Monday, March 31, 2014

Great New Video by Gary Yourofsky

This is an excellent video!  I am not sure if the interviewer was taking on the role she did on purpose, but she seemed pretty genuine.  Either way, it is effective!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For Christians Who Enjoy Philosophy! Ponder Jesus and God's Names and Images

How do you see Jesus in your head?  Long, wavy hair, pale skin, delicate features?  How about God?  Do you see the gray-white beard and angry look that was portrayed by Michelangelo, or do you have another image of God when you talk to him in your head?

I wonder why God and Jesus do not automatically put an accurate picture of themselves into our minds.  They are all powerful and, according to what most people believe, God made us, so you would think he could easily interject his correct looks into our brains.  While he is at it, perhaps he could divulge his and Jesus’ real names. Because God and Jesus are not right!  The earliest versions I heard in the Christian religion are Yahweh for God and Yeshua for Jesus.  But if you go back further, Yeshua disappears and Yahweh turns into a river god just named Yaw.  (To confuse matters, Jesus was supposed to be called Immanuel according to his mother!  But Mom had little influence on baby Jesus.)  For ease, and since we do not know their names for certain, we will call them God and Jesus the rest of the way through this blog, even though you would think God and Jesus would want to be called by their real names! 

I would hate for people to be praying to me, calling me Susie when my name is Bobbie! If people were praying to me but imagined that I looked like Lady Gaga instead of how I really look, I would be upset about it!  I would think Jesus would get really sick of people imagining him as a very pretty Jesus, when he most likely had a big nose, a short body, short curly black hair and dark skin.  It has to be so frustrating to constantly listen to all the prayers in the world when all the people are to the wrong person and using a wrong name! 

Yet Christians do not seem to mind that they have the names wrong, and will make up excuses in order to keep praying to whom they see in pictures.  Some Christians claim they actually hear God and Jesus’ voices in side their heads, answering them; much like when you mentally test a conversation by carrying it out in your head first.  Other Christians claim they do not actually hear a voice, but get “a feeling” while talking and praying. A feeling is an emotion that comes from the brain and chemicals in the body.  A feeling is manufactured by you, so I do not see that as evidence that anyone is listening. 

I recently saw a picture of an Asian Jesus counseling fellow Asians.  I wonder how many different concepts of Jesus and of God there are!  My mother thought God was “A Force for Good” so I always pictured some strong metal purple-brown sheet as the “Force” – I do not know why.  I wonder who she prayed to when she prayed?  Because she admitted she did pray, mostly as a way to center her thoughts.  Did she picture a purple-brown sheet too or did her “Force for Good” look different?  Would God be offended by being seen as a metal purple-brown sheet? 

My own image of God was a very happy fellow with a deep, slightly breathy voice, and a gentle Ho, Ho, Ho chuckle.  He looked kind of like Santa, with a very round face, and he often peeked from behind a cloud.  His speech patterns were just like mine – just slower and deeper – but the cadences were the same.  I think I combined Santa with the sun for my image of God, the image that followed me around for a good share of my life. 

 Where did you pick up your image of God?  Did you make him up yourself?  Does he look and sound like the typical image of God or do you have a variation?  Does your God have the same accent as you and the same pronunciation – just slower and deeper?   How about Jesus?  Does he look like the pictures you have seen or an actor you saw on T.V.? 

If you have such a personal relationship with God or Jesus, wouldn’t you think they both would share what they look like and what their names are with you? 

Why are all of our images of God and Jesus not consistent?  That is a big question right there.  Why does everyone have his/her own idea of what these two characters look like?  Since God and Jesus have not provided their “looks” to us and not spoken to us about their real names, and since we have developed our feelings toward them and developed their personalities based on what little we have read; we can see that everything about them has been created in our imaginations.  Perhaps they themselves were originally created in someone’s imagination!