On The Journey, Judy Bowman
A tiny, toothless God
It’s a pretty common thing these days. Lots of people do it. Even some churches are into it, actually. So I thought I’d put together some pointers for you, if you’re interested in trying it.
How To Domesticate God
1) Try to ignore Him, if you can. When He calls to your heart in that voice you know, don’t seek Him out. This approach worked pretty well for St. Augustine for many years.
2) Don’t read His book. It’s full of His promises and describes His plan of salvation. It has lots of small words like “love” and “faith” and “cross.” Pretty boring.
3) If you do come across some of what’s in His book, it can be fairly easy to ignore it. Especially things like the 10 Commandments and the parts of it where He describes Who He is (John Chapter 6), His Church (Matthew 16:18) and how to live (Matthew 16:24-26).
4) Forget about “sin.” So long as no one gets hurt, who are we to judge? While you’re at it, don’t believe in hell or the devil either. That’s so 14th century.
5) When someone dies, imagine them in a lovely, mist-filled landscape with no cares or worries. Or even better, imagine nothing at all. Like when a candle flame burns out. It’s over.
6) Think of Jesus as a really cool teacher who was everybody’s BFF and who never said anything that would offend anyone or bring anybody down.
7) If you do somehow find yourself thinking of God, imagine Him as your personal concierge. He’s on-call 24/7, always smiling and never makes any demands on you.
8) Be fearful and afraid. Of everything. Be afraid to fail, be afraid of rejection and disapproval. Be fearful of not being loved and of being alone. Let your fears be your guide.
9) Worry. Try to be strong and confident and do it all yourself. Read lots of self-help books. But in the end — just worry.
10) For goodness sake, don’t pray. Or if you do, let your prayers be quick and superficial. Maybe it’s best to wait until bedtime and limit your prayer life to telling God what you want and when you want it. Pray small.
11) Believe that any sins you have are so bad, so heinous, and so “special” that God could never forgive you. His mercy is no match for your sinfulness. You are a lost cause.
12) Don’t go near the confessional, naturally. Let your sins pile up and do everything you can to keep your heart guarded and far away from Him. Mercy and forgiveness can reveal His face to you and you don’t want that.
13) Believe that you are too old or too young, too busy or too uneducated, too shy or too (fill-in-the-blank) for God to use you for His purpose. A small god has even smaller children.
These are just a few starters for making sure you keep God small and tame. The most common way Christians domesticate God is by keeping Him in a box that they only open for an hour on Sunday mornings. Don’t invite Him to share in any other parts of your life. Keep it shallow, simple, and time-limited. Don’t allow Him to change you. Don’t believe in miracles like the saving grace of Baptism, the forgiveness of Confession, or the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Refuse God’s healing of your body, mind, and spirit. Belittle the promises of God at Fatima or Lourdes or through devotion to His Divine Mercy. You never know what might happen if you give your whole heart to Jesus and abandon yourself completely to His Holy Will.
“…Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” — C.S. Lewis
Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
Pleasant Valley Baptist was able to join together this past Sunday to worship the Lord and to consider true love. We praise the Lord for all He has done and all He continues to do. He is wonderful and worthy to be praised every day. Visit or view our services for encouragement from God’s Word.
Pastor Flood brought the message from God’s Word from 1 John 4:10. The central thought being, God is love and loved us even though we did not love Him. God demonstrated His love by sending His Son to extend His mercy and forgiveness to all who will call on Him.
Are you living for today with earthly pleasures and treasures or are you living your life-giving thought to eternity? People are willing to forget about eternity in trade for the here and now. God has a plan. The gospel of Christ is already here with God’s plan quickly coming to pass. His promises will all be fulfilled. God has prepared a land of promise — heaven, where God dwells. God’s desire is that none should perish. Your eternal destiny can be heaven with God which comes by grace through faith. Confess your sin, believe Christ died for your sin, He was buried and rose again, receive Him by faith. Pray now, where you are, and God will save you for all eternity. You will dwell with Him when you die leaving the cares of this world behind.
Remember to pray for the COVID-19 virus and practice caution.
We praise the Lord for all the prayers He has answered. Continue to pray for members Mike Cross, Denise, Ken and Jason Pitts, Betty Pitts and her brother and sister, Brian O’Neill, Mike Smiley, Larry Armstrong, Wendy Miller, Wyondia Hill, Pastor and his wife, Jill, and all who need our prayers. Pray for our shut-ins, Carolyn Denton and Lula Petty as well as others with high-risk situations. Pray for our churches, missionaries, and evangelist. Always pray for the salvation of those who have never turned to Jesus.
Join us Sundays at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. in-person services, Facebook or YouTube. Wednesday night Bible Study, 7 p.m. Facebook or YouTube, Brother Cody Cranmore.