Finally, A (sort of) Confession from God!

Photo by Shalone Cason on Unsplash
Written by Guy Nave

(Update: I’m trying my hand at something new. I submitted this piece to a Medium publication focused on publishing humor/satire pieces. The response was “This was an enjoyable read, but it’s not quite right for [us].” While it very well may be that satire is not my thing, I decided to go ahead and publish it on my own. I would LOVE your feedback! Thanks.)

God’s confession

“Bless me father (how exactly did you get that title?), for I have sinned. It’s been 13.7 billion years since my last confession.

I’m trying not to feel responsible for the state of affairs of the world, but it’s hard for me not to feel responsible. I guess it’s part of the whole ‘God-complex’ thing?

Racially motivated mass shootings, followed by a mass killing of elementary school children — all within a context of a pandemic of U.S. gun violence — contributes to many people blaming me and thinking I don’ exist or that I don’t give a f**k (Yes that’s what I’ve heard human beings says).

Even though I have nothing to do with what human beings do and don’t do, I do feel a sense of responsibility. Maybe it’s because humans always blame (or on rare occasions praise) me for things they are totally responsible for — things that I often have nothing to do with.

I guess I am, however, responsible for granting humanity the freedom to determine the state of affairs of the world in which they live. As a result of that freedom, humanity has created a world where many people have far less freedom than others, which makes the whole responsibility thing even messier.

Even though humanity is still only an infant, I probably should have corrected them earlier, especially in light of all the damage they have caused in less than 300,000 years.

I guess like many parents, I didn’t want to be controlling or interfere with their development. I wanted them to learn from their mistakes. I wanted to give them time to figure it out. I had no idea, however, that they were going to screw things up so divinely.

I guess I should have seen all the warning signs. I should have known, right!? I am all-knowing after all.

Well…, actually I’m not. I’m not sure how that whole ‘all-knowing’ idea got started. While I have a good idea of how human beings will act, I never know for sure. I mean can anyone ever know for sure?

While there were some initial sibling rivalries, they seemed like they began their existence by genuinely caring for each other, especially members of their own clan.

As clans began to interact with each other, however, what started as relatively harmless sibling rivalries became much more intense and harmful, especially between clans.

I probably should have intervened when the rivalries started becoming intense. I just didn’t know how to overrule the freedom I had given them. I didn’t (and still don’t) want to take that freedom away from them.

I’m sure I probably should make decisions for human beings, or force them to do what I think is best, I just don’t know what the purpose of their life would be if I did that.

Maybe I should just make decisions for certain human beings and not others. I just don’t know how to select which human beings to control and which ones to grant freedom.

I guess that makes me a pretty lousy god?

I really had no idea so many of them would hate each other the way they do, especially regarding things they have no control over.

My creation that I am probably the proudest of is the rainbow. No matter what’s going on, my rainbows make human beings — where ever they are — stop what they are doing if only for a few seconds, to enjoy the beauty of all the colors.

Despite this apparent love for colors, however, much of humanity, which is comprised of far more beautiful colors than my most spectacular rainbow, fails to stop — for even a few seconds — to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of all the colors.

Instead, many choose to hate certain people of a certain color, and others — who often criticize such hatred— choose to be ‘colorblind’ rather than help others appreciate the beauty of color.

While their hatred is not mine, I guess I’m responsible for creating a world that allows opportunities for such hatred to exist.

I guess I’m responsible for creating a world where human beings suffer, even if I’m not directly responsible for that suffering.

I guess I’m responsible for giving people freedom without ensuring they use that freedom for the well-being of all of my creations rather than simply for their own well-being.

I guess I’m responsible for giving people freedom when so many simply want security and certainty rather than freedom.

This desire for security and certainty causes them —often out of fear — to surrender their freedom to others rather than use their freedom to choose what’s best for all of creation.

It is this surrendering of freedom that has contributed to so many of the destructive ‘-isms’ of the human world — racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, classism materialism, consumerism, anti-environmentalism, and so many more than my omniscient mind can even name or imagine.

As I confess my so-called ‘sins’ to you, I realize it is this surrendering of freedom and the quest for security and certainty that is probably the greatest ‘sin’ of all.

As in the beginning, I and others are free to contribute to the creation of a world that serves and honors all of creation.

To abdicate this freedom is indeed a sin.

While our actions (even mine) may often cause more harm than good, we can’t blame others for those actions and their outcomes nor should we seek absolution from others for those actions and their outcomes.

Instead, we each have to take responsibility for doing what we have the freedom (and power) to do — which is to co-create a world that is a human blessing rather than a human mess.

May we all go in peace to love and serve me (is pride really a sin?) and each other.”

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About the author

Guy Nave

Guy Nave is a professor of religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. His research focuses on the topics of Christianity, religion and social justice, the social construction of religious meaning, and race-religion-and-politics. Professor Nave is currently researching the power, politics, and meaning behind the rhetoric of "change."

He is the author of several articles and book chapters, and he served as a New Testament Greek translator for the 2011 Common English Bible. His commentary on 2 Corinthians is published in the African American New Testament Commentary, and his book, The Role and Function of Repentance in Luke-Acts has been identified as “the standard scholarly work on repentance in the New Testament.”

Guy Nave received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. in New Testament studies from Yale University. In addition to his blog posts here, he is a frequent contributor to Sojourners Magazine's online "Commentary" blog series.

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