Whopper #1: God is a him. Even though the progressive churches sometimes refer to God as she, the FP doesn’t really have a gender. We certainly don’t talk about Mrs. Electricity or Mr. Gravity. The more appropriate pronoun would be it. The FP is a force field that runs the universe, the same energy source that grows flowers, forms scabs over skinned knees, and constantly pushes for wholeness. God is more like the force in Star Wars, a presence that dwells within us, a principle by which we live. That’s why Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader have become such a phenomenon. Star Wars is a myth that speaks to us at a deep, gut level. Some part of us knows that “the force” is with us and that we, through our words, thoughts, and deeds, create the world.
Whopper #2: God looks like ZZ Top, makes black check marks after your name, and is basically too busy working on world hunger to care about you. God, if you believe the accepted box, is a little like Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird: this mysterious neighbor constantly peering out the window of his penthouse suite, waiting to catch us doing something “naughty, naughty.” We can’t really see him, but we’ve been properly warned that he’s there. Watching. Judging. Monitoring our every move. If you don’t follow this commandment or if you break that rule, God just might send his angel Secret Service after you to bop you on the head like Little Bunny Foo-Foo.
Whopper #3: God plays favorites. The FP is a force field that’s equally available to everyone. It’s a natural capacity in all of us, not an exclusive gift bestowed upon a few. In fact, that is the primary lesson Jesus taught. God is within. You are part of God. You can perform miracles. To worship Jesus the way we do is a little like worshipping Benjamin Franklin because he first discovered electricity. Ben Franklin sent that kite up in an electric storm so we could use the principle he demonstrated. He didn’t do it so we’d build temples to him, paint pictures of him, and wear little commemorative keys around our necks. He wanted us to take the principle of electricity and use it—which we do to run radios and computers and air conditioners. Had we stopped with Ben’s discovery the way we did with Jesus’s discovery, we’d all be sitting in the dark. Benjamin Franklin didn’t invent electricity any more than Jesus invented spiritual principles. Lightning and the resulting electricity have always been available. We just didn’t realize it or know how to access it. Galileo didn’t invent gravity when he dropped the wooden ball off the leaning tower of Pisa. He just demonstrated it. Likewise, Jesus demonstrated spiritual principles that he wants us to use and develop. We’ve wasted 2,000 years worshipping this idol of him instead of using the principles he taught us. Look through the Bible and nowhere does Jesus say, “Worship me.” His call to us was “follow me.” There’s a big difference. By making Jesus out to be a hero, we miss the whole point. Jesus wasn’t saying, “I’m cool. Make statues of me; turn my birthday into a huge commercial holiday.” He was saying, “Here, look what is possible. Look what we humans are capable of.” Jesus is our brother, our legacy, the guy we’re supposed to emulate. What Jesus was trying to tell us is that the churches, the religious leaders, and all their blaring rhetoric has drowned out God’s truth. They’ve pulled the wool over our eyes by failing to mention the fact that the FP is not an object of worship, but a very real presence and a principle by which we should live.
Whopper #4: God rewards our suffering and gives brownie points for our sacrifice (better known as “Life sucks and then you die"). Many of us think life is some sort of boot camp for heaven. We believe this short life span is “only a test” for the paradise we’re eventually going to earn. If we hang on and bear it, we’ll someday walk through those pearly gates and be happy. These errors in thinking have been condensed into living facts. Nothing is plainer than the inevitability of sorrows and trials. But what if it isn’t necessary? What if there is no reason to be poor? Or get sick? Or do anything but live an abundant, exciting life? What if these tragic, difficult lives are another rumor made up by the churches and cemented into our consciousness by years and years of conditioning? What I’d like to suggest is that this heaven you’re waiting for is available now. And that you’ve been sold a bill of goods about who you are and what is possible.
Whopper #5: God is just so demanding. The FP doesn’t judge. It doesn’t punish. It doesn’t think, Well, Sammy C. was a good boy yesterday, helping that little old lady cross the street. I think I’ll answer his prayer about winning the lottery. Those are thoughts Clarence Thomas might think. The FP doesn’t need anything. It requires nothing of us. It makes no demands. It doesn’t like Mother Teresa more than Celine Dion. Only misinformed humans, scrambling desperately to make sense of their world, came up with a God who plays eenie-meenie-minie-mo with our lives, a God who likes and dislikes the same people we do. Our fear has trapped us into a box that plays out our very limited perception.
Whopper #6: You don’t want to ask too much from God; you certainly wouldn’t want to bug him. As I’ve already pointed out, the FP is not a person; therefore you cannot bug him. The FP is a power, an unseen energetic force. It isn’t finite or limited, so you certainly couldn’t ask too much of it. As the old saying goes, you can take an eyedropper or a bucket to the ocean. The ocean doesn’t care. If anything, we don’t use the FP power nearly enough. This is an all-powerful force we’re talking about here, not some last-minute relief team that comes in to pay the mortgage. The FP is not an adversary that has to be coaxed to the bargaining table.
Whopper #7: God is just so vague. Au contraire. Once you get rid of the black cloud of rumors and half truths that hide your awareness, you’ll find the unseen force communicates just as clearly as Dr. Phil. Once you rid yourself of the blocks, you’ll be shown exactly what to do and how to do it. Again, we need to condition ourselves to think of God more like we think of electricity. Electricity doesn’t care who plugs in a curling iron. Electricity doesn’t need proof we’re good enough to make toast.
Whopper #8: God only answers when he’s good and ready. There is never a time when God or “the force” isn’t guiding you. And you do not have to wait for any green lights or “get out of jail free” cards. The big guy is available 24/7 once you’re ready to focus your full attention on it. The FP’s guidance happens (as they say about … well, something else)—through a song lyric on the radio, by a phone call from a long-lost friend. The trick is to pay attention, trust, and as I will continue to repeat, focus your full attention on it. And while we’re on the topic of God’s will, let’s get this out on the table. There is no place in our updated picture of God for a hell of everlasting torment or for a sadist who would or could attempt to put you there. Nor is there any room for the idea that sickness or deformity or death or poverty or limitation of any kind is the will of God. The will of God, for those who insist on using that term, is the ceaseless longing of the spirit in you to become all you’re capable of being. Amen.