Saturday, January 6, 2007


This essay was written after an encounter with some conservative Christian theologians who felt they had God figured out. I was once one of them. They have a fixed doctrinal statement, absolutely positive that they understand the Nature of God and His Work in the Universe.

God hasten the day when we break free of the sectarian arrogance by which people make such dogmatic assertions about the nature of God, perfect Holy Books, theories of sin and redemption and a host of other Cosmic conundrums. We don't even know how electricity works or why fractal geometry doesn't square with Newtonian geometry, and these folks are pontificating about the nature of the universal deity. How could they ever know with such certainty that God has three heads and is pissed off to the point that He had to have His son slaughtered for our sins?

The irony is that such cold, frozen dogmatism, purporting to spread love and peace, has chronically galvanized denominational and geographical conflicts through the ages by these myriad doctrines. This goofy theological priest craft is founded on sectarian texts rife with moral and theological contradictions, texts that have evolved out of spurious origins from second century Episcopal councils made up of humans with a need to control the masses for their own good.


Having removed myself from the know-it-all cult, I feel a unique sense of pity, gratefulness and fascination at the freakish display of certainty found there. I suppose it is the herd and tribe mentality that characterizes folks from Salt Lake City to the Islamic Taliban - the need to be in a tribe of like-minded disciples who are terrified to journey into the Cosmos without an absolute religious lifeline.

No wonder Jesus chided Nicodemis for his love of educated religious darkness and for leading the duped masses into the abyss of pseudo-assurance regarding the character of the curiously silent deity. One has to wonder why God has quietly left all of this defining and defending of His Nature to so many men with such vast disagreements ranging over the centuries and continents.


God is the vibrant process of metaphysical Soul-Making, not the frozen berg of literalistic dogma. Spirituality is not the assent to an inscribed rationalistic creed, but the daily process of encountering the Living Presence Moses called the I AM, symbolized in Exodus in a mountain that is flowing, blowing and dynamically in motion.

If the God of Moses were meant to be frozen in humanly concocted religious confessions, or entombed in the libraries of bookish seminaries, surely He would have revealed His name as I WAS rather than I AM.

I WAS implies a God that is contained and domesticated like a caged lion at the local zoo. I AM implies that the feral deity is free and ranging about the vast and untamed Universe - undomesticated and untamable. God has more to reveal about nature and His Nature.

I have always found it ironic that, with rare exceptions like the Amish, these dogmatists have abandoned the clothing, politics, economics, methods of communication, transportation and vocation of their ancient religious teachers - yet desire to keep their religious revelations! Have they never deduced that all of life is a developing and unfolding process? Do they not suppose that our awareness of the Divine might shift just as our means of communicating or governing?


These cock sure assertions, arrived at through contorted scriptural machinations and hermeneutical gymnastics, are amusing and terrifying. Religious dogmatists, with Nicodemis as the patron saint, always prefer airtight theologies over the confession of humble ignorance in the pursuit of the Infinite Mystery which is to be experienced and more deeply revealed, not understood as a set of propositional statements.

Then these dogmatic Scribes and Pharisees go to war, emotionally or physically, for their inflexible wisps of fluff. They arrest and crucify anyone that challenges the theological party line. Jesus said to Nicodemis that the Pharisee's God was trapped in a book, and that in reality God was like wind, not ink and parchment. Spirit blows when and where and how it wills, and never according to a 3 volume theology or 2,000 year old catechism.

God hasten the day when we have a new Martin Luther who will help us finish thawing the iceberg of dogma created by Rome. The new iceberg is the Protestant's inerrant Bible. Their theological icecap has kept many evolving souls frozen solid.

Copyright Michael Bogar, MDiv, ThM

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

would it be safe to assume that the "clergy" is aware of these assertions and am unwilling to impart reality from the pulpit in order to continue the dogmatic ignorance which has supported the "business" of religion 2000 yrs.