Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

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SilentDawning
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Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by SilentDawning » 09 Jul 2020, 08:19

I was thinking about the pandemic, and the revelations chapter that addresses the 7 vials or plagues that God pours out on the earth. The purpose of these vials was to get the people to serve him.

I am trying to put myself in God's shoes so to speak, and trying to figure out how I would proceed, if I were trying to get people to worship me. (I am NOT trying to get anyone to worship me, simply stepping into God's shoes).

It came to me, wouldn't it just be easier and more effective to TELL PEOPLE what the truth is, and have one source of truth? Please don't quote that this is Satan's plan -- it's not. Satan's plan was to force everyone to get to heaven. In this scenario I've proposed, everyone still has a choice. But think about it. God has put us on this planet with a smorgasbord of religions we can belong to, each claiming to be right in some way. This is true even if they don't claim to be the only true church. Talk about setting us up for failure from the start gate! And then the scriptures give us the Holy Ghost as the messenger of truth. But feelings of the Holy Ghost can be mimicked by emotions, touching stories, and so many other things good orators can instill in others. God has basically set up a system where you've got to pick one that you think is the best and run with it -- if you get that far - with a highly unreliable spiritual-emotional standard of truth.

I know that if I was in a position to usher in the last days, I wouldn't be turning all rivers to blood, inflicting sores on everybody, and all the other complicated plagues of the last days. There are a number of people (and I like to think I am one of them) who would align themselves God if there was a really clear standard. He's all powerful, why can't he make this standard glaringly clear?

That chapter in revelations detailing the plagues on the earth in the last days reminds me of a complicated death scene in a James Bond movie. In these death scenes, rather than simply killing James Bond with a bullet, the villian sets up a complicated death apparatus and then LEAVES. It's great drama, but it's not a particularly effective way to meet your objectives of eliminating a threat. Similarly, all these vials/plagues from the last days aren't very effective means of convincing people to believe in the truth when there is an absence of clear truth about what to actually believe.

Thoughts on this? Maybe this is just a new angle on an old problem we've discussed, but the pandemic has me looking at the way the scriptures says God works and it seems highly impractical to me that God would leave his best spirits to the last days, then introduce all this suffering and chastening, while never being blatantly clear which of the many religious voices should be followed.

The other thing that suggests it would be more God-like to just tells us what he wants in an unambiguous way is that this is the plan we now see. Present a million different voices all claiming a portion or all of the truth. Confuse everyone, then, when they don't listen to the one needle in a haystack voice, hit them with pestilance and suffering until they cry unto God and listen to one of the voices. This seems awfully harsh for a truly loving God.

Maybe he doesn't care which "God" we worship as long as our actions are kind and just and we have respect for existence of a loving God.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 11 Jul 2020, 17:10, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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DarkJedi
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Jul 2020, 09:40

Along this same lines, why is God so hard to find? Were God more accessible and more "real" I believe there would be far more followers. Why make all of these promises and associated threats and remain hidden if your real goal is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" but the way that happens is man has to follow you but can't find you or know for sure if he has or not?

So, yeah, I agree, why not just tell us? Isn't that at least part of why we have a prophet? From one point of view, I don't fear the pandemic as a plague of the last days because the prophet has said so little about it and what he has said has been words of comfort and not to worry.

So here comes the heretical, cynical, dark side of the force me - what if all that stuff in the Book of Revelation is a bunch of hoo-ha? It reads to me much more like the Old Testament God than the New Testament God. I honestly struggle with the OT God (Jehovah) being the same guy as the New Testament God - they're too different. And I don't believe in the OT God anyway, that God is too different from the God who loves us all and wants all of us to return. Givens contrasts the jealous, vengeful kind of God who seeks us to be servants and worship to the loving God who serves us. Like Givens, I choose to have faith in the latter.

I have been watching FX's The Americans. The premise of the show is Soviet spies living among us in the 1980s. In one episode (4:11) the female lead Elizabeth is talking with a local pastor who advises her to pray for guidance. She responds "What if you don't believe in God? Or religion or prayer?" (she doesn't) to which he responds "None of those things matter...all that matters is how we treat each other." I think he got it right. (BTW, I like this show but I don't recommend it to the squeamish or prude, and spiritual insights like this are rare.)
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Roy
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by Roy » 09 Jul 2020, 16:23

I was having this discussion with an individual recently. It was being theorized that the priesthood ban was started by God to reduce the amount of persecution that the church would face from a racist society. I was thinking that if the goal was to minimize persecution then why do polygamy - something that definitely increased persecution and that still lingers with a bad after taste today. If I were God and I was playing the long game I might have my early church followers emphasize equality for all humanity. Sure they would face persecution for it but then hundreds of years later it would seem that we were way ahead of our time and truly enlightened.

