Guest Author - Tracy Webb
I wonder sometimes if there are people who still believe that God is a man sitting on a cloud or in heaven judging everyone. From the beginning of time we have been conditioned to believe in something bigger than ourselves that is all powerful and omnipotent.
Does this belief keep us in fear? The implication of such an all powerful being is that we all abide by It’s rules. Even when we do not know It’s rules, we endeavour to live in such a way that could be seen as pleasing to It.
Through history people have sacrificed themselves, others and animals to appease their all powerful God. This implies that if we displease It we will be punished. What is the definition of God? The Oxford Dictionary states God as being; (In Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
If there is this ‘source of all moral authority’ how can it be judgmental? If God is an all loving, universal supreme being why would It withhold anything from anyone? Why would It have to be appeased?
It seems that having a ‘God’ over us has created many challenges in the world. There has been many wars fought in the name of God, and many serial killings committed in the His name too. All of which were felt justified by those involved. When Christianity came to Egypt all the inscription on the temples and tombs were defaced so the God’s and deities could not see their way to heaven.
The Aboriginals and other indigenous cultures were seen to be savages and in need of being ‘saved’ by the missionaries, who in actual fact made their lives worse than when they felt to interfere and make them more civilised.
I believe in a universal ‘power’ that is bigger than us. However, I see It as manifest as everything that exists. I see It as being self sustaining rather than self destroying. I also see it as non-judgemental and non-denominational. For me the universe functions naturally and without preference, it is us who make it personal.
When we consider the part we play in our life; the thoughts we have, the actions we take and the beliefs we hold; do we not then call our experiences to us rather than being victims of a surly unforgiving God?
For me it is difficult to think of an all loving God withholding anything from anyone. I see it as we withhold from ourselves because we do not believe it possible for our lives to be otherwise. Does God hold a big part in how you act in fear of retribution or do you just do what you want anyway and take responsibility for the outcome?
God can be justified in many ways and many atrocities have been committed in the name of ridding people of the Devil. Are these actions superstitious? Do they give power to others to make decisions about whether we are witches or demons? Why do we allow such practices?
Fear of a higher power has been responsible for a lot of suffering. Do you think a supreme being would be pleased about that? Would It take sides?
There has also been a lot of good come out of believing in God. Many people seek refuge in their faith and feel protected by a loving God. Compassion has been enriched amongst groups of similar beliefs and solace gained for the loss of loved ones. How can something that has it’s roots in love and compassion for all become so twisted and hateful?