E-mail I’m writing to the Godcast re: hiddenness

Minus salutations and so on.

About three years ago, I became interested to learn why God hides himself, and specifically why at some times more than others. Like the particulars of Hell, there’s very little discussion of this in the Bible, it’s just treated as a rule of the game that everybody is aware of and deals with. I read Michael C. Rea’s book on the subject and have been mentally cataloging Bible passages that yield any insight on the question. This effort isn’t driven by doubts on my part, it’s more like truth-seeking as an expression of faith (Dutton and Woodley refer to it as neo-Thomism). I expect that if I’m capable of finding the answer, it will be a good one.

My experience of asking people about it is they’re generally incompetent to look at it directly. Their answers fall into three categories:

  1. “I see God all the time and If you were a REAL Christian in the REAL church you would too.”
  2. Anti-God faggotry.
  3. I don’t know and between Twitter and porn I’ve lost the ability to read.

The most important Bible passage I’ve run across so far is at the beginning of 1 Samuel, “In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” This at least proves the existence of times when God is more hidden than other times. It’s generally not a passage that the One True Church crowd is able to come to terms with.

Related meme for your enjoyment:

Other Bible passages are only interesting in that they show the characteristics of God’s hiddenness by contrast. For example, before the Pentecost the Holy Spirit was not present in the church. And there are other passages that explain it’s often a matter of purity. E.g. Moses is allowed to see God’s back but not his face, and people are generally instructed to take off their shoes on “holy ground.” Isaiah has coal touched to his lips to purify him so he can be allowed in God’s presence.

These examples temporarily led me to think that possibly God is hidden because he can only reveal himself insofar as we’re pure. On the other hand, Israel isn’t noted as being particularly wicked at the time Samuel was called as a prophet. And this idea also clashes with the “grace of God” theme of the Bible, where none deserve his presence. But the physical purity aspect by itself is pretty compelling. It may be something as simple as being relatively inoffensive, if not exactly innocent. I.e. God may show himself more often to people who disgust him less. But then you can find counterexamples to that too, particularly in the ministry of Jesus. The Old Testament Law said a woman on her period was unclean, but a woman with a chronic bleeding problem touched Jesus personally. Many such cases.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the explanation is far more human than we’d expect. I.e. As a matter of having personality and emotions, sometimes God is feeling it and sometimes he isn’t. It may be due to something like metaphysical duties. “I must withdraw my hand from Israel during this time because they broke the covenant and I said I would.” Again, we see a personal/emotional element because he often attenuates the punishment out of mercy. Still, ascribing hiddenness to God’s whimsy is the most handwavy explanation possible, and not satisfactory. A broader explanation of “for reasons beyond our worldly understanding” is at least emotionally satisfying. On the other hand, it’s a non-answer.

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13 Responses to E-mail I’m writing to the Godcast re: hiddenness

  1. One of the jerks waiting to be purified says:

    “If you love something, set it free…”

    I have no biblical basis for this that I can point to without a lot more digging. In essence a lot of preaching/reading has been on the idea that If God is present; he is irresistible. Therefore, we are given space, contingent on our personal needs as an individual creation, to make the informed choice to join his kingdom in heaven or complete freedom of hanging out with all those other jerks in hell.

    Maybe it is too childish to treat this like a video game where we are trying to level up; but there it is.

    • lister says:

      God said in Genesis 6:3 that He would not contend with (or could be translated as ‘judge’) man forever, because we merely are mortal flesh. He then said that the time He would contend with us is 120 time periods, meaning jubilees of 50 years, or 6,000 years.

      In that period He allows c. ten billion people to have a life. They all have to deal with constant attacks and deceptions by Satan and his angels and the millions of demons and their seed (Roths etc). God knows that men will largely fail in this battle, it’s nigh on impossible for mortal men to defeat supernatural entities. But they all get a life, thse ten billion.

      The six thousand years is nearly up I think, it’s easy to do the math, add an extra 32 years for when the Word was flesh, work backwards to Adam and Eve’s creation.

      God keeps His distant because He’s not good with people. He’s spent miilions/billions of years with His first effort at creating in His image, the angels, based off of the reptiles, cold-blooded people, and He gave them supernatural skills too, big mistake obviously, hence not repeated with humans. God is shy, God is introverted, God is unfriendly, God is generally not happy, God has not had a good record of the time He has come close to humans on earth, just ask poor Moses, after all his work, not even allowed to cross over into the promised land because of one small human-error fuck up. God is God, we all try to excuse His behaviour, but we all see His character throughout the scriptures. All those first-born in Egypt, some of whom had never even seen an Israelite or Pharoah. Tough luck eh?

      Despite all of the above, faith would lead us to hope for a better future after the 6,000 years, and for eternity too. So, keep your faith friends, try to live as Jesus lived, go read the sermon on the mount, see if you can tick off the list of those who will be blessed. If not, make some changes.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        There’s a lot to unpack here.

        • lister says:

          The best news is that God will repent of burning anyone in the lake of fire too.
          Like he repented on Nineveh, a prophesy given by Jonah, so will he repent on the lake of fire given by Jesus, because the millenium reign on earth will show Him that humans can live as He desires, the whole world. Everyone lives forever, and only those humans who have collaborated knowingly with the demons and Satan will be excldued from earth, by exile somewhere, I don’t know where, but even they won’t be burned, no one will. Of course, a period in hell comes first for the unrepentant sinners and the unbelievers. But that will be wiped from their memories too, eventually ( ‘For behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind’, Isaiah 65;17).

          I am not a fan of a plan that involves memory wiping, but it will be effective I suppose, and it provides further proof of the massive amount of remedial action God has been taking (Jesus death the biggie of course), and will contonue to take, to get to a nice earth of peace, love and harmony, and Him with some of us at last. Never been a better time to just become holy and live the righteous life friends.shit is about to get real-er.

          • Aeoli Pera says:

            I imagine you could go on for quite a spell if I let you.

            • lister says:

              I can tell you what the mark of the beast will be, I mean specifically, as we know itll be 666, if you and your readers are interested.

            • Aeoli Pera says:

              If I never read another of your asinine comments it’ll have been too many.

            • lister says:

              Sorry to hear that.
              Nevertheless, the beast system will introduce central bank digital currency toward the end of the 2020s. The central banks have stolen all of the nations’ gold, governments can no longer get at it.

              They will say that the new money issued directly as dole by the central banks is ‘as good as gold’, whilst blaming the banksters for the collapse of the fiat credit currencies.

              The beast system is slavery, serfdom. They will allot money to the people who go along with their rules. The digital ID system is already being implemented all around the world.

              They will eventually require an rfid chip on the top of the right hand. The tattoo over that will be of a fine gold bar, 24 carat, as pure as we can get, and its fineness is marked with a number, which is on all gold bars, and it’s .999.

              When the hand is presented for payment, it will be inverted (the tattoo), and will be 666.

              I think your readers would benefit from knowing this, but up to you.

            • Aeoli Pera says:

              >Sorry to hear that. Nevertheless…

              It’s like reasoning with a three year old, except without the redeeming qualities.

            • lister says:

              ‘Truly I tell you, anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

              One day you’ll thank me.

            • Aeoli Pera says:

              In the meantime you’re banned for insufferable narcissism.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Holding on loosely (like the song) is one of the more important paradoxes we have to come to terms with in this life, so there may be something to that.

  2. Pingback: Godcast 198 re: Hiddenness of God | Aeoli Pera

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