How often we hear our priests or preachers speak about ‘a merciful God’ or ‘God’s mercy’. And personally, I cringe every time I hear it. The concept of a ‘merciful God’ is a direct holdover from the old Jewish idea of a God who is basically vengeful but one who can at times be merciful. The imagined demonstration of that mercy comes only as a consequence of our incessant begging and pleading with God to forgive us and is often accompanied by some sort of sacrifice on our part. In the old Jewish days, that sacrifice was in the form of burned offerings of perfect specimens of one kind or another which could only be supplied by and offered by the High Priest.
When the Roman Catholic Church was formed at the behest of Roman Emperor Constantine during the first council at Nicaea in ancient Turkey in 325 AD, the sacrificial offering changed from a ‘perfect offering’ of some animal or produce specimen to the ‘unbloody sacrifice’ of the recreated body and blood of Jesus, himself during the Catholic Mass ritual. Of course, just as in the Jewish ritual, only the priest could provide that recreated Jesus and then offer him to God his father in hopes of appeasing our vengeful God and thereby garner his mercy.
To the unsuspecting, all that may sound well and good. However, in light of my definition of our God’s essence as ‘A Perfect rational Being’, none of that concept fits. First of all, since God is perfect, he cannot possibly be hurt, displeased, or please; therefore, no attempt at appeasement is rational. Secondly, God’s perfection demands he be ‘Perfect Love’. Perfect Love means ‘acceptance without conditions’ — God loves us and all his creation unconditionally, regardless of what we do or don’t do. Therefore, philosophically speaking, there cannot be any legitimate rational concept of a ‘merciful God’—that idea is a direct holdover from Mosaic Law and ancient Jewish ritual.
You may protest that when we murder, rape, steal, etc. we are sinning against God. Not so — we are sinning against each other, and that’s why we have civil laws. Moses used that identical tactic against the Israelites when they became hedonistic and distrustful of both God and Moses while wandering in the desert. Moses was intelligent — after all, he weaseled his way out of murder while in Egypt and then managed to become leader of the Israelites. So, he sat down and reasoned to a good set of ‘civil rules’. His intention was to get the Israelites to correct their wayward activities. However, they just laughed at him. So, he resorted to the last weapon he had at his disposal — he invented sin. He presented a second set of civil rules to them but, his time, he presented them as God’s rules with the stern admonition that any lawbreaker was ‘sinning’ against God and certainly would reap God’s wrath.
Of course, being human, they all sinned incessantly in one way or another. Since, in their minds, they were offending God, they reasoned that he must be appeased — the concept of ‘sacrificial appeasement’ came into being while hoping for God’s mercy. Eventually, the Israelites reached the Promised Land, but the dye had been cast — God must be appeased at all costs — and cost it did. A hierarchy was established with a High Priest who became the ‘chief appeaser”. His services did not come free. Neither were they haphazard — a specific ritual was established, and religion was invented.
By the time Jesus came along, usurpation of both power and wealth by the High Priest was so open and arrogant that Jesus railed against it. He knew he would be killed for his attitude and teachings but his determination to liberate his brethren from the ‘stifling yoke of guilt’ imposed upon them by Jewish religious abuses drove him onward. He attempted to educate his followers about the true, all-loving God, before his death so they might tell the world — God is not and cannot be merciful — God is all love. In fact, Jesus’ only direct command was ‘to love your God with your whole being and love your neighbor as yourself’.
Whatever his aspirations and hopes, it is quite obvious that ‘Jesus was a total failure’. Oh, that his word had been heeded. We would not have thousands and thousands of ‘fake, mythical religions’ tearing at the heartstrings of people everywhere. We would have an earth covered with loving, accepting, people who are at peace with God and each other.
Accordingly, once again, I enter my plea for ‘The Worldwide Communion of Spirituality’ which is the recognition and acceptance that every particle of energy which makes up everything in our universe is ‘branded’ with The Holy Spirit, The Will of God — otherwise it could not be.
For complete elucidation of these concepts and many more, please read my little books, Wilderness Cry, Peace in Spirituality, and Provocative Catholic. I believe you would find my book Growing Up In Fancy Farm Kentucky, both educational and amusingly humorous. All available Amazon Kindle, and from me, email@example.com.
NB: all comments and/or questions are welcomed and will be addressed forthrightly.
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