If you were “God”, would “Religion” be Simple?

By John Fraysse

There is an important adage in engineering circles that goes something like this… “the more important a concept or process is, the simpler it should be to understand.” This is particularly true of instruction manuals. Many of us, (especially guys J) read the instructions as a last resort! I, admittedly, skip the instructions most of the time. Why? Well, it’s because I expect the (properly engineered) process to be self-evident or intuitive. When it is not, or I’m too dumb to figure it out, I read the manual.

I’m sure many of you have heard the Christian admonishment…“when life has you stumped, read the “owner’s manual”, that is, the Bible. Well, I did this and the more I read and studied, the more complicated the “simple godly life” became! But, hold on here! How could anything be more important than “God’s Will and His Salvation”? For to be without them condemns every man, woman and child past, present and future to an unbearable place of unspeakable torture for all eternity!

Since the message of salvation, that is, the Gospel or “Good News” is so important then, it follows that it should also be ubiquitous, unambiguous and very simple to implement for all people throughout the ages. If the characteristics of this timeless and important “message” do not have these features, it would seem to be doomed to failure from the very start. Surely, an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving God, the creator of everything and lover of all mankind, could figure this out! In fact, if I were God, I would automate the process so there would be no chance that humans, imperfect as we are, could screw it up! Yep, if I were God, I would make knowing me simple and unconditional.

I love simple things! Simple instructions. Simple controls. Simple operating procedures. Simple plans. Simple explanations. Simple foods (I’ve never trusted casseroles). Most of all, I like simple love, that is, love that I can give and receive without conditions – love I can count on, no matter what. And then there is this Bible verse in 2 Corinthians 11:3 where Paul writes: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. There it is! Simplicity in Christ! Hallelujah! Glory! Following Christ should be simple.

But alas, following Christ is not simple! The Gospel and “what God wants” or “God’s Will”, are complex subjects, convoluted, nebulous, contradictory in many places and unabashedly vile in others. Further, you must say the “right things”, do the “right things” and believe the “right things”. Unfortunately, there are billions of opinions about what constitutes the “right things” from people reading the same Bible who are supposedly being lead by the same Holy Spirit of God. Over the millennia, this process has proven to be horribly imprecise and anything but simple! All the conflicting instructions and commands, many attached to extremely dire consequences are utterly bewildering. But most here know this, so I will desist and repair to the thesis topic.

Ok, bottom line, I am very interested in your opinions and would like to challenge you a bit. So here are my questions:

a.) In your opinion, what are the most repugnant or complicated Christian/Biblical concepts? Try to cull these down to one or just a few for brevity’s sake.

b.) How did these impact your conversion and/or de-conversion? And finally

c.) If you were “God-for-a-Day”, how would you act toward your creation? Would you make the knowledge of yourself simple? If so, how? Would you have rules? If so, what rules?

Now, if you are thinking, “this guy’s an idiot, I’m not spending any more of my time coalescing my thoughts on this crap”, I assure you that I understand – no worries! But, if this idea intrigues you, have a go at it. I think it might be therapeutic and maybe even fun. I look forward to your considered responses!

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