Friday, August 4, 2017
One Heart-felt Spiritual Pickup Line
Remember the days of your youth--
back when we obsessed with trying to find exactly the most heartfelt sweet something to say to our one and only?
In so many cases in organized religions, too, the words of love, sincere pickup lines, have been heart-center--
(Jewish Bible's extended metaphor of God saying 'He' is Israel's lover),
in Christianity, especially Pietism
(Christians are Christ's bride),
in Sufi Islam,
in Bhakti Hinduism,
in some forms of Mahayana Buddhism,
in Unity/New Thought,
and so forth...
According to Pietistic, Wesleyan Christian religion, God infinitely loves every single human
who has ever existed, and loves every single human
who will ever exist in the future.
Talk about spiritual hyperbole...
up close and personal
but as a young, naive, troubled teen, I loved this hope, this spiritual pickup line
(made famous by evangelistic crooners such
as D. L. Moody and Billy Graham)...
I Love This Line
I love this line
“For God so loves everyone."
I love this line
That the Divine, Transcendent Reality, the Good--
the inexplicable Essence at the center of the whole cosmos
cares for each of one of us
to the utmost!
What a wonder, what a hope, what an Everest height
that ultimate linguistic sign.
Yes, I love this line
Yet born with a constant why in my mouth
always looking beyond every belief, every doctrine,
I struggled far past usual doubt
Got blood-baptized by the horrors of Christian history...
though Christians bespeak that heartfelt spiritual pickup line,
their nearly constant brutal actions belie their romantic claim.
Yet I still love this line.
But early Jesus wars in the 4th century
and ever since down to current slaughters,
and endless doctrinal abuses--
Augustine created Original Sin
in sexual love-making, then
abandoned his long-time common lover
for God and, seeking for a high class woman,
he lined this line to eternal death.
And theologians' while lipping For God so loved,
spoke darkly of God's hidden foreordinations to hell for God's glory,
total depravity, limited atonement, forced adoration,
and His constant killings for His own "good pleasure."
They lie the line--
the Inquisition, heresy trials, burnings-at-the-stake,
multi-millions slaughtered dutifully for God and country,
Jehovah,Allah,Shiva, Shinto, Buddha...
And Black Deaths, influenzas, plagues and famines
tsunamis, floods, and disasters,
and 30,000 children
dying daily--21 each minute;
such glaring harsh facts
bloody and leech all hope
from that lied line.
It does appear that Love’s not an endless yes,
never an eternal sphere,
not our Beloved’s ring,
No, not a never ending line of grace and mercy
but only a paltry pickup conning.
Now at 70 years, I hate this false line, the constant
come-on starter by Jews, Christians, Muslims and other con crooners.
How do we ever truly trust again?
Is there only mere--as secularists claim, no myrrh?
What of the "impossible possibility" of Niebuhr,
of the romantic one-liner Good News—
That God never says never?
(to quote Tillich and St. Paul),
Yes, and Yes, and Yes.
But critical assessment of existence
cleavers God’s promise line--
I love you!
Still, I refuse to bow to the cut
The slash of Never--
Let us hope against the brutal facts of religious history..
that ever past is
Despite all, somehow,
let's still love this line--
In the Transcendent Light,