I started to think about my own concept of God when I read the following comment by Nate on timesandseasons.org:
I think we have a too anthropomorphic view of God, “a God who weeps. We see Him in our own image, we image Him with the same outrage, the same dogmatism, the same ethics, the same rationality and common sense as humans have.
But I think God is more than this. He is playful, unexpected God, one who deliberately misleads. He likes to manifest himself in the form of “stumbling blocks” “rocks of offence,” he likes to call “the weak things, the unlearned and despised.” He is not an efficient God, but a 40 years in the wilderness God.
I see God as a great, celestial fiddle player, who is constantly sight-reading the music of eternity as it comes before His eyes and making beautiful music out of it, no matter how dark, or how difficult. I see him as a healer, not as a preventer. He lets s**t happen, and then makes it marvelous. He wants us to develop divine Stockholm Syndrome, to say as Job, “though he slay me, yet will I trust him.”
There are so many things to comment on in this version of God, I don’t know where to start. I think it is interesting that a Mormon would make a comment like “I think we have a too anthropomorphic view of God.” Isn’t an “anthropomorphic view” what Mormonism is all about, a God of “flesh and bones”?
But when it comes down to it, I somewhat agree with Nate. Obviously, the eternal nature of a “anthropomorphic” God means that he is substantially different from humankind as we know it. For example, it is unlikely that God’s bodily functions are anywhere close to anything resembling ours. But from what I understand, sex is still in play.
But Nate’s description of a Nero-esque God (“celestial fiddle player”) seems truly bizarre. It reads like a bad sci-fi plot. In point of fact, his God seems closer to the gnostic creator of the universe than it does a traditional Mormon version of God.
While Nate says that his version of God “likes to manifest himself in the form of stumbling blocks,” my version is nothing like Nate’s or a more typical Mormon version of God that listens and reacts to every prayer.
I’m not sure I believe in God, but if I did here are three things that I would definitely believe:
- God is a progressing entity. For me, this life doesn’t make sense unless there is eternal progression. And God is very much at the center of this physical, spiritual, and intellectual evolution.
- God is standoffish. For me, He is not up in heaven or Kolob stirring our earthly pot. Prayer is meditation and little else. I agree with Nate that God is not a preventer. But unlike Nate I don’t see him as a literal healer. Physician heal thyself. Or in Nate’s case, lawyer heal thyself.
- We are co-creators with God. We are responsible for the impacts we have on the Earth and its inhabitants. Love thy neighbor, and I would add love the Earth.
Beyond these three points, God is a mystery to me.