Worthy of the Worship

Christians are always telling me that I need to worship their deity of choice. When I ask why, they warn me of eternal punishment and damnation in the fires of Hell. Sometimes, they will entice me into worshipping their deity with promises of eternal bliss in Heaven. But all threats and bribes aside, they still haven’t really answered my question. Why should I worship their god?

Then Christians will often inform me that God created me. That’s great and all, but how does that answer my question? Am I expected to worship my creator or something? My parents created me and while I respect them most of the time, I certainly don’t worship them. Many people have parents who are not even worthy of respect let alone worship. If I someone creates a robot, should he or she demand that the robot worship him or her? That seems awfully vain. In my mind, such a trait would make the person less praiseworthy, not more praiseworthy. Clearly a creation should not be the slave of the created. So even if I were to accept the premise that God existed and created me (which I don’t) that still wouldn’t compel me to worship such a being. We are still left with the question, why should I worship the Christian God?

Next, many Christians I talk to appeal to power. They tell me that their God is all powerful and that is why he should be worshipped. This to me goes back to the threat of Hell and the bribe of Heaven. “God can do anything and is all powerful, you better get in line.” I don’t accept the appeal to power as a reason to worship. Taking this argument to the extreme, if Hitler were all powerful, would that make him praise worthy and more worship worthy? I really don’t think it does and I doubt that anyone would if they really thought about it. This appeal to power is quite honestly insulting.

In fact, the only reason to worship anyone that I could even remotely understand would be based on morality. At this point my Christian friends tend to smile and tell me that their god has that too. He is the very definition of moral goodness they claim. But as someone who has read the Bible, I just don’t see it. One cannot just claim to be moral, one must demonstrate that morality. If God wrote or spiritually inspired the writing of the Bible and if that book is an accurate picture of who God is, than I can’t see myself worshipping that being at all. This is where the excuses and justifications come in. “God doesn’t need to explain his morality to a mere human like me,” “God’s ways are mysterious,” “God is good because he says he is good,” “Without God there is no moral grounding,” etc.

The truth is that I really don’t believe in worshipping anyone, God or otherwise. I worship ideas not personalities. While I might say that I would follow an Aristotelian “person of practical wisdom.” I would stop following such a person the moment they proposed something which I considered to be immoral. I might start following them again when they proposed something more reasonable. Take our current President Barack Obama for example. I respect him and admire him. I think he is a smart person who is trying to do what he can to help people. I’ll follow him on most things, but I will also be critical of him when he refuses to stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians. I am critical of him for reaching out to religious fanatics and hoping that they will support hi even when he doesn’t need their support and will not get their support. So while I admire the President and will follow his lead on many things, I most certainly don’t worship him or follow him blindly.

I can’t think o a single reason why I would possibly worship any god let alone the Christian God. I certainly am not a coward who is afraid of eternal torture in Hell, nor am I a greedy person who would accept the bribe of Heaven. I don’t think the Christian God created me and even if I did, I still don’t see that as any reason to worship such a deity. The awesome all-powerfulness of God doesn’t really concern me since I don’t consider power to be a reason for worship. And the Christian God of the Bible doesn’t seem very moral to me either. So my question still stands, why should I worship the Christian God?

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12 responses to “Worthy of the Worship

  1. Forget about defining God as “Christian” or anything else, forget about power, and sin, and the supposed infallibility of the Bible, and worship. Those things are not necessary for a relationship with the Divine–that’s between you and God. And, if you come to a point at which you can leave all the talk behind and simply feel that there is a loving presence beyond all the dogma and rules and what we see with our limited vision, “worship” is just a matter of treating creation–people, other living things, the earth, with love, compassion and tolerance, as God (at least as I understand God) treats us. Of course, even if you can’t sense that presence, it’s not a bad way to live anyway… :)

    Sara

    http://saradode.wordpress.com

  2. Well shit on a stick, if we take every thing that defines what a god is and define god as a Vague Higher Power or as you suggest, something even more vague like a feeling of compassion, well sure go worship that. But at that point you have diluted the term so much that it has become completely meaningless. The problem is that when you talk about God and other people talk about God, you are talking about two different things and unless you define the difference at every mention that can get confusing. Sara, words have meanings. If they didn’t, than no one would understand each other.

  3. OK. But words aren’t the only things that have meaning.

    My point is actually that there’s really nothing to argue about (and I understand that when you feel that one group’s ideas about “religion”, and how they define God, have been shoved down your throat your whole life, there’s an impulse to “bite back”, but it’s kind of a waste of time and energy that could be spent on better things). Just think about what it means to live your life well, and then do it, and don’t worry about what I or anyone else thinks.

    Sara

  4. “Just think about what it means to live your life well, and then do it, and don’t worry about what I or anyone else thinks.”

