I think "God" is a problem for humans, because God, if he exists, is beyond our capacity to verify. And because there are so many ways in which God has been understood, it only leads to endless speculations.
Those that think that God has given them special priviledge or rights can act arrogantly or presumptively toward others, who differ in their understandings. And those that think that God has revealed all that needs to be known in scriptures, are doubly dangerous.
Some have thought that "God" was a projection of our wishes, others think that "God" is a fulfillment of our wishes. These views are underwritten by psychological science.
Anthropologists understand myth as a cultural value in describing "God" and these myths bring meaning to life in various cultural contexts. But, is meaning important when meaning skews the real world of values?
Sociologists understand that communities of faith are ways that humans find significance, value and belonging and sometimes, even their very identity. But, the basis of our identity is multi-dimensional. We are identified by our families of origin, our religion, our country, our friends, our social connections, our jobs, our personalities, and what we value most.
Each of these social sciences are not interested in whether there is really a "real God" who exists, but the practical reasons, and implications of such belief.
If one believes that family is the most basic foundation of identity, an individual's life is formed by the values that are held within the family. But, American society has dissolved family connections through many avenues of pursuing the American Dream. And the pursuit of the American Dream has led to countless divorce, child neglect, blended families, domestic abuse, and a de-valueing of family, as a whole.
The child so formed in such an environment of disorder and chaos, leaves the child with little to identify with, and a depth of loss that cannot be filled easily with finding other solutions. These need a healthy dose of therapy and help from others in society.
These children can experience osterizicism and criticism from the "Chrstian world" where things are "nice and neat". The attitude can be: "What's wrong with "That" family", or " We don't want our children to be influenced by "them". The child so labelled suffers doubly from isolation and a sense that everything is their fault.
So, "God" is useful to promote moral outrage at those who need what society needs to give. The "Christian Ideal" is seldom the real truth of the matter, no matter how devout or devoted. And Christians should be honest about this. Otherwise, there is no hope for anyone.
"God" is useless, as far as I am concerned for real solutions in the real world. Christians need to stop running to be "christian" and attempt to be human and learn to be a real person in a real world with real needs.
I used to believe in "God" as anesthesia to my pain. And I used "God" as a replacement for self-acceptance and coming to terms with reality. If God accepted me, then I could have permission to accept myself. But, self-acceptance is taking responsibility for one's own personal choices and decisions and not looking to communities, whether of faith or not, to validate one's choice, and commitments.
Reality is painful because there are many problems in the world and no theology, scripture, doctrine, church, or christian will "fix it", because the world is broken beyond repair. And our only hope is recognizing that and being there for another, while attempting to rectify what we personally think will help most.
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