11-17-19 God Project
11-17-19 PUSH ARROW TO BEGIN AUDIO
‘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 was facing a row of investigative reporters. They had been asking pointed questions about the program he spearheaded. Jim was quickly learning the demands of being the face and voice of a controversial program that has caught the public’s attention.
Sky High was the name chosen by Jim for his religious distinctions research. The news media has given the program their own name, The God Project. The program’s main goal was to prove the existence of God. Jim wanted to put to rest any more questions about God’s presents. But first before the program could begin research, they needed to define what God is. Should they take the Biblical God example. Where God was 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 was connected. Jim chose a definition closer to the Biblical version, but adjusted the define to include all religions where prayer was involved.
Followers believed that through prayer, they were communicating with God. Therefore, Jim felt that prayer-believers created relationships with their Gods and researching these relationships would prove Gods existence. He started by interviewing religious leaders who claimed to be Prophets. These are believers who report themselves speaking directly with God. Most Prophets made predictions and explained Gods actions, so Jim could gather reams of their past Prophecies. Jim and his assistants discovered hundreds of Prophets throughout the world. He asked each a carefully selected list of questions. Some of Jim’s questions to the Prophets 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 consistent.
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 who demanded obedience and was ready to punish. Others showed God as tough/love director who was seldom satisfied. Once all the data was analyzed, what was most revealing was that the Prophetic answers 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 responses 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 was that their followers didn’t hear God’s voice and assumed someone who claims to, must be special with God. However, thru the questions Jim had concluded that Prophets didn’t hear God’s voice either.
But so, what if God didn’t speak words, billions of followers deeply believed he existed. So, Jim spoke to the believers thru more questionnaires and interviews. He found that God was deeply ingrained in the fibers of their lives. Surely, he would 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 would be safe. They would humble themselves as a form of respect. Constantly, they reassured God of their love and devotion. Then begged 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. They told God how good they were and begged for things. Ironically, real help, most often, came from other humans, not Santa Claus.
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 has learned, could he still find reliance in his biblical God. And his program. It was beginning to reach its conclusions and Jim could see the likelihood that it may conclude there was no God. What would 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. Our 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 possibly dissolve their God image. But they seemed well insulated from his research. So, Jim began preparing his final chapter to his research. He titled it, ‘the magnificent rewards from a quiet god.’ Peace***