Browsing articles tagged with " spirituality"

Why Doesn’t God Practice What He Preaches?

Let me preface this by stating that I consider myself a Christian, in that I believe in Christ.

An old friend and I were talking the other day. I happened to mention that I thought “organized religion” failed us. Shocking right? An institution ran by men failing? He probed me with what my rub with institutionalized christianity was, and my latest reason is fairly simple. I have always felt that organized religion creates an incubator of sorts that encourages people to focus far too closely on the actions of themselves (and much more likely and more often) on the actions of those around them.

It seems to be commonly encouraged to focus on the physical actions of sins, when in my opinion all sinful acts stem from a sinful thought or feeling. I had the displeasure of attending an ultra-conservative christian university, and I’ll never forget how many times I heard people snickering and gossiping about this or that person that was drinking or smoking (which aren’t in and of themselves sinful acts). Very few people were interested in the why of that person’s actions. They were much more entertained by jumping on the judgement bandwagon and condemning the final act. But I digress…

The point I made was that the leaders of christianity would be much better served to try and address the root of the sinful act, the feelings that cause someone to act sinfully. Jealousy is one of my favorite examples. It’s openly condemned in the Bible, and I think virtually everyone on the planet can agree that no good comes of jealous thoughts. In fact, many many many negative sinful acts are rooted in jealousy. I mean, come on pastors of the world, it’s so simple. Pastoring these days seems often to take the road of Medical doctors, simply writing prescription after prescription to treat symptoms, instead of treating the real issue.

My friend agreed (which slightly suprised me, I’d counted on playing devil’s advocate), and then made a point that’d never crossed my mind, but then promptly blew it. God is jealous.
See for yourself:

Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
- Exodus 34:14, NIV
…for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.
- Exodus 20:4-6, NIV
or this…
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
– Deutoronomy 4:24, NIV

So God is without a doubt jealous (according to words he put in men’s mouths).

Men are without a doubt encouraged to avoid and run from jealousy:

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
- Romans 13:13 NIV

I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
– 2 Corinthians 12:20 NIV

So why the disparity between man and God? I posed this question to my brother, and his reaction was simple: God doesn’t play by our rules. I understand and agree with that statement plainly and perfectly. I can acknowledge that a God that created entire planets, galaxies, and the universe and everything in them can do whatever he wants. He makes the rules, and we’re here on earth to try and play by those rules. They have changed and been tweaked over time, and I’m even okay with that.

But at the risk of being struck with lightning I’ll throw out this thought: despite the fact that God doesn’t HAVE to follow the rules we do to get into them pearly gates, like a good parent or role model of any kind, wouldn’t it make much more sense for him to practice what he preaches?

I don’t pretend to be on an intellectual level with the creator of the universe, and until I have a satisfactory answer I’m content to simply continue following what I know what’s right and true to my soul. I just am simply wondering… why God?

Quotes I Like…

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. ~Epictetus

Anyone who trades liberty for security, deserves neither liberty nor security. ~Benjamin Franklin

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as they do it from religeous conviction. ~Blaise Pascal

When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching. ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton