The Bully God

Some light bulbs went off the other day. This might be a little rambling, but bear with me.

  1. We are creature (a God created being).
  2. We are created in the image of God.
  3. We are God’s vice-regents in Creation (given dominion).
  4. We represent the rule of God in Creation.
  5. So our treatment/rule of Creation (that is all that is created- people, creatures, plants, earth, water, basically the cosmos) is a reflection of how we view God.

Now, this is a generalization, but it is a useful way to check out your view of God. I guess this is a kind of mirror of something I once read by N.T. Wright: we become like that which we worship.

So looking at how I treat Creation, I think that I might be a bully. Not that I am physically violent, though I do have those inclinations all too often, but I do run roughshod over people (and the rest of creation often can be pretty much considered non-existent). I can be manipulative. And withdrawn. And sullen. I usually think that I am doing the right thing, but I am not kind. I’m pretty harsh.

So, I guess I see God as a bully. If someone told me this last week, I would have denied it, but I am starting to see it. It actually really comes out in this song I wrote a few years back. It is about Abraham sacrificing Isaac. Just for the record I wrote this before  Sufjan Steven’s “Abraham,” but I admit to being familiar with Leonard Cohen’s “Song of Isaac.”

So how do you view God?

Abraham’s song


you ask so much
of what I have
you want it all
or you’ll get mad
and I want things
but you want more
until i’m empty
broken and poor

if i was a better
sort of man
i could see the future
in your hand
but i am not
i am too small
still you get it all
you take it all

i have faith
like mustard seeds
i pray it grows
among these weeds
i know murder
i know death
i know forgiveness
i’ve been blessed

so i bring issac
on the mountain top
praying for a sacrifice
before the knife drops

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