Saturday, September 03, 2005

God's Will?

Reading something on DonDon009's blog brought these thoughts to mind for me today.

When I was growing up we were regulars at the Wesley United Methodist Church. We had a family pew... we sat in the same spot on that same pew every single Sunday. We went to Sunday School first, then ran next door to the drug store soda fountain for a nickel coke or scoop of Sealtest ice cream in a regular cone. Then back to Wesley for the service. Often I was called upon to be one of two Acolytes. My friend Edward was usually the other one... he was in my same Sunday School class. An acolyte basically light's the candles. We wore robes similar to the the choir's, walked in first and then sat next to the minister by the alter. After the service, we extinguished the candles and followed the minister out of the sanctuary. It gave me a feeling of importance. My mother lamented when I'd take off my shoes or swing my legs during the sermon but I was there and participating. Vacation Bible School was also required in my family but that was only one week in the summer and was mostly fun and like a day camp. When my kids were little and we lived in that same small town, our family followed the same ritual. The only difference was that the soda fountain was no longer a part of that drug store.

Some of those childhood lessons were accepted completely as fact. As I got older, the ones that didn't make sense I began to question. Today I go through periods where I believe and others when I do not. I remain puzzled why a God would allow us do such awful things to each other but that's not my point.

In all that traditional church upbringing one thing was definite... assuming there is a God... that God is good. I do not ever remember fire and brimstone, vengeance or hate. The Wesley Methodist God was always good. God could be disappointed in you... or dislike your choices and behavior but always loved you. Like a parent to a child God loved you no matter what. The song says so... Jesus Loves Me! The Bible School grace says so... "God is great, God is good, let us than him for our food. amen" We were taught to always love one another, the Golden Rule, and the Ten Commandments. Follow those simple rules and you were covered with God. We were NEVER taught that any one group of people are bad. The God we learned about was loving and forgiving. You could mess up but if you were truly sorry God will forgive you and love you still.... NOT send you to hell. There wasn't even the threat of hell in my mind. As long as you tried your best to be good it was cool with God. Love and Goodness were always the underlying lessons... at least that's what I got out of them.

When "religious leaders" announce that natural disasters and tragic things happen because God hates someone I don't understand how that's possible given my upbringing. To those idiots I suggest you come down from your ivory towers and make yourself useful. Not by soliciting money or new members or passing out YOUR propaganda or sending your people to cover it to put your own spin on things. Take some of that money you raised in God's name and do something good with it. Whether or not you agree with the lifestyle or beliefs of those affected. Show up, pray with those who want it, roll up your sleeves and fill some trash bags, serve some food, wash a baby's face, comfort and serve. WWJD? Bet he wouldn't be sitting in a TV studio passing judgement.


At 7:55 PM, Blogger sttropezbutler said...

That just gave me chills GFF...


At 8:20 PM, Blogger RED QUILT MAKER said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again cousin...
You're the best!


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