Arthur's Journal on God & Politics

Arthur's Journal on God & Politics
What Does It Mean to be Christian in America?
A God of War
Apocalypse & End Times
Biblical Literalism
Christ Path
Conformity & Orthodoxy
Fear, Shame & Guilt
God & Politics
Goodness, Morality & Sin
Heresy & Heretics
History, Mystery & Doubt
Kindergarten Religion
Mental Spiritual Constructs
Mystical Christianity
Mythical Proportions
Passion of The Christ ...
Someone Else's Magic

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The God Interview
Guess who showed up in my office

If you've seen the movie GHOST and remember the scenes where Whoopi Goldberg tries to convince Demi Moore that she (Whoopi) has actually spoken to Patrick Swayze you may have a sense of what it was like the day an internationally known psychic walked into my office announcing that God would shortly grant an interview,adding,

"You're all God's got so He has to use YOU."

Needless to say, I closed the door to my office lest a few ears could hear any other fantastic drivel spill from her lips.

"I'm glad you brought me in here. It makes it easier to set up the interview," she said as I closed the door.

"You mean you are going to produce God himself? Are we going to have some sort of 'crossing over' here?"

"Oh, heavens no! Uh, pardon the expression." (With a whisper, she continued,) "I used to say 'hell no' but since linking with Mr. Big himself, I don't dare use the phrase.

Arthur, God wants you in this room tomorrow morning at 4:30 a.m. SHARP and says that the rest will be handled for you. You just be here!"

"You'd better explain yourself." I told her, thinking of how to get a 911 responder to believe my reason for calling.

She explained.

Article space is precious and it would take up too much  to relate how she convinced me to at least give God a chance to show up at the appointed time. Since tomorrow morning I had planned to start work on my next article before leaving for my real job, I decided to get up real early so as to humor the lady. Assuming God would not show, I could still get some work done.

Next morning I was no sooner in my office and reaching for the light when the light switch activated before I could touch it.

And there was light.

A voice, not loud, not soft, not a whisper but then not a shout either ... spoke quite forcefully.

"Sit down son. After turning on your light for you, I'm only going to give you one other miracle."

There wasn't time to go through any theatrics of shock and awe. I heard the quite command and I obeyed.

As I sat down at my desk, I suddenly spied a shape in the side chair opposite my desk. The shape clarified itself and I found myself staring at a distinguished old man dressed in a long white robe with gold edging casually sitting in my side chair.

There was no pillar of fire and no aura around him but I knew somehow that He was either legitimate or Steven Spielberg's special effects crew had snuck into my office and set up shop in the middle of the night.

Now, I felt it ... I really KNEW who was sitting there.

I remembered one time a child's story about new arrivals in heaven not recognizing their Savior when they met him. It was explained to me that only the righteous will recognize Him instantly.

Well, I knew instantly that I was looking at God. There was no time to be astonished. One minute there was nothing and the next I found myself no longer alone in my office.

God was sitting in my side chair looking directly into my eyes ... and I exclaimed, managing only a quivering whisper,

"You really are ... God! I somehow know it to be true. You are ... you are!"

Then God turned in His chair, facing me from another angle. And my wild eyes saw an old woman; graceful, elegant and wise, smiling gently all the while.

She shifted again and I saw a young man looking exactly like a Michelangelo David

... who moved again and I found myself looking at my 13-year-old granddaughter who, I knew, was 150 miles away sound asleep.

"I ... I think I get your point. You're telling me ... you're revealing to me that you are ..."

"I'm not reveling anything that all of humanity does not already know inside. Now, let's get this going and be done with it.

Son, I'm not a meddler, but things have gone so far in the wrong direction that something must be done. You people need to redirect the path everyone seems determined to march down."

My granddaughter was back and pointing at my legal pad.

"You do some asking and I'll do some telling. As things progress you'll realize a few things without asking. Other things won't come to you as answers from me, but as understandings ... if you pay attention and let your thoughts run free."

I was convinced. God was talking to me.

No doubt about it. I can't and won't launch into any speculation as to why God chose me. I appreciate John Denver's role with George Burns even more now. And somehow I know that it's not relevant to me whether some or all disbelieve what I write. What is relevant is that I know and God knows that I know.

The wise old woman was back only this time she looked like an older Queen Latifa.

