Monday, October 11, 2010

Omnipotent Lite

Honestly, I don’t think I ever worshiped an all-powerful god. Oh sure, I had faith and I believed, but fact of the matter was, there were times God didn’t protect us, no matter how faithfully we adhered to his word. Bad things happen to good people. Needless suffering – children being raped, abused, enslaved, or else starving to death – happens on such a grand scale it’s no wonder we do our best to block it out and not think about it. Of course, I can’t seem to do that.

The Problem of Pain has always, always, always been the seed of my doubt. I see that now. I wanted a god who was loving and awesome (in the old school sense) and kept his word. And hey, since my dad walked out on us before my earliest memories, I liked the idea of having a daddy who was always there looking out for me. But I didn’t think he was all-powerful.

I "knew" any number of demonic forces, generational curses, soul ties, unconfessed sins, etc (ad nauseum) could “shorten God’s arm” as my Giggy said, and could be a hindrance to Him, or could stop His blessing from being received. It’s funny, I think I had an answer to Euthyphro’s dilemma when I was six. God stopped as much evil as he could, and he was still more powerful than anyone or anything else, just not 100% powerful. In the black-and-white world of my grandmother's teachings, I had to make my god a little gray to deal with the cognitive dissonance.

Looking back, I don’t think I ever really did believe God was ALL powerful. Pretty powerful, sure. Creator of the universe? Absolutely. Infinite deity? You betcha. Capable of overcoming the logical paradoxes created by an omnibenevolent omnipresent omniscient and omnipotent god existing alongside observable reality? Nope.

My god was never that cool.

Brooklyn Museum - Mano Poderosa (The All-Powerful Hand), or Las Cinco Personas (The Five Persons) - Mexican - overall