“Hope in a Weak God”

Posted: November 8, 2022 in Uncategorized

“Hope in a Weak God”

There comes a time to break the silence created by liberal thought. A time to move beyond fear. A time to speak one’s truth, even if it will not be welcome. There comes a time
for all to call into question what has gone before. There is a time for the singing of a new song, for the claiming a new understanding of power, where we find courage, and dare to know who we are. There is a time when out of the cosmos, out of earth, out of ourselves, there rises an irresistible Spirit from within us.  This is our calling as followers of the man named Yeshua.

To no longer seek the might of God on our side but rather to acknowledge that that God does not exist because that God is too small and seek the God that insists the God that empowers us and the God that we find in the event of loving.

The Dalai Lama reminded us that “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. You always have this choice”

The many years of relying on might to illumine who we are and how God is in relation with us have ended, they no longer satisfy us as a species within a cosmic evolutionary reality. The lack of hope, the decline of the church the rising inequity situation and the loss of absolutes and the level of intolerance all suggest that what we believe and how we understand reality need our courage and our compassion to become our mode of being.

If we believe that the Jesus way is about living a radical love with a lavish generosity. If we believe that an extravagant forgiveness and an inclusive hospitality are the compassionate actions required as an image of the sacred life then we need to support a selfless service along with a passion for justice within a creative nonviolent society as to provide the event of a simple safe living for everyone.

The idealism, the foolishness, the alternative that the Yeshua story gives us is not the success of the mighty, the sorted ones, the clever an but where is the d in-control ones and here I would read the most efficient, effective evidence based successful. Yes, they are needed for today’s economically prioritized world but there is a need for a better balance. How to do things is crucially important but we need to know why we do things also. We have become very good at making things happen efficiently, we have become manipulators of our cosmic reality but we are destroying ourselves because we have not asked ourselves why we need to do this. In our Christian tradition we have been saying that God is in control as we have been destroying ourselves, we have been saying Yeshua has saved us from destruction yet now we know this has not happened. We have been saying our hope lies in a God who exists and is in charge and yet fewer of us believe this than ever before. So, something is not right and we have spent years trying to figure out how to be followers of the guy Yeshua and all we have left it seems is that we care for ourselves better. Sing the right hymns, say the right prayers, make sure our members know we care for them.

All credible so -called Christian acts but where is the radical love defined, where is the inspiration for lavish generosity resourced and inspired? What does forgiveness look like? Who receives the hospitality in other words who is the stranger? Who is the other? Is service just doing things for people or is it about changing their world. What does Sacred Justice look like and how do we make the paradigm shift required for a nonviolent simple life?

As John D Caputo puts it; The weakness of God is that God does not exist, the folly of God is that God leaves existence up to us, and we have the choice to either make God exist or not. So, does God exist? The answer is we don’t know yet because history is not over yet. We are still making it and that has to mean that what we name as God is insisting and calling us to participate in the making of the New Jerusalem that the old Judaic prophets called for and the Kingdom of God that Yeshua called for. Our call might be to participate in the caring for the planet and thus the creation of the cosmos. Our hope is in the shared writing of the poem of human existence, the writing of the song of the universe not as a task to be done but as an event to be lived now and forever. Read the symbols, interpret the depths and breadths of human existence and write the story we find in the poor the disadvantaged and the outcast for there we understand the weak power of God.

I like the challenge of the history that claims that under Constantine the Empire did not convert to Christianity but that Christianity converted to the Empire. We still live with the results of a Christianity that feigns supremacy, that is antagonistic to the poor and the outcast. We hang on to the charitable kudos as justification while being soft on its sustenance of the status quo and we hide behind strategic theories and feel-good politics in a delusion that might is right and that the only options are the instinctive and primitive fight or flight options. They have got us again and again to the brink of nuclear annihilation and an industry of diplomacy that is self-sustaining rather than shifting the paradigm. Yes, I am being harsh and dismissive in my comments but when addressing systemic abuse and complacency one needs to be. If the church is to survive as a human organization it must change or die and I am far from the first to say that. The truth is that any form of fundamentalism is not theology. On theoretical grounds it has nothing to stand on philosophically or theologically and is a pathology, a profound fear that the ground is shaky and it is. It can only exist in literalism and denies that “Christianity” is a process, a movement or the Spirit in time. Like Joshua they are asking that their God stops the course of the sun across the sky. A quote I read is that it’s like Donald Trump screaming, “Stop Counting, if you keep counting, I’m going to lose” We might say “If God exists, he is just resting at the moment”. As Caputo suggests, when Jesus departed and Left his Spirit behind its s as if he were saying “I have done my part, the rest is up to you.”

Last week I wrote a little about the effect of the theory of Humanism, which in its modern sense, arose in the seventeenth century and consists of placing value on autonomy, reason, and science. And I suggested that since God is not a conclusion of evidence-based reason, Today I would claim that while we might be in a time of the rise of posthumanism it too relies on the tradition of humanism and on humanist values like evidence-based reason, the importance of education, and the autonomy of the individual. Posthumanism, though, seeks to break the boundary that traditional humanism assumes between the human and natural worlds. Humanism, in its classic expression, casts nature, through the use of science, as an object of human manipulation. Posthumanism blurs the boundaries between human beings and nature. This makes evolution a value in posthumanism because to affirm evolution means to affirm that human beings are a natural process of the earth. The fundamentalist religious reaction to posthumanism is creationism. Not only is creationism bad science, it is also a reading of posthumanism as a threat which is bound by almighty, supernatural priori for God.

As I have argued earlier this claim is no longer tenable and should be discarded in favour of a Weak God and a God of insistence as opposed to existent. This enables us as Christians to talk into the climate change, global warming care for creation debates as genuine participants in the hope we all seek rather than as holders of irrelevant beliefs and outdated intellectual and scientific contributions. Even the Dalai Lama has said that spirituality and quantum physics are companion searches, not rivals. One has to say that we live in the most hope-filled of times, so long as we stay in the discussions. Amen.


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