I’ve posted before about the sign in front of the Baptist church I pass each day as I drive in and out of my neighborhood.  Well this week the sign says

“Don’t measure God’s mind by your own.”

After reading that for nearly a week now, I’m still confused as to what message that phrase is trying to convey.  In fact, I can think of three things that it could mean, one of which might make some sense.

  1. God works in mysterious ways
  2. We can’t comprehend God
  3. Shut up and obey

Can you guess which one I might actually agree with?  I think I made it easy enough, but to know why, you’ll have to click the link…it’s kind of a long explanation.

As much as I want others in my life to live by 3), unfortunately that’s never going to be the case, so if you picked 2) you win a lollipop1.

Now, I have no idea what they really think this phrase is supposed to mean.  It could mean that we shouldn’t question God and the things he does so don’t question God, your faith or your church.  Just shut up and obey and go to church each week and blindly follow what you’re told because there is no way your feeble little mind can understand God in his infinite wisdom…and by the way, we need money.  Maybe that’s their point…I hope not, but it could be.

But for me, I would agree with interpretation number 2?  Why you might ask?  Well, it’s really the basis for my lack of faith in religious institutions.  In my view, no human being can ever truly understand God.  We’ve barely begun to understand the world/universe in which we live, how are we supposed to understand something that supposedly is outside the realm of our world and has been in existence forever, a being that supposedly knows everything and can do anything.  But that’s what religion wants you to believe, that they’ve got it all figured out because they’ve got a book, you see, and it tells them everything.  If only it hadn’t been transcribed and translated hundreds of times, maybe we would be able to understand it.  God didn’t think about that did he?  No matter how hard theologians try to interpret the supposed word of God in the Bible, they can’t ever seem to agree on what it means.  Instead, whenever someone disagrees with what their being told, we end up with another split in the religious world and a new faction is born.

(insert the holy gourd vs the holy sandle scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian…damn, can’t find it on YouTube)

It’s kind of like a mutation of the original, usually just some small subtle changes.  But this happens over and over again until you have wide diversity in the beliefs between the various Christian religious factions.  hmm…kind of works like Evolution.

So in the end, what is a religion?  It’s really just someone’s interpretation of what they think God is, based on their interpretation of a book they say was inspired by God.  Well of course it was inspired by God, do you think anyone would listen to them if they said it was a book inspired by some guy named Joe and written by a committee?

Why should I believe some other persons interpretation of God?  No good reason I can think of, so I decided long ago to stop trying to interpret God and just try to understand that God just is.  It’s kind of like one of those unanswerable questions like what happened before the Big Bang.  We can think about it and come up with conjectures, but there is really no way to know.  It’s that way with God.  We’ll never really know, so for me, God just is.  In my view of God, there are no rules or rituals or special clothes to wear.  He doesn’t want me to pray to him or give money to some institution that carries his name like some sort of franchise business.  I feel that I should just try to be a good person and live my life in a good way and treat others like I would want to be treated.  It’s pretty simple really, no need for special tax breaks or special pieces of land that are supposed to be sacred that the factions can fight over, just a place in your mind to know that we are all part of something larger…we’re all connected and part of the universe.

It’s pretty simple really, we all learned it in kindergarten…do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  The golden rule.

I don’t think that’s what they intended that phrase to mean, but for me, it’s the closest I’ll probably get to agreeing with any of their messages.  And I doubt I’ll ever see the golden rule on that sign followed by an out of business message…one can only hope.

1Offer void in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and any other place on earth and in the universe

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