"Start the interview young man." was all she said.

I did and managed to come up with a question.

ARTHUR: Why didn't you appear on a mount or in a mega church before one of the prominent Christian celebrities? Or why not in the Oval Office to our Christian in the White House?

GOD: I tried! I couldn't get through. They were like you were yesterday, only much more dense to my touch.

A: What do you mean?

G: They are all like peas in a pod. What they inwardly imagine is the only thing they'll accept. The one you call "president" isn't any different. They have in their minds a specific image of what God is and how God communicates - by the way, only with men. It's a part of their minds that is literally stony. There wasn't any uses in appearing to them in that way.

A: What way would that be?

G: Looking like Max Von Sydow or Jeffrey Hunter or Jim Caviezal in the movies.

A: Why not?

G: Because I'm not that way! I'm not in any way the sort of character your Christianity has made me out to be.

A: What sort of character are you ... uh, Lord?

And it was my granddaughter again looking at me across my desk.

G: Do you know where I've come from?

A: Uh ... Heaven? A Mighty Fortress?

Granddaughter laughed uproariously.

G: We'd better back up. I can see you need to have your own assumptions adjusted. You've noticed that I can appear as anything I want (adding with a sly smile) even an angel of light?

A: (Thinking that somewhere I'd read or been told that the devil could appear as an angel of light and that you can test the angel by touching) Would you mind shak-

G: Yeah yeah yeah. (Young David  reached across and gave me a hard gripping hand shake. As if he'd been lifting weights.) I'm not the God you people think I am.

A: Obviously ... er, Lord. But what sort of God - I mean, why do you say that?

G: Well, for heaven's sake, pardon the pun! More than a few of you are starting to pray to the female me. Does it matter?

A: I beg your pardon?

The old woman sighed and shrugged at me.

G: No young man. I didn't come from some heaven or a mighty fortress out there somewhere on the other side of the moon. In a way, I've come from your future. No, better said ... I'm trying to portray your future in a way you'll understand.

A: But doesn't the Bible say that -

The old beardy guy was back.

G: The Bible says three things. "

"My thoughts are higher than your thoughts, "

"believe in me "

"and love each other. "

The rest is 6000 years of private interpretations.

A: But your Son? He was killed and the priests say we owe him. Which of those three things expresses that?

G: All three of them do ... minus the need for fear, shame and guilt.

A: But all those commandments!

G; Private interpretations son. Believe in me and love each other. Everything else will take care of itself.

A: Are you telling me that -

My granddaughter was giggling.

G: Gosh Grampy, you're being dense.

A: But what about the End Times? What about your Son coming to-

G: To kick butt and take names Grampy? What for?

A: Because of evil! Because of the war in Heaven! You and Satan are-

Granddaughter giggles again impishly.

G: You know I'm asleep 150 miles away but even I know that Satan is only a nightmare.

A: A nightmare? Surely you know how many people have been killed because of Satan?

Young Adam smiled and took my paperweight in his hand, eyeing it with one eye.

G: Surely I know how many people have been killed because of someone else's nightmare.

A: Is Satan real?

G: Only in the Left Behind novels.

A: Okay, so now I'm talking to David the body-builder. You were there at the start! What about the serpent in Eden.

G: A snake. Nothing more, nothing less.

A: But he made Eve ruin everything.

That brought out the old lady again.

G: You men are such twits! Eve watched the snake as she watched all things in the garden. One day, watching the snake shed its skin and not die, she figured it out.

Told Adam what she learned from the snake. They took the next step together, knowing what they were doing. Adam the twit passed the story on  but you know how gossip grows. 

Years later - by the time the patriarchs took over - the story changed to a talking snake, guilty women and innocent men. Fixed in place by dullards.

She gestured to the morning light coming through the window and I knew it was time.

A: We're about through aren't we?

G: Yes we are.

A: They won't believe it.

G: Well, Junior, whether they believe it or not, God is not coming to their rescue, God is not going to justify what they say or what they do and God is not going to punish their enemies or reward their self-righteousness.

A: You mean you're just going to let -

G: I mean, sonny that humans have gotten into and out of messes for millennia without my meddling. It's your world. It was built for you to nourish, not to treat like a rental.

A: Meddling? Aren't you interested? Don't you care?

G: Does a parent care for the children? Does an artist care for the creation? Oh you betcha I care young man!

