Omni What?

Our theology is heavily impacted by images taken from the political reality of monarchy. Monarchs, most often personified by kings, were not elected by the people but either occupied their position by virtue of inheritance or military conquest. Quite often their positions were defended by supposing that the monarch held power by divine fiat. This was sometimes described as a divine right. There was an enormous contrast between the monarch and the people (aka serfs) who had little or no political power. The proper approach by powerless people to the monarch would be nearly groveling, being on one’s knees bowing one’s head folding one’s hands (which proved you were not carrying a sword), etc. The powerless people would petition the monarch for favors and while they hope such favors would be granted, they often had no clue as to whether or why favors were either bestowed or denied. In past times, various priestly authorities were described as princes of the church. Some remnants of this persist in certain churches and quite often in the so-called “high” churches people genuflect when the priest passes by in a procession. It is not hard to imagine why God has been called the king and why many religious rituals incorporate symbols of a monarchy. Of course, the concept that God is a monarch invites the assumption that God is omnipotent and omniscient (as the supreme monarch). The frequent use of the word “Lord” as a substitute for Yahweh in the Old Testament feeds this too. This is simply taking common practice from ancient monarchies and elevating it in a religious environment.

But what if Godding is not omnipotent?  Omnipotence may be a Humaning projection/expectation to explain things that rely on humankind’s experience with monarchies.  If we take omnipotence out of the picture, then we open the door for a much more important and critical shared reality—including quantum entanglement (more of this in a later writing).   We might also wonder about getting rid of the concept of omniscience.  This could also be a Humaning projection.  If Godding is omniscient and not omnipotent, then Godding would be full of frustration and pain from being unable to influence reality and outcomes.  Omnipotence without omniscience would result in the actions of Godding being irresponsible since there would be no way to understand the potential consequences of “applied omnipotence.” If Godding is omniscient and omnipotent, then Humaning freedom is an illusion, just as it was under the monarchy, and that takes us into the realm of mean, capricious and irresponsible Godding who isn’t much different than a king.   If any of these perspectives are true, then neither Godding nor Humaning is free. Real, radical Humaning freedom requires that Godding be neither omnipotent nor omniscient.  Otherwise, we would have to wonder if the concept of humaning freedom is a reality or simply a travesty and delusion.

We might also wonder why historic Christianity doesn’t seem to say much about the omnipresence of God.  The concept of an omnipresent Godding would seem to breakdown the Master-Serf mentality.  Of course, it also smacks of pantheism or panentheism.  What if we affirm that at the microscopic level Godding is in us and at the macroscopic level we are in Godding?  If we’re going to move away from dualistic thinking, we probably need to affirm the omnipresence of Godding.  Omnipresence does not seem to require omnipotence or omniscience.  It feels to me like the concept of omnipresence of Godding fits well with Matthew Fox’s concept of original goodness being the original status of Humanings.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close