovery just a psychological mind-trick?

Here is a an article that I think sheds some light on how people come to this conclusion about "God as I don't understand Him":

Even Orthodox become addicted because of the problems she describes.  It is because they eventually fall into the problem of Fundamentalism which wrote about here: Levels of Belief

Christians that become rigid Fundamentalists hem in God behind a series of rules and 'spiritual laws' that at first seem to 'describe' God, but actually 'circumscribe' Him into a small area which He never departs from.  So, people who do not keep the rules automatically qualify for hell or beheading or neglecting, because 'We' know the rules and God's rules are immutable.

That is just dumb.

God does what He wants because He is God.  Does He break His word? No.  Are people going to hell if they refuse to believe in Him?  What a load of malarkey!  After death, there won't be a chance to not believe.  That's not the real point.

The real point is that we will, at death, finally have to accept God on His terms.  There will be no more chances to dodge the question.  This life is about getting ready to meet Him as He is, not whether we 'believe' or not.  That just isn't an issue.  An atheist may very well find himself face-to-face with the God that he secretly hoped for but never heard from us because we were too busy shouting obscenities in his direction.

The Fundamentalist believes more in God's rules than God's love, which is why he is actually quite far from true faith and is highly susceptible to addiction.  We need to be careful to not attribute too much power to our understanding of God:

Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways 
higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Is 55:6-9)

We must be willing to let go of God and accept Him as we don't understand Him.

AA meets Apophatic Theology... are we seeing even more of a creep towards Orthodoxy?

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