The title of this post is simply, “God Is. . .” This statement is the essence of the purpose of all religious activity and everyone who claims to be religious. But perhaps to understand that activity we should first ask, “If God is, then God is what?” This question has been an intense discussion among religious people for millennia which has even resulted in wars between the tribes and nations of planet Earth, and which has inspired some of the greatest art and literature ever known.
Primitive cultures, and some not so primitive, have said that God could be seen in a statue, animal, or even certain people; however others, like the Hebrew tribes, took this concept to battle stating it was impossible for God to be contained in any one object. This point was so important as to become one of the basic commandments given through Moses in the well known Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not have graven images.” The Hebrews states in their scriptures that God is unseen. The question then becomes if God is unable to be seen, is he provable?
In the question of faith, evidence of God becomes a mute point. God is. He simply is. Those who have faith question this not. Without doubt they can point to experiences in their own and other’s lives to give examples of what they believe God is. But this carries us back to the question of, just what is God?
Although not called “God,” as such, the Chinese give much credit to a basic life force which they call chi (qi) of which all things are made and have their existence; however some oriental faiths say the chi is not the origin of all things, but instead that it emanates from an even “higher” source they call the “li.” This life force is what westerners call the spirit within man and oriental believes believe it can be manipulated and changed.
In 4000 years of history recorded in the Christian/Catholic scriptures we find a well documented search for a definition of what God is. It is the Apostle, John, who finally writes a letter to a young, newly formed church where he states his understanding of the question as clearly as could be possible. “God is Love.” (1 John 4:7)
Now in the Greek language in which John wrote, the term he used here was agape, meaning a specific form of love which is beyond being just an emotion, but rather a fact of undeniable, undying, unchanging care and concern for God’s creation. It is said by John in this short letter that God is the very essence of love, and that all things existed in the universe due to this one source of power. (The chi?)
What do you think. Who or what is God in your life?