Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Forever and ever, amen

It's always amusing to hear people intone that God is the same today as he was yesterday, and will be the same tomorrow. It clearly contradicts all historical experience -- just pick any period in history, examine the teachings and behaviors of any Church, and ask yourself if there have been no changes from then until now. It also contradicts Scripture itself, at least as God was portrayed in some of the early books of the Bible.*

So it's hard to resist poking fun as someone who says, "God wants me to do X," and when he changes his mind, breezily announces that "God wants me to do Y." Matt Hinton pokes a little fun at Oregon football player Lache Seastrunk, a highly-recruited player who has just transferred to Baylor in search of playing time. When he first went to Oregon, Seastrunk told reporters, ""I just really leaned on God and asked Him where I really need to be."

Now that he's going elsewhere, it's "When I first intentionally went there, I felt like God wanted to be there. But God also does things — God also pulls you out of the storm before it happens. So I felt like something was about to go down and God just wanted me to get up out of there." So nice of God to pull you out of a storm you wouldn't be in if you hadn't listened to Him in the first place. He can be just swell that way.

In the Mr. Deity world, I imagine the following conversation:

Larry: "We totally punked him! Oh, I know! Now tell him you want him to go to Alaska-Fairbanks!"
Mr. Deity: "That'd be awesome! He's from Texas; Alaska would just kill him!"
Larry: "Plus, they don't even have a football team!"

* My favorite example: when the Israelites worshiped the golden calf at Sinai, God told Moses that he was going to destroy them all and offered to make Moses's own descendents become the great nation of sycophants that He longed for. Apparently six or seven centuries is plenty of time for even God to forget that He had made the same solemn promise to Abraham. Fortunately, Moses was a far more forgiving and compassionate person than Yahweh and talked Him into changing His mind back again.

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