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How God tends to be defined How God tends to be defined
by Joseph Gatt
2020-06-13 09:23:44
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There are different interpretations of how the monotheistic God of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and a few other religions that are “spinoffs” of the three Abrahamic religions (the Baha'i faith, messianic or Pentecostal “Christian” denominations like the Unification church and so on).

So below, briefly, I will discuss the different interpretations of God and His presence, abilities and nature, in the scriptures and in popular culture.

God as the “CIA”

In the Book of Genesis, God does not see everything. But God investigates, gathers intelligence, finds out what really happened (that Eve ate the forbidden fruit or Cain killed Abel) and takes action or punishes accordingly.

So God protects, stays informed, issues guidelines, but does not see everything.

go001_400God as a “farmer”

I remember the 1990s in Algeria, during the Civil War, where many Algerians had their Islamic faith tested. Terrorists murdered civilians by the hundreds of thousands, in the name of establishing a theocracy.

Algerian government-led theologians studied the Quran carefully and tended to come up with the following conclusion: God is a “farmer” of sorts. He plants seeds (creates the universe, creates life) but then life forms are independent of God and evolve independently. God can “fix” his seedlings and “learn lessons” to plant better seeds, basically observes why the harvest failed and take action so we can have a better harvest next time.

God as a “hypnotist”

Some have it that we are “controlled” by God, and that every action taken in any life form, including humans, is God's will. God controls us, whispers to our ears and controls our actions, and runs a huge show. So we are in a way God's puppets and we are present and alive for God's entertainment purposes.

God as a “prison guard” or “floor supervisor”

Some have it that God lets humans run around but only intervenes when humans perform good deeds or bad deeds. That is humans are free to do what they want, but if humans take good actions, they are rewarded by God. If they do evil, they are punished by God.

This belief is prevalent in many societies, where people encourage each other to do good deeds and promise them that God will reward them. Others encourage people not to seek revenge in case they were harmed by bad people, because “God sees everything and will punish those evil people.”

God as a “”Captain Planet” like force with superpowers to fight evil”

Like in the book of Exodus, many believe that God has superpowers and can use them to save those who believe in Him, or humanity as a whole.

That is in times of great turbulence, God has superpowers he can use, can cause plagues to those people who misbehave, or create a “utopia” like state or a “land of milk and honey” to those people who follow His teachings.

God as “someone who stays home and sees everything and knows everything and decides a few things”

God in popular culture is often portrayed as a form of Santa Claus like figure, which sits home and observes people and keeps lists of their good deeds and bad deeds. Some believe that God might or might not take action to reward or punish those good deeds or evil deeds.

God as “a force present everywhere”

Some believe that “there is a little bit of God in everything” that is that God is a force that covers the universe as a whole. That is God is not a force confined to a single or restricted area, but covers everything that exists.

Some say that given that God is present everywhere, God might take action in one place, then at another, or at several places, might be “sleepy” in one place and “active” at another.

God as “a force that sends angels and devils, encourages humans to side with the angels, and tests them to see if they will side with the devil”

Some have it that God is confined to an area, but sends angels and devils among us and lets human beings choose whether they will side with the angels or with the devils. God encourages human beings to side with the angels, sends angels to counsel or protect certain individuals. Others might be tempted by the devil, and God sends angels over to them, but those people still choose to side with the devil.

God as “someone who quietly observes, and saves his thoughts for judgment day.”

Some have it that science was created by God and science does all the work. God quietly observes from above, but does not intervene, and lets human beings and science take care of business. God is carefully taking notes, and saving His thoughts for Judgment Day.

God as “a legislator”

Some have it that God is more concerned with law and order. God gave us his rule book (the Bible, the Quran) and trusts human beings to follow the rules. That is God sent human beings rules to lead an orderly life, and bad things happen to human beings when they don't follow the rules.

God as an “omniscient, and omnipotent figure”

Finally, many have it that God knows everything, the past, the present, the future, and has power over everything. That is God has written “the book of life and the universe” which is one gigantic book that covers the life and evolution of everything and everyone that has ever existed and will ever exist. And all we are is a part of God's plans or book of life.

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Check out Yossi Gatt's blog https://yossigatt.blogspot.com/"


    
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