Ever noticed how believers refer to their god as “My” god?
We often hear religious people talk about their “Personal Relationship” with their god and sometimes tell of their god actually speaking to them or how grateful they are for their god’s personal guidance or intervention in their lives. Believers express great reverence and love for their god.
Many believers announce with great conviction that they know exactly what god thinks, what he wants, what makes him sad or happy. They also have firm conviction of exactly which humans and which human qualities he hates or loves. Believers take great joy in personal gifts from their god. Not only that, they also have personal knowledge of his intentions in most instances and they seem to have insider information on exactly how he feels about YOU.
Any attempt to question these assumptions which slide so easily off the Christian tongue is met with a variety of responses. Some believers will become hostile and aggressive, others will retreat smugly into the safety net of their convictions and yet others will ramp up their religious rhetoric to a decibel that renders further discussion useless. And others will feel injured and persecuted. The reactions to any questioning of their beliefs, is as varied as the interpretations of their holy book. Reactions can be likened to the variety of human responses to an unwelcome invasion of one’s private home.
These days, hardly any Christian speaks of “Our” god.
How did this prideful sense of ownership come about?
This sense of ownership of god stems from the very root of the belief. That root exists in each individual believer’s mind and the reference to “My” god is the key to understanding this fact.
God resides in the persona of the believer and will mirror identical character and personality traits of each believer. An aggressive forceful believer’s god will respond to any doubting questions or opposition with wrath and even violence while a meek believer’s god will respond to the same questions with pious resignation and Christian fortitude. An arrogant person’s god will respond with arrogance and a babbling idiot’s god, babbles like an idiot. A wily fox believer’s god will be as slick as an eel with dialogue and tricks designed to bamboozle and confound a simple man. A prosperity preacher’s god will exhibit a great need for money and an ex-alcoholic’s god will be an expert in support of addicts. The person whose life efforts are a failure, has a god who never grants him any favours or answers his prayers, yet has convinced him that he is unworthy and should strive all his life to become worthy in the next life. The person who hates gays has a god that hates gays. A person who is a criminal has a god that will forgive him all crime. The list goes on. There are as many characteristics to god as there are believers on earth, each with their own specific needs, fears, hopes, aversions and desires inherent in their personal god.
It is indeed ‘my god’ to believers because each believer has created their own god. Every believer owns the god they have manufactured in their own imaginings, fleshed out in their own minds, endowed with characteristics and personality identical to their own and justified with their own words.
Most will defend their deity just as they would defend their own lives.
A person who would think of a god as being collectively ‘our’ god would not take personal offense to those who doubt the validity or veracity of such a deity. Believers of personal gods regard any question or doubt as a personal affront, which ultimately, it is.
Non-believers should understand that the god exists only in the mind of the believer and nowhere else and is not ‘our’ god but the personal creation of the believer, which he defends so rigorously.