    The problem is that the other side does not do this. If everyone truly lived and let live, things might be different. But when you have a section of the religious trying to force their beliefs on others through the law, one must fight back or accept subjugation.

  5. Sara, I don’t think standing up for my rights, liberties, freedoms, and lives of others is a “waste of time.” I think you have a very self-fish view of the world if that is your attitude. Theism, particularly the Abrahamic beliefs are causing a great deal of harm and I do worry about it. Please see my blog entry Reminder: The Evils of Christianity

  6. (Just so you know: I’m not Christian, and I have no doubt that if I look at your blog entry I’ll agree with most or all of it, although I’ve got my own reasons as well. I don’t identify with any established “religion,” and I certainly have no vested interest in whether you or anyone else believes in God.)

    I didn’t mean to denigrate what you do. All I meant is that people fall into the same traps, over and over, with the same arguments that go nowhere. (I have to work very hard to keep myself from getting into those same kinds of what I consider useless arguments with Christians and sometimes others who believe they have a monopoly on God, and NOT getting angry is a big challenge for me…I know that you don’t see the point in not getting angry, but, for me at least, it’s counterproductive.)

    I just wonder if there are other, new ways to stand up for your rights than being constantly on the defensive, or offensive. I wonder the same thing for myself.

    Sara

  7. Morsecode,

    Just to consider–is there a way around that “subjugation” that has more to do with not allowing how the “other side plays” affect you? Is it possible to “free” yourself not by constantly trying to find ways to fight back, but by not letting it be a part of your life at all?

    Just a thought…not an answer, necessarily.

    Sara

  8. I don’t think I get “angry,” just frustrated. But while you see arguing and discussing religion as useless, I don’t. I wrote another blog entry on How to De-Convert a Christian. It isn’t something that just happens from making a good point. But then again, when was the last time you changed your entire world view in the middle of a discussion? I think it would be worth your time to check out these blog entries.
    -Staks

  9. I don’t see DISCUSSING religion (or spirituality, really) as useless–I have an entire blog on it myself. But I just think that there must be a way to approach the discussions in new ways, in order to move forward in some sense. When I “discuss” Christianity with a Fundamentalist, for example, I refrain (even though it tends to drive them crazy) from, as I put it, “tossing bits of Scripture back and forth.” It’s futile, and it’s been done forever with no real results because everyone uses what they can to fit their own interpretations and prove that they’re “right”. That’s just an example.

    I’ll check out your blog entries later–I REALLY need to get outside today or I’ll lose my mind sitting here in front of the computer…

    Sara

  10. Godless American

    Nice post, I’ve been reading the comments.

    I’d add that one reason why atheists tend to “bite back” in America, especially, is that the Christian Right is continuously attempting to dictate social law based on their dogma. Their beliefs directly effect the way I live, the freedoms I have, and the discourse available on any given subject. When someone stands up in Congress and says that we don’t need to worry about Global Warming because God wouldn’t do that, then that person should be rebuked by ALL members of Congress. It’s disgusting that because their views are religious in nature, they garner respect when the opposite should be true.

    Religion hasn’t earned my respect. To believe it should be respected, or that “you should respect people’s beliefs” completely disregards the absurdities of belief and faith. The Son of Sam believed his dog was talking to him and telling him to kill people. Should we respect his beliefs? I think he was just dyslexic. While that seems absurd, what about abortion clinic bombers? Sarah Palin said that she wouldn’t classify them as terrorists because they were just protecting lives of unborn children. That’s a religious belief, there is no backing in the scientific forum supporting it; yet, Palin’s support of their actions was hailed by many on the Christian Right.

    There is a battle taking place in America, and around the world. It’s a battle of words and concepts, and sometimes violence and harm. This battle wasn’t started by atheists; it was started by religions and their attempt to make every one follow suit.

    I don’t care what someone believes or has faith in, as long as it can never be used to dictate law or argue anything except theology or philosophy. That’s the only place religious discussion belongs, not in our government.

  11. Saradode writes: “I don’t see DISCUSSING religion (or spirituality, really) as useless–I have an entire blog on it myself. But I just think that there must be a way to approach the discussions in new ways, in order to move forward in some sense. When I “discuss” Christianity with a Fundamentalist, for example, I refrain (even though it tends to drive them crazy) from, as I put it, “tossing bits of Scripture back and forth.” It’s futile, and it’s been done forever with no real results because everyone uses what they can to fit their own interpretations and prove that they’re “right”.”

