11-17-19 AUDIO AVAILABLE SOON
‘Regarding the slow start, I think we can expect a period of adjustment. Do we really want to heap overwhelming early expectations on a program that is still learning the terrain? We should step back and allow a fair period of maturation then we can measure efficiency more accurately,’ commented the creator and manager of Sky High. Jim Clynick is facing a row of investigative reporters. They have been asking pointed questions about the program he spearheaded. Jim is quickly learning the demands of being the face and voice of a controversial program that has caught the public’s attention.
Sky High is the name chosen by Jim for his religious distinctions research. The news media has given the program their name, The God Project. The program main goal is to prove the existence of God. Jim wants to put to rest any more questions about God’s presents. But immediately before the program could begin research, they needed to define what God is. Should they take the Biblical God example. Where God is creator, monitor of personal sins, demander of devotion, holder of keys to Heaven, and final decider. Or the Spiritual God of energy and love, provider of balance, revealer of other realms, and displayer that all is connected. Jim choose a definition closer to the Biblical version, but adjusted the define to include all religions where prayer is involved.
Followers believe that through prayer, they are communicating with God. Therefore, Jim felt that prayer-believers create relationships with their Gods and researching these relationships will prove Gods existence. He started by interviewing religious leaders who claimed to be Prophets. These are believers who report themselves speaking with God. Jim and his assistances discovered hundreds of Prophets throughout the world. He asked each a carefully selected list of questions. Most Prophets made predictions and explained Gods actions, so Jim could gather reams of their past Prophecies, as well. Some of questions were predictions and others asked for Gods explanation. Jim expected that the answers should be very similar believing that Gods words are constant and clear. But the returned questionnaires were anything but clear and constant.
The personality of God was all over the map. Some said God was like a loving father who only wanted to protect his loving followers. Others showed God as a vengeful creator demanding obedience and ready to punish. Others showed God as tough/love director who is seldom satisfied. Once all the data was analyzed, what was most revealing was that the Prophetic works were more about the agenda of the Prophet. If he was a doomsday Prophet then all predictions were of Gods wrath. If the Prophet was from a highly successful community of believers, the Prophesies were about God bestowing financial blessing to the deserving. Or Prophets from poor communities spoke of God on his knees to protect his vulnerable flock. And when their predictions were analyzed, the percentage of consistent answers was very low.
Jim was losing respect for Prophets especially when he learned how much they benefited financially by claiming to speak to God. The reason they have power is that their followers don’t hear God’s voice and assume someone who claims to, must be special with God. But thru the questions Jim has concluded that Prophets don’t hear God’s voice either.
But so, what if God doesn’t speak words, billions of followers deeply believe he exists. So, he spoke to the believers thru more questionnaires and interviews. He found that God was deeply ingrained in the fibers of their lives. Surely, he can find proof of God in these worshippers. So, he asked to record their prayers. Using a group of representatives from all major religions, he began archiving prayers. The group knew Jim’s main goal was to prove the existence of God, so they were very willing participants.
After analyzing thousands of prayers, Jim began seeing a pattern. Most people seemed helpless and desperate for reassurance that they will be safe. They humble themselves as a form of respect. Constantly reassuring God of their love and devotion. Then begging for help like a child to a parent. But God never answered or spoke. Jim began seeing prayer as a form of letter to Santa Claus. Tell him how good you are and beg for things. And the real people who help aren’t Santa Claus but other humans.
Basically, the believers seemed happy with their devotion. Their beliefs gave them comfort and answers to hard questions. They felt reassured that God was on their side and became a foundation for living. These were good people living within their faith.
But Jim was questioning his faith. With what he knows now, can he still find reliance in his biblical God. And his program. It is beginning to reach its conclusions and Jim can see the likelihood that it may conclude there is no God. What will this do to the devoted?
Jim decided to form a small group of devotees and asked them directly. ‘If my research program concludes that there is no God, what will that do to your faith?’ They looked at Jim like he was crazy. One devotee answered, ‘We face daily challenges to our faith. This is not new. My faith brings constant rewards that we will never give up. God will not leave us, and we will not leave God.’
Jim had his answer. He was afraid his research would hurt their faith and possible dissolve their God image. But they seem well insulated from his research. Jim began preparing a final chapter to his research. He titled it, ‘the magnificent rewards from a quiet god.’ Peace’