I listen to a few talk channels on my car’s satellite radio service, mostly progressive talk channels because I find myself most in alignment with those kinds of views. Recently, there was more talk about ISIS and America’s involvement of late. Lots of things were brought up which I cannot now recall, but I do recall mention of some Air Force (I think?) general who, while speaking of Islamic terrorists, is quoted as having said, “My god is bigger than their god.”
I remember being a Christian very well, although it’s been a good twenty years. I easily recall that there many times when god was discussed exactly like this. “Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is!” These kinds of “poster slogans” are really about as basic as it can get and quite pathetic. Everything implied in sayings like that, and meaner pronouncements like the aforementioned general’s, should really send people running in the other direction. Too often, however, people are too busy drinking the so-called Kool-Aid to ever stop and really consider what might be in it.
I find statements referencing God’s “size” to be really problematic. Firstly, it’s a blatant contradiction to so many of the other things claimed to be true about God: Omnipresent (all-places). Omnipotent (all-powerful). Omniscient (all-knowing), and so forth. How can you reason that your God is “all” of all those things and then also claim that God has a size – which you do when you say things like the general said.
I suppose, for the sake of argument, that it could be understood that no specific size is being attributed to God. After all, what the general said could be understood in the way I’ve presented it here or it could be more vaguely understood as saying the same as, “However big theirs is, mine is bigger” in which case you technically still don’t know how big “mine” is but you understand that it’s bigger than yours, well … theirs, which apparently does have a finite size because I couldn’t otherwise possibly claim that mine is bigger. Right?
So what’s the issue with that? Well, the issue is still size.
I was once a Pagan (without knowing it). I’ve been a Christian. I returned briefly to Paganism for a time after that. And have, for more than a decade now called myself a Hindu. Certainly if anyone’s understanding of The One has changed or evolved, then mine has – and how! Not bragging, but I have literally seen just about all of the coin’s sides. I understand, from the finite perspective of being in a human body, that assigning attributes to The One somehow “helps” us or something, although I’ll admit that view is increasingly lost on me.
And I think that’s what stood out to me when I heard of the general’s statement about how his (Christian) god is bigger than the Muslims’ God. Surely, it’s vitally important to our own development that we’re careful not to make God too much like our own tiny, measureable selves. How much are we actually reaching to transcend if we’re dummying down That which we’re reaching toward?
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha
Great, so we are in fact engaged in a Holy War over there. Good to know.
Secondly, oh snap, I posted something on facebook that said EXACTLY that thing about “tell your problems how big your (in this case it was Ganesha) is.” But I dont see it as giving a physical attribute to God. Its more like if you forget that God is Omni-everything and start letting your problems run wild on your brainspace, then you might need to remind your problems in your brainspace that God IS in fact omni-everything.
Your article has proven useful to me. It’s extremely useful and you’re certainly very knowledgeable in this area.
You have opened my eyes to various views on this
topic with appealing as well as solid content.
Thank you for the encouragement, Edward. I’m glad you’re able to take something from Sthapati posts.