Friday, June 09, 2006
Why God Doesn't "Bless"
When I think of God, I think of an "object of devotion" and a "frame of orientation" (in the Frommian sense) for stability in a chaotic world full of contingency. Of course there are good things in the world and we have had good experiences but alot of what we might call a "blessing" from God is just our own interpretation of a an event. For some, they feel blessed that they have never had cancer, others expect not to have cancer. Some feel blessed that they are married, others feel blessed that they are divorced. Often Christian people associate wealth and social status with a "blessing" from God, but when they realize that they have become obsessed by material objects and their so-called friends have become disingenuous, they then feel "cursed." The Old Testament, the first part of the standard "Bible" as the Catholic Church would define, tells a story about a good man named Job who did nothing wrong but God punished him anyway by "de-blessing" him with the death and ruin of his family and livelihood. Some Christians would say that it was the Devil that hurt Job because God simply allowed it but, logically, if God is infinite, it would be impossible for the Devil to be "outside" God. However, despite that, the story only goes to point out the dual-nature of life itself and that the terms "blessing" and "curse" are relative terms and hermeneutically define each other. Through time we often come to see one was actually the other. Thus, it doesn't make much sense to say that "I prayed for this and God blessed me" because, interpretively, the flip side to any blessing is a curse. Logically, a fair and unconditionally loving God, would not play favorites with one person over another just because Dudley Do-right always went to church on Sunday, paid his taxes, and supported the war effort. God, as interpreted by theologians such as Paul Tillich and theorists such as Ken Wilber, transcends any conceptualization one may try to put into language. God transcends the very opposites of Good and Evil and thus defies any scapegoating by hate-filled Christians and hate-filled non-Christians. Thus, it serves no logical purpose to discuss "blessing" as an objective term as it implies that God is small-minded, partial and suffering from an emotional disorder and in need of anger management. A "blessing" is a relative and interpretive term and so if one wants to feel blessed than go for it but don't boast about it or use it as a 700-hundred foot pulpit to preach from because things in life change and life has a habit of knocking all of our dicks in the dirt. But then again, maybe that humility (humiliation) is the blessing.