I am puzzled by how God manifests in our culture. In some cultures God is looked to for provision and the hope of a better day. If I am hungry, poor, & marginalized my God looks different than the God of someone that has plenty to eat, boat loads of money, & in power over a system.
God looks a lot like us when we need God to. God is a man, a woman, or some mysterious sadistic a-hole, when we need God to be. I am guilty of this. At one time I wielded the masculine God language, until I learned other ways to express my faith that sought to honor the nature and mystery of the divine creator.
When folks worship God how they do it says a lot about themselves and who God is in their world. In Kenya God reflects the magic and wonder of a place full of superstition and absent widespread understanding of science. Absent of multiple ways to describe the relationship between Creator & creation superstition appears and is embodied in the colonizers religion. As time passes the colonized adopt the colonizers religion and it assumes the role of explaining the world around them.
We see similar action in lower economic areas of the US. Without a way to describe the world around them the divine nature of God offers explanation to express the world to which we [they] exist. If we examine the difference between the “traditional” African-American Christian world-view [a big ass generalization here] and the “Progressive” Reformed Anglo world -view we can see many differences.
Take the Obama election as a case. In California Prop 08 was on the ballot. This proposition if passed would limit “marriage” to one man & one woman, and this is would be the only “marriage” recognized by the State. Also on the ballot was the first African-America to be held up as a candidate for the office of President.
Both camps largely supported Obama for President. They disagreed greatly on Prop 08. With over 70% of the African-America population in CA voting for the proposition and with over 70% of the Progressive Anglo vote going against the proposition. We see where God is viewed differently in these two communities.
The literal interpretation of scripture is the prime argument when one deals with Gay rights issues across this nation. No one evokes the argument of separation of church and state; say a few from the libertarian’s camp.
As I see it God has become a banner for each of us to individually certify our opinions and to garner support from the larger body. If you can convince enough folks that God is indeed the motivator of your ideas ten you are legitimized and gain public opinion.
The problem with this is that God is beyond our understanding. If we can imagine God as this or that, it probably is not God. I agree with the Muslim idea on this. If we can conceive of God then it is not God because God is beyond us in all ways. What I see, hear, or am lead by is myself. My own desires, my own dreams, my own hopes disguised as God so that I may indeed fulfill my desires and consume power. It is all about the power.
Jesus came to destroy the power structures and turn our eyes to God. That in our relinquishing of power we may live a life that is powerless.
Can you imagine a world where God was God and we were powerless? I can’t but I hope to one day.