The Benign Whatevers
There are many folks these days who are actively worshipping the Great Benign Whatever in the Sky. The adherents of this religion may be called “GBWITS” (pronounced, “Gib-wits”), the acronym for ‘Great Benign Whatever in the Sky’.
So then, who exactly are the GBWITS worshipping and why is it a problem?
First, the identity (the ‘who’ question) of the Great Benign Whatever in the Sky: The GBWITS bow before (even when they don’t think they bow) the fictional equivalent of a deified Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Forget about harsh deserts and golden calves; that’s so Old Testament! In the 21st century, there is a kinder, gentler, softer false god. He’s the fellow (or gal or whatever you want to assign it as) that’s there in a crisis, but can be bum-rushed out the door when times are gay (as in happy . . . and yes, I’m taking back the word, so there!). He’s the deity who stresses “judge not, lest ye be judged” as the cardinal guiding principle above love/worship of him and love of neighbor. Best of all, he assures all his adherents, the GBWITS, that they are good enough as is and not as he intended them to be; therefore, he has smote guilt with a wave of his plush purple hand and he has justified you by you alone and not his grace. You’re a good person just as you are . . . no improvement needed. There are no longer any real prodigal sons, because in the 21st century version of the parable, the destitute, suffering son does not have to reject his life amongst the swine. Instead, all he need do is flip open his cell phone and call the Great Benign Whatever in the Sky, who will help convince him that the swine are really pearls and the husks are really filet mignon.
That answers the question of who the GBWITS are worshipping. Now, why is it a problem?
Turns out the GBWITS are the unwitting heirs of the-commies-of-old’s penchant to eradicate religion. Instead of confiscating church property and imprisoning clergy and worshippers in re-education camps, it’s far more economical and efficient to simply water the potency of religion down into an inert and benign weak tea. It’s still there mind you, but has now been rendered harmless (the next best thing to total eradication!). It’s the equivalent of taking Narnia’s Lion, Aslan, and declawing him, extracting all teeth, and stuffing him with downy cotton. Much better, eh? Well, at least for the GBWITS, it’s much, much better.
How about the fruits of the GBWITS? What exactly are they? One way to appreciate the fruits of the GBWITS is to examine some of their litany prayers. Instead of praying “Thy will be done, Thy kingdom come” or “Lord, hear our prayer,” they respond with a half-hearted, almost narcotic “Whatever”. Here, let me give you a few examples of a typical litany:
The family, the bedrock of a healthy society, is under great duress and attack . . . whatever!
Abortion has achieved (and continues to achieve) a holocaust of epic proportions, the envy even of madmen like Hitler . . . whatever!
Islamic Jihadists are itching to tear down western civilization and replace it with a worldwide Caliphate . . . whatever!
Politicians no longer obfuscate, but brazenly lie, relying on a tepid response from the public encouraged by an outwardly partisan media . . . whatever!
Right and wrong and wrong and right are dynamic, fluid concepts that must adapt to the times, unless of course the wrong is committed against me personally; in that case, it’s absolute . . . whatever!
The in loco parentis of public schools has been expanded to government in general, making the government increasingly into not a facilitator of freedom, but an oppressor of it . . . whatever!
And, the litany of GBWIT fruits can go on and on, but consistent are the GBWITS’ response, which is an only more than happy, surfer-dude-esque “whatever!”
In all this, the GBWITS insist on wearing a crown fashioned from construction paper, or gained through the purchase of a Burger King children’s meal. They wield a scepter that hauntingly resembles an old toilet plunger salvaged from a dumpster. Their robes, on closer inspection, appear to be a discarded shower curtain speckled with Rorschachs of mildew. Yet, they peer into the mirror and see kings and queens, lords and ladies. They see monarchs with absolute authority, especially moral authority.
That’s the fantasy of the GBWITS. The reality, though, is that there really is a Lord and it’s not the GBWITS or their Barney the Dinosaur in the sky. There is sin. There is true justice, eternal and perfect. There is a need for contrition. There is a necessity for repentance. There is such a thing as salvation and alternatively, not salvation, which sometimes goes by the old time moniker of hell. There is a choice to be made. There are only two roads. And, most importantly, the response of “whatever”, benign though it may appear to be, is a most dangerous mantra. To chant it is to invite condemnation by one’s own hand.
The reality of God is that he is not a Great Benign Whatever in the Sky. He is not a grandiose spirit version of Barney the Dinosaur. He is Lord. He is Savior. The response befitting Him is not the lukewarm spittle of “whatever.”
The GBWITS have got it all wrong, and even if they mean no harm, they do so with profusion.