The God Thing Redux

Have you seen the TV commercial where a fellow hits a tennis ball over an off-camera net and receives hundreds of balls back? So it is with ‘The God Thing,’ a recent post. To mix metaphors, mariner thought he could, like a fighter jet doing a touch and go on an aircraft carrier, do a quick touch and go on the carrier of Christendom. He should know better.

Mariner is more than willing to engage in dialogue so don’t stop until you are satisfied. In the meantime until disagreements subside, the subject will remain part of a post rather than put into a reply. Let’s start by dissecting mariner’s theological shorthand into something with broader perception:

God is not directly a separate thing. Yes, in retrospect, that is obfuscating. If the word ‘God’ is an element in our discussion, the perception that God is the Trinity is not disturbed; the Trinity is intact. Mariner’s intent was to advance Father Christoforos’s statement that we, the humans, utilize God’s spirit when we take action to invoke the Second Commandment, the Ten Commandments, and most of the Beatitudes not to mention Old Testament prophets and New Testament disciples. The Father was advocating (if not admonishing) humans to carry out the responsibility side of their faith. Put your money where your faith is, so to speak: if we love God, we have no choice but to love people. God created all of us and commands in his name to love all things. Father Christoforos simply said if you don’t love people, you can’t love God.

Feeling God through empathy. Regarding the idea that the way we feel God is through sympathetic, empathetic and compassionate feelings is not one that can be dismissed. Jesus said more than once, especially in his parables, that if we behave in a certain way, great will be our reward in heaven. It may be helpful if one follows that thought as God’s tit-for-tat. Latch on to the experience that people describe when they have immersed themselves in a charitable act. Think about the athletes, celebrities, common citizens and just anyone who is committed to helping someone who has testified to the resultant deep satisfaction and reward; it is an experience too similar among them not to be a profound, deep seated human experience. Through an intense feeling of sympathy, empathy and compassion along with personal sacrifice, the flower that blooms is God’s Grace.

Showing a superior force. The superior force is the healing power of God displayed by Jesus in any number of healing events. This is frequently illustrated throughout the New Testament. Although most easily displayed as a medical advantage, the healing spirit of God applies to moments in the lifetime of every one of us. As God’s emissary, you show the power of God through the power of your commitment – expressed as sympathy, empathy and compassion. These three sensations are the tools by which you express your commitment to God, God’s domination of all things, and the power of love itself.

Mariner hopes these clarifications help. Clarifications aside, he wants to reiterate the importance of applying this portion of the body of Christian works, repeated from ‘The God Thing:’

Today, each of us knows the bottom line: Each of us has a responsibility to nurture compassion and empathy as key parts of our personal value system. In the present millennia, this commitment to expressing God’s values through our personal actions has become critical. Have a link to God’s URL – it is critical to our existence.

Ancient Mariner

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