By Chuck Redfern
The outcry over God’s failure to adjust himself to human expectations reached a high-pitched scream yesterday with yet another startling revelation: God – the Great “I AM,” The Almighty Monarch, the Creator of all Existence, the One Who Pulled the Pin at the Big Bang – is registered with neither major American political party.
Pundits immediately speculated that the Lord of the Universe has not signed on with any minor party either. Nothing saying “God” is on the roster of the Libertarian Party, California’s Peace and Freedom Party, the Liberal and Conservative Parties of New York, the current wave of Green Parties, or the Vegetarian Party. Nor has God paid dues to any of the Socialist Parties.
“Surprising as it may seem, God seems to think He’s above it all,” said one spokesman who wished to remain anonymous. “I mean, there is firm evidence that the Lord cares – much more so than we can possibly fathom – but, despite numerous protests and opinion-poll results showing that many wish He’d make a choice, God won’t be pegged.”
This comes on the heels of last week’s startling discovery that Jesus Christ, whom Christians avow to be God Incarnate – God, living a genuinely human life, on the Earth – was not even a US citizen. Indeed, the Middle Eastern Semite – who would have taken anti-Jewish slurs as a personal affront – was suspected of rebellious leanings and may not have been admitted into the United States had it existed.
The scandal began last year when investigators culled the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, which Christians regard as God’s Holy Word (most of which they get from Judaism, their mother faith), and discovered that America is not even mentioned. Not once. Not even in a footnote. They zero-in on the Middle East, where civilization first began and, apparently, will end. God seems to have structured things so the area would forever draw our attention. Unconfirmed reports suggest that God specifically authorized the region’s vast oil reserves.
Even more ominous, it was discovered that God has survived quite well without the United States and would remain in the best of health should the nation vanish, which means He’s not enslaved to America’s alleged Christian identity or lack of it. Some cite US history and point out that the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod with the specific vision of establishing a Christian realm. Others note that certain colonies, such as New Hampshire, were founded primarily for mercantile interests. Still others point to phraseology in Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, which the United States approved in 1797 to stem the tide of war on the Barbary Coast: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion …”
God is fine either way. God has survived and thrived through the rise and fall of many civilizations, and all systems are “go” for his unending well-being.
“All this shouldn’t surprise any of us,” said one unidentified spokesperson. “God tends to be transcendent. His character is very consistent. We only think it isn’t because we go through fads. In fact, the very inflexible consistency of God’s character makes it appear as if He’s a chameleon. Not so. We’re the chameleons.”
The spokesman pointed, again, to the Bible. Despite attempts to slice out passages, each successive edition contains the same material as the last. Polling data show that sections rise and fall in popularity with the fashions of the ages. For example, the Bible is littered with commands against lying. An example: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices” (Colossians 3:9). This verse is pasted to the New Testament Book of Colossians like glue; but, apparently, it is not always trendy among politicians who claim to be dedicated Christians but make misleading statements about their records. Perhaps they think they’re exempted due to their sky-high speaking fees, best selling books, profitable reality show contracts, Fox News appearances, and momentary appeal to some Evangelical Christians.
“It’s fascinating that they think that,” said yet another anonymous spokesman, “because there is no indication that God exempts anyone from that commandment. In fact, God regarded telling the truth as so important that He killed Ananias and Sapphira when they lied after withholding their offering. That’s serious.”
Accumulating wealth seems to be an absolute non-talking point with God. Jesus told a rich young man to sell all his goods, and one anonymous spokesperson recited 1 Timothy 6:10 (“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”), but withdrew the comment, asking that it be placed on “deep background” until a second source confirmed it. A Google search substantiated the verse’s continued existence in the thousands of online editions, and it’s still there in all the English hard-copies as well as in all other languages.
Verses forbidding taking innocent life are still there, and there is every indication that all humans are valued, no matter how primitive, dependant, or helpless. This has obvious implications for a certain debate that raises the heat among normally reasonable, kind, loving, and humane people – but the teaching remains despite the name-calling and rage.
Nor is there any indication that we suddenly abandon people once they’re outside the womb. The question arises: What does God think of a society that structures its medical system so that a vast number cannot afford insurance – and, to add insult to injury, coverage can be dropped for those needing it the most? Exactly how “pro-life” is it to give people medical aid when they’re in the womb and then deny it to those outside?
Focus group studies show that God’s unpopularity escalates with all factions once they grasp the implications of the Lord’s commands. But God remains unimpressed. He clings to Isaiah 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”
God’s evasiveness grows more ostensible when discussing sex: Passages calling for sexual discipline remain in the text despite their massive unpopularity. God, who was not the least bit surprised to discover that sex is pleasurable (in fact, authoritative sources maintain that He actually created the act and specifically designed it to be, well, “hot”), still wants it to be used in the context of a covenantal relationship called “marriage.” He was also not the least bit surprised when told that children often emerge nine months after the act. Apparently, that’s precisely the idea.
Investigators gasped when they discovered Jesus’ routine among the handicapped. A crowd in his era behaved like a recent gathering and ridiculed a disabled person. Christ actually called blind Bartimaeus forward and healed him (Mark 10: 46-32), which was consistent with his overall conduct: he always had “compassion” on the sick (see Mark 14:14).
And then there is God’s naïve economic theory – which, experts say, flies in the face of uncontrollable market forces. God commanded His people to practice what can only be called “reverse supply and demand”: “When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price … Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 25:16-17). To top it off, the Almighty promulgated a strategy that would have eliminated institutional, generational poverty: all debts were canceled and land would revert back to its original owners every 50 years. Provisions were made to prevent hyper inflation and deflation (see various verses in Leviticus 25).
“The omnipresent, all-knowing being was far too idealistic when He made these proposals,” said one expert. “Clearly, God could have learned a thing or two from the managers of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG before He suggested an economy demanding such a stifling regulatory process.”
But the greatest controversies revolve around what the Bible does not say. God endorses none of the economic models currently in vogue. He gives no opinion on capitalism; none on Democratic Socialism; and none on a mixed economy. God clearly had a burden for the poor, but He did not specifically spell-out how these principles should be implemented in a secular, pluralistic society. He gives us no “system” per se, no sets of rules on market economics. In fact, the Bible’s over-riding theme is not systems or rules, but relationship: God is continually chasing after us, craving friendship, longing for a husband-wife intimacy even in times when He must display wrath (see Hosea 2:16). Rules, systems, and morality are an outcome of this relationship. God’s motif is harmony while ours is competition. Even disagreements over issues not specifically addressed in Scripture can be used as a means of getting together, pooling information, brain storming, and achieving unanticipated resolutions. Friendships are formed in the process.
“God just doesn’t get it,” said one spokesman. “Love and idealism might be great and everything, but they are not practical. The Almighty Ruler of the Universe needs to learn leadership techniques and skills from today’s movers and shakers. We’ll pencil Him in with an appointment with US Senate leaders. They can coach him on the latest management trends
first published on www.creedible.com on April 9, 2010