She stood and moved toward the door.

G: But I may have to meddle just a little bit if things get worse.

A: And if they do?

She smiled and shrugged.

G: I might just have to appear as you see me now, kick a few butts and take a few names. Tell them to take care about what they say and do in my name.


Failures as human beings?

Fundamentalist and literalist dogma force to believe that the godlike qualities of Jesus are to be emulated to the greatest degree.
What godlike qualities can we emulate without being God's ourselves?
Are we to do everything found in the New Testament - taking it all literally with Jesus as our model?
Fundamentalists piously declare  that you must accept Jesus as your personal savior to be born again and saved.
In fact, the late Jerry Falwell considered all human beings failures if they had not been born again.
But Jesus obviously did not accept Jesus as his personal savior to gain resurrected return to God's home.
Or did he?
Did he not teach that the Kingdom of God is within every person?
If Jesus accepted Jesus as his personal savior, does that not teach us that we must accept ourselves as our personal savior in order to return to an honored place in the presence of The Father?

"Homosexuals and homosexuality is more of a threat to the United States than terrorism."

Who taught the Kindergarten Religion class that gem?

You find yourself stuck in the Chapel of the Kindergarten Religion and A preacher is throwing the BOOK at you. Or you are at a political gathering listening to someone you believe was placed in office by The Father.

When one or the other (or both)  declare in their most powerful and nuanced voice that homosexuals and homosexuality is more of a threat to the United States than terrorism,  you must remember who  you are.

Remember that The Father is watching as we are all sparrows who fall.

If it is in your heart that the Father has approved of such a declaration or if you have been taught that the Holy Spirit prompts, leads and guides every sermon and political utterance from the born-again then you belittle The Father with your assumptions.

Take the following advice from Hebrews' 5th Chapter:

... those put in charge of things pertaining to God on behalf of the flock absolutely have to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward. This because they themselves are subject to weakness. They who talk to you of making sacrifice for your sins must make sacrifice for their own as well.

One does not presume to take the honor of leadership but only when called of God, as was Aaron. This of course means that the same sense of calling that aroused your preacher is a sense you yourself are fully capable and able to experience.

... unless this is hard for you to understand about yourselves and you lack the personal faith needed to do so.

Many have become dull in understanding - lazy even - and have given away too much personal will to preachers of kindergarten talking points.

By now you ought to be teachers yourselves rather than lazy Christians who go to meeting and let someone else do all the talking.

Perhaps you are one of those who need someone else to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God.

Perhaps you believe that the shallowest among you who are able to memorize verses are chosen because The Father placed the highest regard on they who memorize the most.

In your need,  are not such as those the least able to respond to your need for milk?

They want you to believe that you are receiving solid food but preach to you as if you were still infants, unskilled in the word of righteousness.

If the best your preacher or your pious Christian politician can do is to declare that homosexuals and homosexuality is more of a threat to the United States than terrorism, perhaps you'd best understand that  they who say such stuff still need milk themselves.

Solid food is for the mature; those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

That's what it says in Hebrews 5.  I found it there, figured it out and believed it before any milk-needer could tell me that my conclusions are not "biblical" ... whatever that means.


And who Writes here?

Arthur Ruger is a social worker, a poet and writer on religion and spirituality.

Originally trained for priesthood and ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Arthur more recently has labored at St. Johns Episcopal Parish in South Bend, Washington as a lay preacher, organist and Senior Warden.

In addition to an intense interest in the American political and regious scene, Arthur's is actively concerned with leigitmate family values and priorities and not the pretend issues of those seeking political power and wealth.

"Family issues and values are important as we are parents of a blended family with 8 children and 16 grandchildren."


And Should We Die
Arthur Ruger's Historical Novel about courage and faith in the Great American West

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Rose Blake and her family in England are trapped in circumstances and events that are destroying their lives.
 Jacob Hannah is a violent man called to a preaching ministry by Brigham Young in an effort to save his soul.
Based on an actual historical event,
And Should We Die
is human nature at it's best and worst, a struggle to survive against an unforgiving mother nature.
And Should We Die
is ultimately a love story from out of the history of the American West.

The American Christian is a journal based in Bay Center, Washington. 
Copyright 2005-2009 The SwanDeer Project
Send all e-mail to aruger at gmail dot com