Is God deaf?

It’s Sunday morning and…

So the GOP Convention will start a day late due to Hurricane Isaac. Biblical name, too. Makes you wonder why God did not listen to the oh-so righteous fundamental Christian prayers- the prayers uplifted to the Heavens to spare their sacred convention.  Maybe God is deaf.

Then there was the story in CNN yesterday of a dairy farmer in Missouri who had to auction off all but 5 of his herd because of the drought that devastated his pasture land.  Although I do not know if this farmer was a fundamentalist Christian, I’m betting that there were many pastors in his neck of the woods offering prayers of supplication to God for rain. This drought has been labeled the ‘worst in 50 years.’  All of those wasted prayers. Is God deaf?

This seeming indifference by the supreme Deity to human invocation has manifested itself multiple times throughout history. And at sports events too. Why do Notre Dame and TCU lose football games?

On a much more serious note, why do soldiers die in war when their family and loved-ones at home pray for their safety? How many prayers were lifted up to YHWY by the Holocaust victims before they were gassed and their bodies incinerated?

As I type this, surely prayers are being ‘uplifted’ in churches all along the Gulf Coast imploring the Divine to spare them from wrath. Some will be, but not all.  Did the people of New Orleans not pray hard enough before Katrina devastated their city?

Perhaps God is deaf.

Or, there are other possibilities.

While reading my current Kindle book I came across this point written by Protestant minister, Robin Meyers:

When we read or listen to the Bible, we are all listening to ancient conversations not intended for us. We are, as Fred Craddock put it, in the posture of “overhearing” voices not addressed to us—as if on our knees listening through a keyhole between two worlds. Across that threshold is a chasm of time and space, culture, worldview, and language. The language of the Bible is at the center of American life, and is often a tool of American politics, but almost nobody has any idea how we got it, what’s really in it, or why a little bit of biblical knowledge is more dangerous than none at all.

This morning as I flipped through TV channels, there were perhaps 2 dozen ministers ‘imploring the word of God’ to their virtual congregations. Why did most of them have a southern twang? Curious, but not unexpected. And what do they really know about this Bible which they regularly thump? Meyers said, “When we read or listen to the Bible, we are all listening to ancient conversations not intended for us.”

Hmm. Ancient conversations, not intended for us. Yet, preachers select these ancient conversations [over 3000 years old] and aim them into the hearts and brains of 21st century Americans, as if that ancient stuff is relevant to their lives. As I type this, there is a story on CBS’s Sunday Morning about gay marriage and its importance in the 2012 presidential election. A preacher is quoting Genesis- you know, that story about our 6,000-year-old universe.

Meyers further says in his book,  The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus:

Whenever we engage in the use of the Bible to acquire power over others or to engineer exclusive communities that claim “true and absolute knowledge” of the meaning of each and every word of scripture, we fail to trust in the work of the spirit that moved those who left us a record of that remarkable conversation. And we fail to trust in the process of interpretation, because deep down we mistrust the ambiguity of dialogue itself, preferring something more authoritative, like edicts or rules.

About those ‘authoritative edicts and rules,’ I suspect that those on the right-side of the political spectrum demand this way of life. And there is a plethora of that in that ancient dialogue book.

On this sunny, last Sunday of August here in northwest Ohio, thousands of people will leave church certain that they know what God wants them to do because their pastors told them so- the pastors who selected certain ancient conversations, not intended for us.








13 thoughts on “Is God deaf?

  1. Interesting time for this post from what I have been meaning to get back to you. As you know, I tend to “yanwn” over this kind of Post and comments,
    lol. I have said more than once that we are basically preaching to the choir.

    With so much of our political life being dominated by religion, it is hard to
    make any headway. If we attack religious positions, they just smile at us and say that we just don’t understand, but they have the truth. Then, too,
    how do we have any change if still 70% still are Christian and they continue
    to follow the same old and traditional teachings? We can’t change anything
    with 30%, lol….Therefore, I’ve been thinking along the lines of finding the
    non_CHINOs and joing with them. You have written about President
    Carter’s evangelical Baptist beliefs and there is Jim Wallis, I believe, and
    there is the head of the progressive Baptist separation of Church and State
    organization. Probably a host of others. In other words, look at joining forces with this anti Old Testament fundamentalist nature of relilgion… and
    its emphas on christ’s return and rapture of the true believers and living happily in the promised land. Instead bringing the freedom that christ signified with the Sermon on the Mount and the sayings such as “it is easier
    for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle than for a rich man to gain heaven.” It seems to me this is an approach that we might proceed with.
    It would not be a Church per se, but it would be outside the Church. But, it would be based on religion and give people a reason to act within the promise of christ. Leave the doctrine behind and emphasize the people person.

