After considerable scheduling complications, I am pleased to report that I was able to hold a brief interview with God.
After considerable scheduling complications, I am pleased to report that I was able to hold a brief interview with God, Evans reports.
Obviously, the Almighty is an incredibly busy personage, and time available for interviews like this are limited.
In fact, one factor that limits these sorts of encounters is the fact that the divine One is constantly listening to the prayers of all humankind. So the fact that the God of the universe would grant me a few moments is incredibly humbling.
I began with this question: "Lord, since we have such a limited time for this interview, I want to focus on one particular topic. In the United States, we are about to launch yet another political season. Several candidates in the race for president have staked out a special relationship with you that they say makes them particularly well suited for the office of president. I was hoping you would comment on that assertion and tell us if you have any actual endorsements."
God replied: "I don't endorse candidates. In fact, I don't endorse any particular form of governance. What I have observed through the centuries of human development is that you humans have an intense proclivity toward organizing yourselves to benefit yourselves. I tried to make it clear in sending Jesus into the world that my concern was for the 'least of these' in your midst. But almost all of the political and economic arrangements you have concocted ignore the needs of the needy and reward the interests of the wealthy."
"I had Jesus proclaim the Kingdom of God," God continued, "which was a vision of a community of justice, equality and forgiveness."
I followed up with, "So, the politicians who claim to have a special relationship with you are lying?"
God replied: "I would not go that far. Anyone who calls on me gets my attention. I care for all people. Anyone who sincerely and devotedly comes to me in prayer is certainly going to get a hearing.
"What I object to are those who claim that because they have called on me that I have somehow given them special standing. That is not the way it works. Again, when I sent Jesus into the world, he made it clear that those who are the servants to others are the great ones. Those who seek to advance their own agenda at the expense of others are not following my wisdom."
I then asked: "Is there anything in particular that you find disappointing about the way we conduct our public life?"
The Lord replied: "Violence. You use violence to solve every problem. There are drugs so you declare a war on drugs. There is terrorism so you declare a war on terrorism. I tried to make it clear in the teachings of Jesus that violence only begets more violence. After 50,000 years of human existence, I wish I could get that across to all of you."
God went on: "Jesus was pressed one time to express what the greatest commandment was, what was most important. He said, and I concur, that what is most important is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. There is no way to love your neighbor while bombing his or her neighborhood."
With time fleeting, I tried to wrap up with this question: "Are there any closing thoughts you would like to leave us with, something that would help us live in these difficult and confusing times?"
The Lord replied, "I have said everything you need to know through Jesus. Listen to him."
James L. Evans is pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church in Auburn, Ala.