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Thou Shall not Test God…But what about your interpretation?

January 28, 2021

When I think of Religion, I think of large organizations with specific beliefs and principles. These beliefs and principles are unwavering. It’s either their way or the highway.

You might have heard the phrase, “you shouldn’t test God.” It can be found in Matthew 4:7, Luke 4:17, where Jesus references Deuteronomy 6:16. In that story, the Devil is asking Jesus “Dude, if you’re truly awesome with God, throw yourself over the mountain and prove it” to which Jesus replies, “Don’t test God, Jackass”. This telling of the story is paraphrased significantly but I don’t think it significantly distorts the message.

From this concept, we get the idea of “Don’t test God.” From that idea, we get that God should never be questioned and as far as religious organizations are concerned, they should never be unquestioned as well.

However, there’s a small issue with regards to the advancements of science. Science is all about testing. Through testing and the scientific method, we’re able to learn greater truths about our reality. We learn the laws that govern our world and create really cool things! (like e-mail newsletters).

This is where science clashes with religion. And as far as Psychiatry is a science, this is where Psychiatry clashes with Religion.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. I believe that although a person of faith shouldn’t put God to the test, they can certainly put their interpretation of God to the test. This has huuuuuge implications.

If you say, “If I don’t get a pony tomorrow, God does not exist.” That would be wrong on many levels. You receiving a pony doesn’t have any bearing on whether or not God exists.

However, if you say, “If I don’t get a pony tomorrow, then my understanding of God as a pony giver might need revision.” This is an entirely different story.

If your understanding of God does not play out for you in a meaningful way, then you might want to re-think your understanding of God. A meaningful connection to God is one that is actively engaged in your life, one that is evidenced by your experience.

A God that you actively experience something I want for you.

Dr. Eric

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