god by proxy

Posted on: September 8, 2021

God doesn’t reveal himself to us. When you are a child and you have no concept of a god, he doesn’t introduce himself to you from a burning bush or a whisper in your dream. There’s no thunder, no lightning, no rapture, no vision, no tongues of fire, no doves, no pillars of cloud guiding you, no descent from Heaven or chorus of angels at your confirmation ceremony. God doesn’t deliver himself to you, he is delivered to you by your culture and community where you grow up. And more than anything, God is given to you by your parents. As a child you don’t have a direct access to God but through an intercession. Your parents stand between you and him. In the absence of any epiphany, they have to speak for him, and few parents realize what a huge responsibility that is. Few parents understand what’s at stake when they pass on their religious understanding to their offspring. When your child embraces or rejects God they don’t embrace or reject God but your version of it. They react to an image of him. They react to your projection. Your understanding of God facilitates or obstruct their access to God.

I too got the first idea of God planted in my head by my dad and I struggled with that version my entire life. In our home, he was the religious patriarch, responsible for our catechetical instruction and the version of God that was spoon-fed to me was a mere caricature. Half based on the biblical lore and half based on his limited understanding. Half monster and half angel. It took me a while to realize that I found myself in a sort of a straw man situation. Since our initiation into divine is done by proxy not by God himself, we can end up addressing or fighting not the real God, like Jacob, but a defected replica of him. Whether you eventually accept his dominion or reject it is neither here nor there, but you have to make sure you do this to the most accurate description of him. As far as I am concerned, I ended up questioning any description of God predicated on biblical understanding. And since I used to blame my dad for poisoning the Christian well for me and for being a stumbling block on my path to faith, I should now let him off the hook and forgive him for his poor delivery of God. In all fairness, it wouldn’t have made a difference. Any version would have missed the mark. He can now die in peace, without any sense of failure for not delivering the Almighty God to his son. One less sin to atone for will hopefully make his already horrendous transition to eternal demise easier.


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literatura e efortul inepuizabil de a transforma viaţa în ceva real

The priest: Aren't you afraid of hell? J. Kerouac: No, no. I'm more concerned with heaven.

literatura e efortul inepuizabil de a transforma viaţa în ceva real

The priest: Aren't you afraid of hell? J. Kerouac: No, no. I'm more concerned with heaven.

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