Brannan Manning said the following…

History attests that religion and religious people tend to be narrow. Instead of expanding our capacity for life, joy, and mystery, religion often contracts it. As systematic theology advance, the sense of wonder declines. The paradoxes, contradictions and ambiguities of life are codified, and God himself is cribbed, cabined, and confined within the pages of a leather-bound book. Instead of a love story the Bible is viewed as a detailed manual of directions.”

As Brennan said, history shows us that we tend to make God smaller.  I want Him to fit into my comfortable world.  I want Him to become like me.  Hell, if God agrees with me, then I am the good guy.  This is something we all do in our own small way and when we get together in groups, we amplify this effect.  History shows us that we do this over and over and over…and over.

A lot of us however are not in groups at the moment.  We are in the wilderness enjoying the Mystery that IS God.  We try to come to grips with a God that is bigger than we can comprehend.  My question is this; “Is there a way that we ensure that we do not repeat history or are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes?  And yes, I’m talking to those “outside” the organised part of church.  We are not immune and the dangers are much bigger than we think, because our mistakes are small and not easily detected.  How will I ensure that God does not end up looking like me?  For this one, I have no answer.  Perhaps you have an idea.  If you have, I would like to hear it 🙂

God bless


10 thoughts on “History

  1. Hey, Abmo, I do have an answer :)…not THE answer, mind you, but an answer! I think the biggest way we can ensure that God doesn’t end up looking like us is to keep company with many different types of people who are NOT LIKE US. Keep company with people who are “further out there” than you are comfortable with. Keep company with people who stretch you in your thinking and challenge you in your assumptions. Keep company with people who don’t know God at all. Keep company with people who are regular church-goers. Keep company with liberals and conservatives and listen with an open heart.

    I’m finding this path to be a wonderful one and my concept and image and view of God is constantly growing. It’s often uncomfortable; I like that!

    Hope you’re well!

    • Hi Tracy, I’m very glad you came by. I’ve been wondering how you are for some time now.

      Looking at your reply, I have to agree. I think open heart listening to those who are not like us will help us with this God we cannot contain 🙂

      thanks and PLEASE blog again

  2. Hey Abmo….I love this quote..great to see you as well Tracy!

    “Mother Teresa said once, “God is love in action,” and I think that definition reminds me of something Alan Watts said to me — wind is a wonderful thing, but you can’t put it in a box and wrap it up and send it to a friend — it isn’t wind any more. God In A Box isn’t God, either, to my way of thinking, but, rather, a presumptuous attitude on our parts that we can wrap around God’s being, intent, actions and depth. It’s a little like saying a wave has the total and complete knowledge of the ocean of which it itself is a part.”

    Amazing how many are still trying to make Him shut up and fit into their “concepts!” I guess its safer that way 😦

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