Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Will the Real God Please Stand Up?

To be totally fair, we should go back to the beginning….before religion….before human beings started to formulate their ideas about who God is, to figure out who the "real" God might be.

If there is a God, he would be there, at the beginning, and before religion, because the first distinguishing fact about God we could come up with would have to be that he came first.

God is the First Cause, The Author, The a priori Reality. This characteristic is foundational. It's what, among all other possible God-characteristics, is the absolute necessary one. The real God is the Creator of all other.

In fact, this characteristic is at the core of all religions, at least the monotheistic ones.

Judaism worships a God who existed before the beginning, and created all else that exists besides Himself.

Christianity worships the Judaic God as well, embracing the same story of beginnings.

Islam's first declaration about Allah is that He is the Creator.

Even Hinduism, which diverges into polytheism in its various manifestations, yet believes in one supreme God, who is the Creator (And the Enjoyer! I like that) of the universe.

Many Indigenous religions can also be traced back to worship of The Great Spirit, the Creator of everything, at the beginning, before they evolved (devolved?) into polytheism, and began worshipping the creation as well as, or instead of, the Creator.

In the beginning God created. . . Thus begins the Judeo-Christian Holy Book. The real God existed before all else, outside of all else, and brought all else into being. We might say, therefore, that all religions have got it right, in terms of beginnings and pre-beginnings of the universe.

So here we start. Our beginning. From here on, we can explore more about the nature of God. But first, we might have to talk about why we would bother. Who cares?

Well, from a purely intellectual standpoint, it seems to me it would be hard to find a more intriguing subject of study than the Creator of everything. But beyond the intellectual level I find an even deeper and more relevant pull in myself toward God-thoughts.

After "What is it like?" all human intellectual pursuits usually gravitate to "What does it matter?" Or, more definitively, "Why does it matter to me?" Beyond intellectual curiosity, why should we pursue God-thoughts?

It's obvious that humans are more than intellectual beings. The gravitational pull toward questions that begin with "why" is a manifestation of a strong pull, in human beings, toward meaning and purpose.

So far, I expect you are with me. But here's something you might want to argue with:

I would like to suggest that the most significant defining characteristic of human beings—the one that drives us even more deeply than the hunger for meaning—is the longing for relationship.

What does this longing for relationship have to do with the nature of God?

Another good question. I want to ponder that one in the next blog post. Meanwhile, feel free to interact with these musings, please. Or challenge them. I'm brainstorming here, and very open to other thoughts.

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