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Does God Need Praise and Glory?

Does God Need Praise and Glory?
by Dave E. Matson

An infinitely powerful being presumably has the ability to satisfy all its wants instantly. Whence, then, the craving of the biblical god for glory and human praise? Indeed, why would a complete being even create mankind? I can't think of any good reasons, can you?

The human ego, however, knows no bounds. Therefore, it imagines that mankind was not only created by an all-powerful being, but that the entire universe was created for man's benefit! (The Bible is very man-orientated.) If that isn't bad enough, the human ego imagines that such a god absolutely craves human praise and attention. Thus, like a vain, oriental potentate, God takes great pains to cloak himself in GLORY. He wants to impress his created subjects.

Throughout recorded history society has generally been divided into classes. One's "betters" usually demonstrated their superiority by fancier clothes, a bigger estate, and a larger contingent of servants and guards. At the top sat the king, whose clothes, estates, and contingents of servants and guards were the most glorious of all. Naturally, such people imagined that God would possess even more glory. God would sit on top of this totem pole, and his every move would be clothed in the ultimate regal power and glory.

Human rulers have a need for glory; they must distance themselves from their subjects lest the masses question their "right" to rule. It's also easier to rule if you convince the masses that you have God behind you. Hence, the unholy marriage between the ancient church and state. But, what need has God for glory?

Does God revel in self-admiration? Does God's ego require the strokes of man's approval? Is God unable to command without inspiring fear? Glory is the dress code men choose for their manmade gods; it is not a likely choice of a really advanced and powerful being.

A similar situation holds true for endless praise. The god of the Bible sucks up praise like a vacuum cleaner sucking up dirt! As if he couldn't squeeze enough praise from his multitudes on earth, God has special beings installed around his very throne whose sole role is to sing his endless praise! Apparently God's ego is even bigger than man's and needs a steady stream of super-heated air to prop it up.

Hear the words of Isaiah and the Revelation of John. Ask yourself if a real god would deck himself out in such an outlandish costume. Is this not a Mideastern potentate writ large?

He [God] was sitting on his throne, high and exalted, and his robe filled the whole Temple. Around him flaming creatures were standing, each of which had six wings. Each creature covered its face with two wings, and its body with two, and used the other two for flying. They were calling out to each other:
"Holy, holy, holy!

The Lord Almighty is holy!
His glory fills the world."

(Isaiah 6:1-3 Today's English Version)
... all around the throne there was a rainbow the color of an emerald. In a circle around the throne were twenty-four other thrones, on which were seated twenty-four elders dressed in white and wearing crowns of gold. From the throne came flashes of lightening, rumblings, and peals of thunder. . . .
Surrounding the throne on each of its sides, were four living creatures . . . Day and night they never stop singing:
"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord

God Almighty,
who was, who is, and who is to come."
The four living creatures sing songs of glory and honor and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever. When they do so, the twenty-four elders fall down before the one who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. They throw their crowns down in front of the throne and say,

"Our Lord and God! You are
to receive glory, honor, and
For you created all things,
and by your will they were
given existence and life."

(Revelation 4:3-5, 7, 8-11, Today's English Version)

Can you imagine that ruckus going on hour after hour? How many times a day must those poor elders flop down before God and toss forth their crowns? It must be a very tiresome job! Is that God's idea of greatness?

Truly great minds tend to be sickened by excessive flattery. One would think that God would be more like a great karate or judo master who enjoys the absolute respect and devotion of his students, not by grandiose props and incessant demands for praise, but by simply being worthy of praise. Those worthy of praise are usually the last to toot their horns.

Have you ever noticed how easily fountains of praise to the Lord tumble and flow in a great flood from Christian lips? It seems as if there was a contest to see who could praise God the most! Make God happy by singing his praises day and night!

Is God really so ego-happy?

The working brain recognizes that the ego-happy god of the Bible, the GLORY seeker of the Old Testament and the praise-absorbing sponge of the Old and New Testaments, is a manmade creation. Primitive minds have extended their own faulty concepts of human greatness and vanity to come up with their idea of God, the super, Mideastern potentate. Such work cannot be "God's own words."

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