Black and White Jesus

As a writer and avid reader, it is no surprize to me that God comes to me in words.

I read book after book, searching chapter after chapter for some sort of intimate encounter with the divine. As much as I wish it were true, I am not a mystic. I don’t expect to find Jesus in the starlight or the sunrise. I think nature is pretty and all, but that’s where its utility ends for me. No mountaintop theophanies here.

Maybe it is the variety of what I read, but I can’t help but see God in infinite shades of grey. I’m as likely to read an Anne Tyler novel as I am to read a religious tome, and each and every one contributes in some way to my world view.

So, it is not problematic to me that the same God who commanded entire groups of people to be destroyed, right down to the sheep and goats, is the same who commanded us to love one another as ourselves. It’s not inconsistency; it’s character development.

I know, I know. There’s no place for flippancy here.

Or maybe there is.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of the notion of a black and white God, completely lacking in naunce and depth. Christian and atheist alike try to paint God into a little box, either believing because they think He fits into the box, or denying because He doesn’t.

Do we really expect the Creator of Universe to be easily understood, without ambiguities and full of absolutes?

What a shallow and unsatisfying deity.

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3 responses to “Black and White Jesus

  1. there is always a place for flippancy (sevinhand, from delphi CM).

  2. One of the most reassuring parts for me of a belief that God is, in fact, a tangible being with past experiences and a unique personality, is that He becomes that much more real. He is not staid, one-dimensional, or incomprehensible. Sure, we know relatively little of what he’s done, and unfortunately, amazon.com hasn’t sold his biography yet.

    But knowing that he has faced the same things as I have, and has overcome, is reassuring. I’ve broken out of the simple thank/ask prayer mode more frequently since my mission when I realized that I can just talk with him “as a man speaketh to his friend.” Now, that’s a difference!

    It’s kind of fun, really, to talk through my faults and triumphs, and even when I’m weak and in need of forgiveness, I can say, “Look, I know I’m being stupid, but, you understand.” And he does!

    You’re right that we often and easily compartmentalize God, and yet in doing so we cut ourselves off from so much.

  3. “Do we really expect the Creator of Universe to be easily understood, without ambiguities and full of absolutes?”

    Well put; thanks.

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