    The problem that I have with this is…if you don’t revert to scripture to “counter”. Then, you are bringing nothing to a “gun-fight”. Everytime you/I speak with a “Christian” you can not talk about scripture, they do. The problem that I have (especially in services) is that they flip back and forth, trying to making their story compelling. If god wrote the bible, then first of all, there would be no need to flip from one point in history to another and then back again to make something of it seems maraculous. You can do this with any book. if God is omniprescent, then why wasn’t this bible or any holy text enscribed into our heart? why do God only speaks to “chosen” ones, who always need to speak with god either in secret or have secret ceremonies for “contacting”. And then all of a sudden, we look to them as leaders? Well as we can see with our own politics, try and question them on some of their beliefs (both the religious leader and the politician – Corporations can be included here also) and you get similarly the same story (“trust me and be obedient”).

    My heart doesn’t vibe in this way (“trust me and be obedient”) and I believe that no one heart vibes that way. example as a child we listen to what our parents and “leaders” tell us because of security. But as we get older and the “security blanket” is removed, we become rational. It seems that the only blanket that isn’t pulled is religion. ie: I’m a contractor, who’s been in the business for 10 years. Almost everytime I give an estimate, people tend to question everything on it, even though it’s all written there: the description of the work, all the materials (included in price), everything itemized, oh yeah and cost. I still get questioned: is this the best you can do, what if i paid in cash, can you include “this” in the price, etc. even though there should be no questions and they should believe me because they called me for help (just as calling out for God for help- prayer or meditate), and they are from all walks of life; religious, atheist, gay, black, white, etc.

    Religion teaches us to believe in something that isn’t there in front and all around you, but that person that is standing there in front of you that you can see, hear, touch, feel and (sometimes) smell (taste, is another discussion), not to trust him because he might have alterior motives (thief, liar,sinner,adulter,etc.).

    But then religion says that we were all created in the same way by God. so to honor god is to honor each other, and vise-versa.

    But to get back on topic, you have to use holy scriptures when speaking to someone about religion because they say that it is the trigger of their lives.

    So, “fight fire with fire”, “Bring a gun to a gun-fight” and stand “toe to toe”. And don’t bow down. the problem has been we have been submitting to religious, political and (corporate – different discussion) authority/organizations far too long.

    “Scripture” says that “the meek shall inherit the earth.”

    “It is easier for a camel to walk (not squeeze) through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    “The Kingdom of Heaven is within”

    Surely, these don’t apply to what history has told and showed us. And that is why it is needed.

    Believe in the Bible? Was written by God?

    It was written by believers in their belief.

    Religion is the only mental connection that keeps us with the Bronze Age. This is why we are infants in our “Spirit” (totally different from religion)

    Root word of Religion is “Legion” -

    1) A Roman army unit consisting of 3000 – 8000 men.

    2) A large group of “Armed” Men

    Just keep that in mind.

    Thanks for reading and I apologize for my spelling errors.

  12. Like it or not, deny it all you want, but you were made in God’s image, and you were made to have fellowship and to worship Him. If you don’t worship God, you’ll end up worshipping something or someone else–yourself (humanism), other people (look at the way people practically worship entertainment stars these days), money, drugs, sex, fame–pick your poison. You’ll end up trying to fill a void in your life that only God can fill. But you can lose your health, your job, your money, and people–those things are only temporary. Not even death itself can keep you from God if you are a believer.
    Our fellowship with God was broken because of sin. Have you read the headlines lately? Sin destroys everything–our relationships with others (divorce, murder, rape, thefts, the shabby way we treat others) and our relationship with God and even destroys our relationship with ourselves, bringing guilt, destroying our peace of mind, disease, and death. Sin can make us our own worst enemies at times.
    You can probably live your life well enough to please society, your parents, family and friends but there is not a man or woman alive on the face of this planet (including me) who can live well enough to meet God standards of perfection.
    But it’s not about having the right religion or living perfectly (which is impossible)–it’s about having the right relationship. Jesus Christ restored us to God by His death on the cross. B/c of His death on the cross when I fail and sin, He constantly convicts me, restores me, and changes me from the inside out. He cleanses and restores relationships and frees us from guilt. He did for me.
    Look, everyone wants 3 basic ?s answered: Where did I come from? Why am I here? What happens to me after I die? What I find appalling is the nothingness of atheism followed second only by the emptiness of humanism. Atheism tells me I came from nothing (which quite frankly takes way too much faith for me to believe–either that or the random mutations responsible for evolution would have to be magic to produce this much complexity in the world and therefore it is a fairytale), it tells me I’m just an animal on top of the food chain, and tells me I go back to nothing when I die. Its robs people of their hope. What’s the point? I think the big appeal of atheism is that it allows people to carry on with their lives without God’s restrictions to drain their “fun”–they get to do whatever is right in their own eyes (they get to decide what is right or wrong) and in the end they get to become their own god. To become your own god and decided right and wrong–I can understand the strong appeal in that.

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