Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Are We Meant to Outgrow the Need for God?

A good friend of mine once wrote the following and asked for my input.  I am including below the original message and my response: 

This is something I've been pondering as I'm making the transition from viewing myself as someone's son to someone's father. The greatest success of a parent is that their children go out and be successful on their own. That they become functional, independent, well-adjusted human beings. I think God wants us to be functional, independent, well-adjusted eternal beings.

I really like the concept that this life is a time for us to learn to choose right from wrong without constant intervention from God. And I like the idea that we are trying to become like God. What I'm going to say next probably would sound like heresy to many but I'll just say it. God is God because he chooses right because it is right. He doesn't act because of fear of punishment or duty or any other such human motivation. He just does right. I think that's why it is important we are here and cut off. We need to learn to do right without constant direct influence from God...and here's the possible heresy: I feel that ironically our goal is to learn to act entirely independent from God. The more we progress, the less we need him. We simply begin to choose right because it is right and not out of duty or fear or any other such motivation. We just do right. We just are. Just as God said "I AM".

So something I've been pondering is that ultimately is it our destiny to outgrow the need for God? Not outgrow him in the sense that we are more powerful or never want to see him again but that we become completely independent of him. This idea actually makes me love my God more. The gift of eternal self-determination seems much greater than the gift of eternal subservience. I would be grateful to my parents for my life if I was expected to serve them my whole life. But I'm infinitely more grateful that they raised me and sent me out in the world to experience it and now to raise my own family.

I have trouble putting these thoughts in words. But this makes sense that just as I have left my father's house and gone into the world as an independent adult, I hope my new son will someday leave and lead a happy life. For me it follows that my eternal father would want this same thing. Not want me to come back to his house and sing praises to him forever. I don't want my son to worship me, I want him to be grateful for the way I will raise him and then to go on and raise his own family.

That's why the idea of eternal progression is so amazing to me and so much better than any other concept of heaven I've ever read about.  

I agree that we are meant to outgrow our need for God - in the sense my friend describes.

I don't need my parents for much of anything at this point in my life - but I still want them. I think that is a better, more mature relationship.

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