We tend to anthropomorphize God,
that is, to ascribe human qualities to
a supernatural being,
when in fact what we think of as God
has unknown and indefinible characteristics.
At the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.,
the church fathers compounded the confusion
by referring to a Holy Trinity as three persons:
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Later, the Eastern churches rejected the
ascription of Jesus as the son of God,
maintaining that the spirit of Jesus
already existed before He took human form.
At the same council, Jesus was recognized
as truly God in his ministry and resurrection.
I was taught by Catholic nuns that
Jesus lived on and acted as the Holy Spirit.
That was clearly erroneous because the
Spirit of God is repeatedly referred to
in the Hebrew Bible.
Thus we conclude that God has always
been manifest in different attitudes and actions.
This becomes important in our attempts
to resolve the age-old conundrum of why
an omnipotent and yet merciful God allows
"bad things to happen to good people."
Either God is all-powerful and permits evil
or he is all-merciful but unable to prevent evil.
Perhaps the answer is both of the above,
that God acts simultaneously in different ways.
Perhaps He took human form in Jesus to show
his love and concern for his highest creations.
Perhaps He is always with us in spirit to give us
the strength to cope with the vicissitudes of life.
- ▼ 2015 (9)
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