But we do not have the option of changing the way things were. The best that we can hope for is taking the existing reality and then try to generate meaning and purpose from it. Hopefully we are able to learn from our past and grow and change our narratives as time moves forward. When we know better it is time to do better.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Arrakeen
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by Arrakeen » 09 Jul 2020, 16:31

I don’t like the idea that we’re supposed to find some one true path. I prefer to think that we’re meant to forge our own new, unique path. What would be the point of agency if there’s already a pre-built path we need to follow? What learning would there be? Maybe God doesn’t tell us anything because the point of life is to become independent and figure everything out on our own. Maybe God can’t tell us a clear standard because there isn’t one.

I wonder if Revelations and other confusing religious “truths” function similarly to certain conspiracy theories where people like to believe they have some special knowledge that is hidden from others. It can’t be obvious because then people won’t feel special or chosen.

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nibbler
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by nibbler » 11 Jul 2020, 05:31

Maybe growth is found in the struggle.

And I do like the idea that there isn't one true path because it creates space for each of us to blaze our own trail.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

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SilentDawning
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by SilentDawning » 11 Jul 2020, 17:06

Further on this -- I'm glad that no one said "it's not supposed to be easy" or one of these other statements that seems to justify the ambiguity associated with finding the truth. Another statement I thought people might make is an appeal to the scripture that says "your ways are not My ways, and your thoughts are not My thoughts".

The reason I raise this last issue is that I am saying if I were in His shoes I would not make it so hard to determine what the map is. Traditionalists could indicate that God does not think the way we do, so my argument is invalid.

However, we do have evidence that God does think like man and vice versa. For example, the Roman that asked Christ to heal a family member. I think Christ asked the man to bring the person to him. The Roman replied that he believed Christ could heal from a distance, as a form of delegation. The Roman even indicated that he was drawing on his experience in delegating tasks to his men. Christ then healed from a distance as the man requesed, citing the man's great faith.

Also, why set up an earthly system that is completely unlike the problems and circustmances God experienced during this phase of his development? Are we not preparing for Godhood? And therefore, wouldn't reasoning such as the kind I gave in the opening paragraph carry some weight? And how are we to trust ourselves if we don't have the assurance that we are on common ground with God when it comes to the exercise of logic?

Anyway, I'm "arguing" against arguments that were never given, but raise this as I anticipated responses to my opening post like the ones above. I'm glad I didn't hear many :)
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by Roy » 13 Jul 2020, 11:41

Yes, I believe a challenge to our belief model is that we call everyone to follow the us...or continue in darkness. As if we alone have access to light.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Rich70
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by Rich70 » 03 Aug 2020, 01:07

Trying to explain God into things that he isn’t involved was sort of mental gymnastics for me. If no explanation makes sense and one answer creates two more unanswerable questions, I think eventually we have to accept that there may be a simpler more correct answer we have been to scared to face yet.

For me those answers are:

God is not and will not be giving us plagues.
God is not behind the pandemic
God had nothing to do with racism in the church. All credit goes to the men in charge ( even the church admits this now)
God did not institute polygamy

Believing this helps me be less racist, less sexist, and less naive but unfortunately for me it’s those same common sense beliefs and steps to unravel all that cognitive dissonance that led to my disbelief in the Church.
I think to believe fully in the church, you either have to not ask those types of questions ( which works for a lot of people ) or if you are inquisitive and not afraid of truth wherever it may be found, then you will find yourself doing mental gymnastics until you either retreat back to not asking questions or surrender to new beliefs.

That’s how the process has been for me. I had an answer for all my doubts until I allowed myself to ask harder and harder questions and ran out of answers. I eventually had to change one variable and it all made sense.
For me it’s a liberating and scary place to be. The church had all the answers and now I have so few.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Aug 2020, 05:22

I think many people like the black/white or either/or model and thus get caught up in mazes they can't find a way out of. There is no question I was once a very black and white thinker. It's much easier if there are only two choices or no choice. But in context of the OP I think we need to consider that things may not be so black and white on purpose - that there really isn't just one way. I'll use baptism as an example. A cogent scriptural argument can be made that we must be baptized in order to go to heaven. At the same time, a scriptural cogent argument can be made that all we need to do to get to heaven is believe. And at the same time it could be argued that we need to do more than either of those things, maybe much more. Maybe it's not "either/or" or even "and." Maybe there really are multiple ways and the ambiguity from our puny human perspective is on purpose so we don't get trapped (except in our own minds).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Minyan Man
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Re: Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us?

Post by Minyan Man » 03 Aug 2020, 07:02

Wouldn't it be easier just to tell us? Absolutely.
Sometimes I think His purpose is to "allow" life to be difficult.
Than in the process of figuring it out, "worship me".
I know this is sarcastic. If I offend, I'm sorry.

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