Friday, 18 September 2009

On God's Provisional Love

The recent responses by readers about the contraversy created by the archbishop of Cincinnati to bar Sister of Charity Louise Akers from teaching catechetics because of her public support of women's ordination in the Catholic church (see National Catholic Reporter are a typical example of how divisive and militant the Catholic Church has become on the question of Tradition and faith. It would seem that for some conservative Catholics God takes a back seat to Church dogma while a more liberated segment is searching for a God who does not seek favours or offer reward for the ‘right’ answers.

Accordingly, I wonder what God we are following today and does he/she fall into any of the following categories? Perhaps you have many more such challenging images and would be willing to share them. 

My God can only be found in strict obedience to my religion

To be Holy means to follow strict religious traditions and rules

God’s truth is only revealed in Tradition and Holy Scripture

God’s truth is not revealed outside your particular religious belief, i.e., Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Budhism, etc.

Only the Catholic Church posesses the ‘fullness of the Truth’

God will only love me when I am completely remorsefull and confess my sins

God will only love me when I attend my religious services on a regular basis

God walks away from the sinner

God hates a sinner

God punishes those who do not obey His will for them

God created us in His image therefore he looks exactly like the man painted by Michael Angelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

At the end of time God will seperate the sinner from the just and cast the sinner into hell for all eternity

God wills that the forces of good and evil engage in a final battle to determine who will join him in heaven and who will be condemned to a fiery hell

God condemns all sexual perverts, including gays, lesbians, etc.

God condemns those who did not follow the ten commandments

Satan is a seperate entity and wants to steal your soul and is totally responsible for all the evil in the world 

No one who does not know Jesus will get to heaven

God condemns people who are Pro-Choice

God condemns people who have committed suicide

The Bible is the direct word from God and without error

New Age is an instrument of the devil (Satan)

God rewards only those who perform good deeds

God wants us to evangelize so that everyone will become members of my particular religion

God punished Doctors and nurses who perform abortions

People who have not been baptized cannot enter heaven

God’s salvation will only be realized upon my death, providing I have confessed my sins

Good things and miracles can only happen to people who are ‘holy’

God keeps a record of all my wrong and right doings

If I or anyone else is suffering, it is God’s will

If my prayers are not answered it is because I have not prayed properly

God does not answer prayers from people who have sinned

Celibacy is a church tradition, not a gift from God who does not desire married clergy

Sex between married couples must be reserved for pro-creation

Jesus was a Jew who founded the Christian Church

Priestly ordination is only for men and not a gift from God which women could also enjoy

God does not have a sense of humour

Masturbation is a sin

Missing Mass is a sin

God is more interested in my sins than my potential

No one can be following God if they are not members of a religious community.

Putting your conscience ahead of religious beliefs, i.e., dogma, doctrine, etc. is a heresy and a sin

Is it not time for us as adults to embrace a God who loves us unconditionally and created us for the benefit of all humankind? 

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