Just taking a break from my reading of an excellent book entitled:
Why I Became An Atheist.
Written by John W. Loftus.
The subtitle is A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity.
As some of you may know, I also am a former preacher. I was in the Christian ministry for several years, and over the past decade or so have come to a place of gradually rejecting the claims of Christianity.
For those interested, a brief history of this process can be seen → HERE. And HERE. And STUFF.
I am not what one would call an atheist, per se, but moreso an agnostic. But I am nowhere near being finished this journey. My perspectives are ever-changing.
← Something on page 252 of Loftus’s book really made me do some Bookpuddle-style pondering -- to me it is humorous but I hope I do not offend anyone who may… take offense.
On page 252, Loftus is citing some of the ideas of a theist [a believer] named David Wood. The gist is that Wood argues that in heaven the saints will be in the unmediated presence of God and in this realm there will be no moral choices, even if free will is present.
Loftus explains, “They [the saints] wouldn’t desire to rebel against God, and even if they did, they would know doing so would be futile.”
I paused. [So did Loftus, I am sure of it…]
Because I began to imagine the idea of “obedience” in heaven.
You know? OBEYING God, in heaven.
It is one thing to consider obedience while on Earth and still alive in our mortal bodies [not sinning, remembering to worship and stuff, etc.] but, in heaven, I cannot fathom what saintly obedience would consist of!
As Loftus later points out [same page] “What is the value of this to God? Why does he want anything?”
Think about it, it is really intriguing.
I know there is that classic answer out there… “He desires that we worship him!”
And I have heard Christians going on and on about how they will worship God endlessly in heaven. I myself have said it, and believed it, in the past.
And I think that we sort of equate this “worship” with the “obedience” thing.
To worship God is to somehow remain obedient to God.
But how would we do this, the worship part, I mean?
By endlessly singing to God? Or telling him stuff?
Have any of us ever watched American Idol?
ALL OF THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY CAN SING! And let’s face it, most of them are absolutely horrid.
Is it possible that the Creator of Heaven and Earth wants to listen to this kind of caterwauling forever? If you really think of this scenario for five or six seconds, you see the absurdity of it.
What then does the “obedience” entail?
As Loftus points out, obedience implies “want” and hence [ipso facto] → “need.”
How can I have anything that God can possibly “need?” And so much so that God “needs” it ETERNALLY!
Heavenly obedience. What does it MEAN?
Maybe there are signs posted here and there? –
DON’T FLICK ASHES ON THE CARPET!
Perhaps the soothing harp-music is interrupted one morning with –
“OK, listen up guys! Winter’s almost here! I want to see twelve cords of wood stacked up against yonder angel-barracks by sundown! Is that clear?"
And everyone [no grumbling allowed] simply picks up the nearest axe and commences chopping?
Is this the way it is?
“Hey, you! Yes, cowering behind that shrub. Run down to Gabriel’s Pharmacy and pick me up a jumbo-bottle of Jehovah-Strength Tylenol©. And make it snappy! What with creating a hitherto unknown galaxy all afternoon I’ve given myself one holy-Moses of a headache!”
“Y-y-y-es, Your M-m-majesty! You w-w-will g-get no argument from thy servant!”
And off, over the golden cobblestones, the obedient fellow runs…
Some things just takes a little thinkin’ is all!
Check out the author's webpage and get his book.
I highly recommend it to all who want to think about things worth thinking about.