By Jeff Goins
I have something to say to the fast faith, consumerist churches of America. It’s not something that you want to hear, but something that I believe you need to hear. I definitely needed to hear it. I used to try to fit God into my own broken paradigm, instead of fitting into God’s way of seeing the world. I used to relegate Christianity to political stances and moralism. And I was missing out. It took me awhile to realize that it was my theology, my view of God, that needed fixing.
Maybe that’s where you are. If such is the case, then it’s time to face the facts: Your god sucks.
Your god dwells in man-made, concrete buildings. He likes frilly things like Easter brunches and well-decorated narthexes. He appreciates a good program and applauds any effort put forth to get people to come inside the building. When the congregants leave the building, he retires to the pastor’s office until the next scheduled activity.
Your god gets mad at you for no good reason like a fickle, teenage girl, and all you can do to make it up to him is try to be really, really good or at least do your best to hide all your faults. You return the favor, doing unto others as has been done unto you, compelling your “brothers and sisters” to perform religious acts of obligation, regardless of what’s in their hearts.
Your god doesn’t care particularly for the poor or the downtrodden. Anything that’s happening on the other side of the world is of little relevance to him; he knows that the Western world is where all the real, Holy Spirit action is happening.
He has a soft spot in his heart for rich people and appreciates the excess of time they have to dedicate to going to church. He’s quite pleased that they’re not caught up in where their next meal will come from, so as not to bother him with such pathetic requests. He has a strong ethic about only helping people that first help themselves. He’s a fan of capitalism, listens to conservative radio and doesn’t have time for weaklings.
When I think about it, your god looks a lot like Donald Trump.
Like I said, your god sucks.
Your god inspired a theology that says bad things happen to people just because they do and that it’s your job to deal with it. According to him, the world’s problems are part of “the plan.” He allows pain in people’s lives, because they’re sinful and it’s their own fault. He doesn’t like to intervene, because that would upset the nature of the universe. His expectation is that you will diligently perform your duties and not bother him with petty requests like alleviating the suffering of the oppressed. He’s just too busy and aloof to redeem difficult and hopeless situations.
Your god is a one-size-fits-all, prepackaged sort of god that could be sold as an impulse buy in the Wal-Mart checkout line next to the king-sized candy bars. Your god doesn’t want a contrite heart, but just some really good sacrifices. Your god is more concerned about whether you dragged yourself to church on Sunday than he is about what you did for the guy standing on the street corner. Your god uses felt boards and attendance sheets. His idea of grace is letting slide those few times you fell asleep during the sermon, so long as you’ve made up for it with plenty of other activities.
Your god is a black-and-white god with principles, agendas and schedules that can’t be broken or bent. He isn’t interested in relationship or communication. Your god doesn’t move or speak in personal ways anymore; that was before the Reformation and the printing press.
Again, I say: your god sucks.
Your god sucks because he’s controllable. Your god sucks because he’s tame and predictable. Most of all, your god sucks because he looks nothing like Jesus, and I’m convinced he’s not the real God at all.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
By Jeff Goins