One God, Many Perspectives
I had a friend send me a really cool article that said science found that in Multiple Personality Disorder, people’s brains really had different functionality/capabilites when they inhabited their different personalities! And then it commented on the nature of reality given this information.
It puts new light on the topic of if we all serve the same God. Since our brains live in different realities, don’t we ALL have different ideas of God? And therefore if they’re all different how could anybody’s perspective of God be penalized for being less right than another’s?
I think that yes, many people probably speak to the same God, even if they don’t think it’s the same God as others.
But I think there are also probably limits to that. I think God is way bigger than Christianity. He created THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. But I wonder if some conceptions of God may be a more accurate way to see him than others? I mean I’m pretty sure I could gain a fuller experience of God through the rich practices in other religions and cultures, but maybe some perspectives/theologies have a less accurate or less informed understanding of God’s attributes and God’s history. (I mean can some histories of God actually never have happened?)
I think this is partly how I’ve justified staying with Christianity, because we follow a dude who said, hey I can tell you all about God because I was sent directly from him, and I’ll back it up with miracles.”See, there. The wind and waves stopped. Now, can you believe me, guys?” He says, I don’t have time to tell you everything I know about God, and it will only be through the context of one culture, but it’s enough to get you in the right direction, and head off a lot of less accurate ones.
And maybe partly why he came was because some perspectives of God have been hijacked by glory-hungry humans and maybe even unfriendly spiritual beings. And therefore they are possibly directing our devotion to serving them instead! I mean, why wouldn’t they?
And no matter what the name is that we worship I’m guessing anybody’s well intentioned worship is probably still appreciated by the right God. But it doesn’t mean the person worshipping isn’t listening to, and being directed by the wrong one. I’m guessing any spiritual being that wants some servants would want to convince us they are God and get us to do what they say! And I’m guessing in the same way we want to listen to the Holy Spirit, we can be listening and hearing unholy spirits.
I don’t think that all well-intentioned worshippers are throwing their devotion completely away. I think God knows their hearts and credits it to them. But I’m thinking that maybe God is being misrepresented to them! Maybe this is why some of us think God just seems brutal and unfair! And maybe we can be in closer, more direct communication with the ultimate God if we’ve been given more details about his attributes passed on to us by the one who is, and who knows God directly. And then we can be hearing truer messages when we are more informed as we listen. It’s like if I know the right door to knock on, I’m more likely to summon the one I intend to talk to and hear what he thinks. But if I knock on another door in the hills outside the kingdom, thinking it’s the king’s door, you may get someone answering the door that sees a naive pilgrim ready serve a master with a different name. “Yeah, that’s me. I’m God, or at least a version of him in a way. Come on in, and uh, why don’t you make me some soup for lunch, if you really want to make me happy.”
In “The Last Battle” the last book in the Narnia series by My Hero, C.S. Lewis, there is a character who served Tash his whole life, because that’s who he thought was the true king. But he served this master with all the virtues that Aslan (the true king) taught and desired of his disciples. And when, after the final battle, all are parsed out into what kingdoms they belong to, this character, Emeth finds himself in a beautiful land, cowering before the huge Aslan. He says something like, I know now you are the more powerful god, and I have served the wrong one my whole life. Reap what punishment you must on me.
Aslan replies, “Beloved, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”
I don’t know if this is true, of course. But even if it is, there would be a risk with unknowingly serving the wrong God. We can get so pulled into their ethic, that we no longer want the true God. Plus, a whole lifetime of misunderstanding the God you long to be in intimate relationship with can be a tragedy in itself.
There may be many ways to picture the ultimate God, but I think probably there is one that is more correct than the others.
And if Jesus was really God like he said, I’m guessing he is the best way to know about God. But among the multitude of interpretations of Jesus, I assume different sects are more correct than others in different areas. And maybe there is even one within Christianity that is closer than the others.
I just have no idea which it is.
Raw Spoon, 6-25-18