My life has been based upon the practicality of God. But is God really that practical? Is the idea of one Being, in control of Atoms and the axis the Earth is on, and is some how worried or concerned about how I live my life very practical? Does any of that even make sense? But when anyone questions this God forbid we say they’re right or at least have a good point? And who appointed God to be so high and mighty? Why is the existence of God just so “perfect” as opposed to the idea of no “higher power?” Why for so many years have we [Christians] got it right? Why do we believe in something or someone so impractical? I mean after all doesn’t believing in a flawed historical book and a God we’ve never literally encountered make us the crazy ones? Not the people who believe in science and no “mythical god?”
Around fourth of July weekend my roommate and I returned from a wonderful trip to Ohio to visit our friend JR. So that night we were hanging out at our friend Tyler’s house and started discussing what if God isn’t real. And the discussion went deeper than that but Tyler’s mom in the middle of the conversation piped in to say that God is a practical thing. To which Tyler and I responded, “really?” “I don’t think He is. Tyler and I defended our points and then not much else was said. Not because we were necessarily correct but because we were all kind of tired.
I had not really ever thought about though. God isn’t practical. What makes him practical? The fact that your family and your fundamental conservative church told you He was? That’s the reasoning? Or have you seen proof?
Rob Bell talks about in his video “Everything Is Spiritual” that the idea of only believing in fact and things you see around you is called a “Reductionist” perspective. And that when we start to use words like hope and faith it scares reductionist because it hasn’t been understood.
So what makes God practical? Nothing. Absolutely, positively, nothing. His existence is extremely impractical. No one man nor women has physically seen God. Jesus, walked the earth, yes , however who deemed him Mr.Perfect? A God no one has seen before? While Jesus did violently disrupt the Roman Empire, He did through peace. And then apparently arose three days later.
What? Does this sound practical to anyone? No! It sounds “fairy talish” and not possible!
But look that’s the point! The impracticality of God is a beautiful thing! The idea that what we’re holding on to is based upon faith, and that we think one day everything will be restored and beautiful again! And that what Jesus did was so amazing and different than anything else in history is such a glorious thing! Our point on Earth is to bring Heaven to it! Not Hell. Maybe that is the reason God isn’t so practical to most people. Maybe that is the reason for Reductionist. Maybe it’s our (Christians) fault that God isn’t practical to others even though He wants to be blatantly obvious to them!
A few thoughts on how Heaven could be brought to Earth and God’s practicality rating could improve exponentially:
The most important is the whole, you know, peace thing! God forbid Christians be peacemakers like we were commanded to. And oh man, who ever thought that James could have been right when he said in chapter 4 that wars are only a result of our selfish actions. Maybe when we stop taking part in organizations like the NRA and stop supporting endless wars to hurt our enemies then God will become more practical. Oh and here is a just “revolutionary” idea (sarcasm: the first church, before Constantine of course, had it figured out), but Christians become martyrs not warriors! Jesus was EXTREMELY serious when he said he came to bring peace not by the sword. There is not another implication by that! The sword is only a violent object. It can not be used for “nice” things! Don’t you think God was very practical when people saw reactions like this from Jesus and when they saw one of the most powerful empires brought down by pacifism and sacrifice?
Not taking God’s name in vein! And no I don’t think saying less OMG’s will bring more Heaven to Earth. What I mean is when our Christian subculture crams God into our worthless propaganda. When we say that God doesn’t support gay marriage, or that He wants the Ten Commandments in school buildings or that oh dear God, we take out “under god” from the pledge! Just remind me when our nation was “under god” and His true calling again? Right, never. Think about if we stopped using it in vein though! It would be amazing! This nation and this world would not be ran by a bunch of right-winged, conservative, propaganda pushing christians! It would be great! I think if we want Heaven on Earth then we take the name of God and one eliminate it from any “stamp of the beast” we use it for (like the pledge) and we take it to the streets! Meaning, we take it to everyday life as an action. We take it as an act of service! We help the hungry guy on the street. We help the kids whose parents kick them to the street because the kids is too “messed up” to stay at home. How about instead of worrying about where to put God’s name, put it in your actions and people might ask why. To which you can respond “ I do this for the love of the ultimate creators people.” That’s all. God doesn’t have to “be real.” He becomes real through your actions!
Having productive conversations about the will of God with one another. Recently, I have been watching things unfold first with the Love Wins book (that wasn’t blasphemous at all), then the degrading comment that Mark Driscoll made about “effeminate anatomically male worship leaders” to more recently Donald Miller’s fairy land description of what a guy must do to “win a girl.” I’m tired of the “not conversation” that’s going on! It’s all argument! But, I’m also sick of all the bullies like Driscoll, Piper, Platt, and Pfeil who think that their immediate reaction should be to say people are going to Hell, when yeah they are going to Hell when you’ve breathed your first Calvinist breath. But why be a bully? Jesus certainly disagreed with religious people of his time, but rather then CLEARLY making scenes in public about why they were wrong he rather invited them in and suggested his ideas peacefully. Shocking! I know. What if we listened to those with whom we disagreed with even closer than the ones we agreed with? Wouldn’t that open up discussion for the idea of discussion not argument? Wouldn’t Heaven be a discussion not an argument? And wouldn’t God definitely be a lot more present if we learned really to love our enemies and not call them idiots and make videos about their “wrongness?”
So let’s make God a practical thing! He can be, I promise! Let’s make peace on Earth through our actions and through our words. Remember where God’s name belongs, not in our propaganda but in our actions. When you have a discussion with someone, especially, if you disagree, listen even closer to what they say! Make God present. Make Heaven on Earth not Hell.