WHAT KIND OF “GOD” IS YOUR GOD?

Gods come and go –

Over time, Gods get born, become really scary, and then, ultimately, fade away,
And die.
Dead Gods are almost completely forgotten –
Because, as time passes, most people can’t even remember their names.

In a similar situation, one day, Saul/Paul decided to create a “new” God,
And name him “Jesus Christ” –
It was a good trick – to take a crushed man and turn him into “God” –
This happened because, in Paul’s view, the God being worshipped during that time
Was an angry, intolerant, and quickly-fading “tribal” God – with no “juice” –
Already on the way to becoming a dying God –
Paul wanted something “new” to put in the place of that older god –
Something never before seen.

Two millennia later, for their own reasons, American “Evangelicals”
Also decided to pick up that crushed man
And turn him into a “key” – to open the doors of partisan political power –
Yes, they made that once holy spiritual human being
Into a “thing” to beat up nonbelievers with –
A shibboleth to reject all “others” who refuse to say his name is “God.”

This “man\God,” in turn, has been “dying” down through the hallways of modern history –
Leaving behind infinite numbers of bibles and other contemporary “clay shards” –
Along with a religion that not many serious spiritual people still believe in –
That is, “Evangelical Christianity” –
Which is now being ignored by increasing numbers of young people.

Jesus, oh Jesus, Jesus
Why did Paul/Saul pick up your body
And make you into something you never were?

Why did Saul/Paul attempt to achieve semi-God status for himself
Through the creation of a “new” God?

Paul, the “God creator!”

What a subtle serious trick to play upon posterity!

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THE PEARL THAT IS YOU (for Ruth)

When you tithe, you might buy a few more bricks for a new church annex,
But, unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy God
Through this kind of material agency.

And, even though thousands of people regularly assemble at a specific place of worship –
God will more commonly be found, waiting alone, out in the parking lot.

In truth, God resists being organized
By a committee, a denomination, or even a religious empire,
Nor can God be systematized by logic or complex mathematical equations –
In fact, it’s simply not possible to preserve a spiritually deteriorating civilization
By transforming a standard-issue, everyday God into a shibboleth
To be held in people’s mouths like a piece of butterscotch candy.

Even if we stand out in the street – shouting –
“Open, Jesus, Open”–
God will refuse to open
Because God doesn’t respond to “holy” passwords.

Usually, God is most likely to be found when we’re not really looking –
And, frequently, is discovered in the most surprising places.

The human heart has enough room for a miniature sky – sprinkled with surprises –
But the best one – by far – the one you’ve always hoped for –

Will arrive first thing in the morning
When, half-asleep, your hand reaches under your pillow –
And, there it is –
The pearl you’ve traded your entire life for –

The pearl that is you.