If I Didn’t Think God Would Be Pissed

This postcard was posted on PostSecret this morning.

I wonder how many of us have lived our lives like this, not doing something because we think it will make God made, even when that perspective of God is often produced and promulgated by people more concerned with controlling others than actually having a relationship with God.

My assumption is that this postcard is referencing pre-marital sex. Before you say that I’m outright condoning pre-marital sex, I’m not. My point is that the tag line (“I probably would have had sex with you by now”) could be changed to any number of things, most of which, in my opinion, would be social constructions of morality or ethics that we have projected on God.

P.S. The postcard mentions God, but pictures Jesus. Honest mistake, I’m sure.

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6 thoughts on “If I Didn’t Think God Would Be Pissed

  1. Why do you think it is a mistake that they (may be) picturing Jesus. Christianity makes the claim Jesus is God?

    But for your post, it appears you are suggesting that a reverent fear of offending God (for the sake of argument exists), who is the creator of the universe, and to whom we are morally accountable, is wrong. Shouldn’t we be trying to not offend him? I have plenty of people in my life who I would go out of my way to not offend or make mad with my actions. Why is this a wrong motivation?

    1. It goes back to my belief that sin (and morality) is a social construction. By that I mean that what people understand to be “sin” very often coincides with what their culture/society or sub-culture understands to be bad and that it changes over time. So, something that was consider a sin in one time and place (a woman not covering her head, for instance) is no longer considered a sin and something that was not considered a sin (slavery) is now almost universally considered to be morally wrong. So, while I understand your point about not going out of our way to offend God, my point is that we need to at least ask the question if we are really trying to not offend God or are we not trying to offend a social construction. In other words, just because some people call something a “sin” today, does that really mean that it would offend God? Moreover, should we be focused more on “small sins” like pe-marital sex or systemic sins like oppression, slavery, and genocide.

      As to your first point. Some later Christian theologies make the claim that Jesus is God, but that is by no means a universally held belief, nor is it anywhere close to being consistently supported in the New Testament. Arguments can be made for its acceptance and many people do accept it, but a healthy portion of the NT understands them to be separate, even the texts that say Jesus is God’s son. A son is not equal to the father and vice versa. So, to me, it is a mistake. I do not believe that Jesus is God and I think that the two have become too interchangeable, to the point that in many cases God is cast to the side in favor of Jesus. This all goes back to my theocentric (as opposed to christocentric) theology.

      Good questions, though, John.

  2. The divinity of Jesus is well established in the NT. If you read, I suggest “Putting Jesus In His Place”. As scholars of the original languages the Bible was written, they explain the titles, and quotations from the OT the authors use, it becomes clear they are equating Jesus with YHWH.

    But just because people disagree what is right and wrong does not change whether something is right or wrong. For example, the Hitler thought it was right to exterminate Jews. He was wrong whether his society approved or not.

    But even things like slavery. In 17th-19th century America, people believed it was wrong to enslave people, just like we do today. They had to tell themselves, or had to first believe blacks were not human in order to justify enslaving them. They did not treat other whites as slaves because they were human. They considered blacks to be less than human to make it ok.

    Same with the abortion debate. Both sides generally believe it is wrong to take the life of a person without just cause. What they disagree on is when life begins and what constitutes a person. But both sides hold murder is wrong.

    1. I may be going out on a limb here, but having studied Greek and Hebrew for over six years now, I think I an qualified to speak to those issues. Certainly in some texts, connections are made between Jesus and God. My point is that there is by no means a consensus. For instance, when Jesus is called “Lord” (kyrios), many say that is an allusion to YHWH, but it is more often than not simply a generic word for lord, like master.

      As to your point on slavery, you have only addressed slavery in the Americas, you have not addressed the Greek and Roman forms of slavery that the Bible condones and does so without any attempt to say that that slaves were not human.

      I would like to respond more, but typing this on my phone is getting cumbersome.

  3. Have you done a great deal in the linguistic culture in the times of the NT?

    I have studied the aspects of biblical slavery, there is more to it that the emotional connotations that the term ‘slavery’ brings.

    1. I fully agree that “slavery” in the ancient world is very different from “slavery” in our country’s recent past. It is still, though, slavery and while the technicalities may have been different, it was not just accepted, but condoned (see Philemon).

      Further, we could take another issue up that is not different in the ancient and modern worlds: genocide. The Joshua conquest narrative clearly portrays genocide as not only acceptable, but God-ordained. The view of genocide is obviously quite different today. My point is not that there are no rights or wrongs, but that as a general rule “right” and “wrong” are defined culturally, not by biblical mandate. We simply do not live with any of the world views that are represented in the Bible and we should not pretend that we do.

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