Does God have a Hero-Complex?

It seems inevitable that after a tragedy like a mass bombing, school shooting or someone shoots up a movie theater the articles entitled, “Where is God?” make headlines.  In these “probing” articles, you get the sense that God should have flown down from his lofty throne and scooped up children just before the bomb exploded or a ray of bullets violated their bodies.  When we ask this question, are we really searching for an objective proof of a deity or are we asking, “How do we find meaning is this horrible act”?  In a time of chaos and complexity, our tendency is to move towards our instinctual humanity and search for meaning.  In our search for meaning, why do we ask as if God can only be found as a “protector”? Is it our expectation that God’s role is to “grab our arm and pull us from danger”? But, are we really asking why God did not reach out and save our precious children from this unspeakable act of evil?  It seems as if God’s only reason for existence is to save helpless little ones from a short-lived life. And of course, that did not happen so we must conclude that God is not to be found. Yet I ask, can God only be found in acts of protectionism?   Is God trapped by our primal preoccupation to be safeguarded from the evils of our world?

Or maybe, God is less about guardianship and more about companionship.  Can God be found in the bravery of a man who runs towards the blast to aid the injured? Or in the courage of a police officer who confronts the madmen in order to bring them to justice?  Or in the boldness of a concerned citizen who calls “911” to report blood on his boat? Or in the determination of doctors and nurses who with great skill prevent the death of severely injured people?  Or could God be found in the hope it takes the injured to decide to amputate their leg and replace it with a prosthetic one? Maybe, God is discovered in turning the trauma of losing a child into a life-giving gift by donating her organs and creating a foundation to urge people to register to be an organ donor.  In our wanted pursuit to find God the hero, do we overlook the God of unrelenting love, unwavering courage, deepening strength and restoring presence or more simply stated, God with Us?

 —Move beyond just tolerating each other and towards truly appreciating one another.

2 thoughts on “Does God have a Hero-Complex?

  1. Well, Karl, I hope this gets to you. I goofed up my account on Facebook and so I don’t know how to respond to your Well written essay on God through that venue.

    Does God have a hero complex? That is an interesting question. The answer depends upon who and what we believe God is.

    If God is the personification of the eternal as we find in the old and New Testament, then God does have human emotions and I would say yes, he may have a hero complex. This also leads to the idea of it capricious, judgmental God because he is like us. He saves whom he pleases and neglects the rest.

    But I have come to believe that this is a mistaken concept of God. If he is the ground of all being, the summation of life itself and we are his spirit children then there is no capriciousness or hero complex.

    In the book, “Saving Paradise”, after much study of early Christian art, the authors come to the conclusion that the early Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross to reopen paradise and undo what Adam did. Early Christians believe that when we become Christians, we are suddenly in paradise with our loved ones present even though we cannot see them until our consciousness and soul are released from these bodies. If this is the case, then the little children that were killed by the gunman in Connecticut are still with their parents although not in visible form. Bernie is still with me although I cannot see him.

    If these things are true then the answer is, no, he does not have a hero complex because God is something that is so transcendent that we don’t understand him in our present form.

    As a matter fact, I think we are much more than we realize. In John chapter 10 verse 34 Jesus said, “is it not written in your law that ye are gods?” Interesting notion that we ourselves may be gods.

    Meditating on these things Is helpful and they may be true. Even if our loved ones are still with us in invisible form it doesn’t do much to help the grief. I must confess that I go through periods of being extremely angry with God and wishing he were a person so I could give him a good punch for taking Bernie away. We won’t know, however, until the time of our own death what the situation is and it may be more wonderful than we can possibly imagine.



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