    1. ts emphasis on christ’s return and rapture of the true believers and living happily in the promised land. Instead bringing the freedom that christ signified with the Sermon on the Mount

      Sad, isn’t it! And devious and self-serving. The set-up by the ministers and their church that THEY ALONE have the KEY to the Kingdom in the vacuous world-to-come. Further, the ‘message’ is that we are not to enjoy this world and that we ought to suffer here so that we can be worthy to get the key to Heaven [that they can authorize].

      The poor schleps have had this message beaten into their heads throughout all of their childhood; as a result, they cannot think for themselves and have become dependent on the church, ministers and the literal words of the Bible as their ‘source’ of living.



    Today while watching the morning news it occurred to me that I must be losing my claim on sanity.

    1. Romney is claiming that the turnaround in the auto industry is just as he wanted it. Uh, isn’t he the one who wanted “Detroit to go bankrupt”?

    2. In Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia, each state’s Republican governors have all touted improving jobs numbers and economy in recent months. But the Romney TV commercials are all reporting how bad it is going in these very states.

    3. When asked about the deadlock in Congress, Paul Ryan said it was because of Democrats who would not negotiate. In the 112th Congress there have been 83 bill stopping filibusters by the Teabaggers. Specifically, who are the Democrats blocking legislation?

    4. The Channel 11 reporter who interviewed Romney and Ryan said they imposed no restrictions to the scope of eligible questions. Do ya think they made the reporter say that in order to get the interview?

    Am I living in an alternate universe?

    1. the one who wanted “Detroit to go bankrupt”?

      You don’t suppose, NON, that he actually meant the city [citizens] of Detroit rather than the auto industry? You know, code for THOSE people who populate Detroit?

      Am I living in an alternate universe?

      No, YOU aren’t, but THEY are and always have been.

  3. There is a rather popular baptist church here in the Jackson area that is
    active in the community. It’s well heeled with a large operation. Last
    week they had a program on christian living and one of the speakers was
    Kirk Cameron. Cameron is a TV actor who gives motivational talks on
    christian love and relationships. After Akin give his 13th century woman’s
    reproductive system lesson on rape, this Cameron, fresh from being
    the guest speaker at the baptist church, joined in on the circling of the
    wagons supporting Akin. What do you think, M_R? From the press
    coverage of the seminar it looks like it was packed with single young
    women and men, engaged couples, and married couples. What leads a
    person to support such stupid people as Akin? Cameron basically says
    Akin only made in speaking, that it was only two words. How do we tell
    a church that they need to stay out of legislative issues?

      1. well we had a good dose of that, and even religion class every day to the week from elemantary thru high school…so what happened with us?

    1. Kirk Cameron was teenage heart-throb way back when he was starring on the TV sitcom GROWING PAINS with Alan Thicke. Then he found “God” and, relying on his TV background, he feels qualified to speak on behalf of “God”.

      Todd Akin’s statement was a whole lot more than a couple of words: “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

      What “doctors” say that kind of thing? And just what is a “legitimate” rape? I suspect he’s another Bible Thumper who never got any in his nerd oriented youth and so he never bothered learning human biology.

  4. It’s a beautiful clear day here in Jackson today, temp in the mid 80s.
    But, as you know, Hurricane Isaac is bearing down on the Gulf Coast of
    Mississippi and one track takes it right over Jackson. It is a weak hurricane, but a large storm for rain and surges. We are 150 miles inland, so our
    danger is a lot of rain, and maybe tornaoes and power outages. That is
    what happened with Katrina, and roughly the same time of year. One
    result is that with no power the gas pumps don’t work! There has already
    been a “run” on batteries and water and groceries, lol…M_R, here is
    another experience for you, come on down and lets sit on the patio and
    enjoy this mild natural phenom, be something to add to your knowledge base, lol….I need some one to help me forage, if it comes to that….

      1. We’ll fix the women some mint julips, and we will have our scotch or bourbon and enjoy venting over religion and politics, lol… C’mon on
        down and see the South under siege of mother nature. Storm is only
        moving at 10 mph now. At that rate it will sit over us for 2 or 3 days
        with torrents of rain. Just got the yard all cut and edged this afternoon.
        Hopefully we won’t get the 65 mph winds. Just heard the casinos are
        staying open in Biloxi. Now, there is something we can do. Go get a room
        and have a hurricane watch party at the casino. Could it be any more
        dangerous than climbing Pikes Peak, lol?

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