God needs man to worship him, in order to exist.
If the concept of god is nothing more than the product of man imagination, then he only exists as long as man wants him too. It’s quite obvious, even in the bible that god needs the adoration and devotion of man in order to be satisfies.
Gen.2:16,17. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayst freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”
Gen.3:1-5. “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
God wanted Adam and Eve to be ignorant and incapable of knowing right from wrong, he did not want man to think for him self and make their own decisions, because that would make him independent thinkers, (a god) with the ability to choose what may be appropriate for his own life and for the lives of his family. It seems that family loyalties are a distraction from God, and he is quite jealous of this fact. We see this also in the New Testament.
Luke.14:26; “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
And again in; Matt.10:21,22; “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
These are the words of Jesus, even he commanded that God be put before family loyalties. Religion wants man to submit and serve a God, much like a slave, totally void of any individuality. God command obedient of his followers and demands that they bow down and worship him. “Fear the Lord thy God- for I am a jealous God.”
Religion will put enmity between you are your family. But the good news is; “The only power that religion (god) possesses over the minds of men, is fear.” For without fear, he has nothing.
Is this the kind of father you want for your children? A father that demands un-questioning and blind obedience? A father that will not allow you freedom of thought? I have seen this kind of fatherhood in action and I have seen the results. Parents that have created a chasm between themselves and their children by placing god and religion before the welfare of their own and then they wonder why their child rebels into their adolescence and early adulthood. The most disappointing part of this, is that this kind of attitude usually results in a repeat of the same, as their example of parenthood, is set as hard as cement through their childhood sub-conscious. It’s such a pity.
Ex. 20: 5, says: “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of thy fathers upon the children, unto the third and forth generation of them that hate me.”
What an interesting piece of advise. What kind of a father does this? A father who demands obedience of his children to the point that he vows to recall the sins of the fathers upon the grand children. Why should we be punished for something that our ancestors did? What kind of example of fatherhood is that? (We will look at the subject of fatherhood, in another chapter)
Psm.99:5. “Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool;”
Matt.4:10. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”
Obviously, he is a very jealous and insecure character, a god that punishes those that will not bow down and serve him, by cursing their children and then their children’s children.
The word “jealous” means: “envious, resentful, spiteful and suspicious” sounds like a very unstable father figure to me. Take note, that this is the god that is supposed to have created all mankind, knowing full well that they would fail his demands and then grieves the fact of their disobedience. Why then should he be offended, if he knew exactly what was going to happen from the beginning? You just can’t please some gods can you?
I don’t want my children to fear me, I want them to respect me and that can only come by treating them right and allowing them and encouraging them to be what they wish to be. Even though I may not agree with some of the decisions that my children have made, or my dad as to my decisions, neither I nor he, have ever been vindictive or spiteful and taken our disapproval out on our grand children. Obviously, we humans have a far greater compassion for one another, than that of god.
As an atheist, I believe there is hope, and have not heard, or seen any evidence to suggest that god is more powerful, compassionate or caring, than we can be. As a world community, we may have a long way to go before we see that which John Lennon wrote, in his song, Imagine..“Imagine there is no heaven, it’s easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people, living for today, imagine there’s no country, it isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too, imagine all the people, living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one”
There is hope:
Hope is a basic human instinct, and a basic human right, we do not need a god to motivate us to love one another. Hope is a natural, (not a supernatural) component of humanity and should be shown and taught to our children. We, as parents must encourage these values, if we ever wish to see a world devoid of oppressive religious racism.
You might ask, how do we get close to our children, how can we successfully communicate with a generation that has moved away from the values that we are accustom? In our next chapter, we will look at some of the ways that we can bridge the generation gap. Respect Vs. Fear