If, as God, I were to mount a massive pr campaign complete
with TV ads, I wouldn't hire biblicists to write the ads
The result would be an
image no higher than but equal to a Falwell, Robertson or Dobson.
We do not have to deny any citizen's god.
We do not have to find ourselves in the absurd position of trying to figure
out whose god is supreme as General Boykin so strongly works to do.
We do not find ourselves in the absurd position of having to somehow reconcile
Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson saying - immediately after 9/11 - that God has removed his hand of protection from the United
States because of our tolerance of gays, abortion and pornography.
And we then do not have to tolerate political attempts to divert us from
serious discussion of war and economics with dramatic and rhetorical declarations against who-marries-who, who prays where,
what religious icons stand in front of judicial buildings and whether or not God has appointed someone to lead the people
to a promised salvation.
We would not find ourselves so dominated by a religious power believing
in a formal End Times which lobbies our government to work to make Israel look like it did thousands of years ago so as to
faciliate the end of all things in which most of our diverse population will be Left Behind for not believing.
Ethics, not morality, stands a better chance of creating a strong national
character and citizen self-identity.
On Worship ... without all that praising.
It seems that worship as a form of gratitude and appreciation is most
heartelt in an informal and personal manner. An expression of personal gratitude and/or appreciation made in the absence of
a public audience tends to be a much more perceivably genuine article.
And "praise" connected to a "worship" service
has never made sense to me even in my fundamentalist years.
The image of a monarchical autocratic god, however, probably
implies the need to worship and praise. We have thousands of years of history of doing that to our mortal kings and emperors
so as not to offend them. I see no difference.
A Christian Formula?
If the Christian views life with a need for endurance, it ought to be a
way of living with a prayer in the heart to Jesus that goes something like this:
"Help me, Lord, to see things as you
see them; to know what you know; to be able to experience life as you experienced life."
If Jesus preached a formula
that formula was not invested in conformity with everyone strictly proscribed in what to think and how to feel. It was a formula
of personal seeking, asking and knocking. Whatever is found, answered or opened is what Jesus promised. There's nothing judgemental
in any of that. There's nothing in any of that which suggests that even a church's approval is necessary for personal validation.