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November 23, 2003

God As The Coolest

I am succumbing to the siren of the Apple Music Store. It's starting to replace Amazon as the place where I look to find the names of tracks on albums I'm interested in. The songs are sitting right there. I could buy them. Easy. I found that I can (well the pull-down says I can) convert AAC files to MP3s and not strand them in a proprietary format. So I bought an old Isley Brothers song.

This morning I found myself looking for another song. I only have the Weird Al version 'What If God Smoked Cannabis', and it occured to me on this morning of recieving a polite comment in support of Gene Robinson's ordination, that I might consider that very question. What if God was the coolest person you ever met? Why wouldn't he be?

Extend your belief for a moment through the divinations and elevations of the Church. Let's take a journey. First of all, is it possible? Back up to a particular heresy resolved by the Council of Nicea:

When Constantine defeated Emperor Licinius in 323 AD he ended the persecutions against the Christian church. Shortly afterwards Christians faced a trouble from within: the Arian controversy began and threatened to divide the church. The problem began in Alexandria, it started as a debate between the bishop Alexander and the presbyter (pastor, or priest) Arius. Arius proposed that if the Father begat the Son, the latter must have had a beginning, that there was a time when he was not, and that his substance was from nothing like the rest of creation. The Council of Nicea, a gathering similar to the one described in Acts 15:4-22, condemned the beliefs of Arius and wrote the first version of the now famous creed proclaiming that the Son was "one in being with the Father" by use of the Greek word "homoousius."

So we'd have to get over the idea of Jesus as a perfect human, he wasn't. He'd be a manifestation of God, God instantiated into human form, like Agent Smith into Bane. Understanding what there was to understand about the symbology of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice, he'd be sinless. That alone would be his perfection, he needn't have perfect hair or perfectly shaped legs. He'd just need to be without sin.

If Jesus was to found a church, he'd have to be persuasive. He'd not be condescending to us, but always have something worth listening to, and most importantly on the big questions, he'd be right. If Christ was anything, he was the original man of the people. He lived among and ministered to the sick, the friendless and the needy. You do this as a cool person.

It doesn't seem concievable that a human that doesn't have sex at all would speak to the whole of our hearts. While it's certainly possible to have a religion or spiritual doctrine that is silent on sexuality per se (when you think about it, there isn't much overt discussion of sexual ethics on Sunday mornings), doesn't it make sense that we'd hear more than mere interpretation?

I'm not going to take this much further, but I think it's a good idea to consider afresh what kind of anthropomorphism we accept. Are we humans such a bad judge of human character that we are willing always and everywhere to believe in an authoritarian God? If so, this is probably not a good place and time to live in.

Posted by mbowen at November 23, 2003 09:29 PM

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