I recently went through a string of fortunate events, which led me to joke with my wife. I told her that God is on my side and is giving me favors because I’m the prodigal son, that’s why I should keep going on in my prodigal ways.
But the thought that God is on your side can be a dangerous idea. It can be used to manipulate people, especially the religious, who would think you would not dare use God’s name in vain. In our country, for example, when politicians are accused of wrongdoing, they are very quick to appear pious. The rosaries come out and God is uttered in every other sentence. A senator who was arrested last year brazenly wore a shirt with the words of Psalm 118:6 emblazoned on the front, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: What can man do unto me?”
I am very wary around people who think God is on their side. I am especially wary when they show strong conviction and feeling when they declare it. Take a look at these statements I picked at random on the internet, then look at who said them. I am not saying they are being dishonest (though that is also a possibility). But based on their conviction, they probably believe every word they say, which makes it all the more frightening. When people honestly think God is on their side, they can be capable of doing anything.
“I totally sided with the spirit of the Father, so that Satan Lucifer the devil’s hold on the fallen Adamic race that the Father has created for himself was free, and he sets me free and through my own freedom of choice, I have decided to follow the Father’s will no matter what. So that, that was a spiritual success that cannot be had without the Father’s guidance and without the Father’s protection upon someone like me whom He has called.” - Apollo C. Quiboloy, the “Appointed Son of God” (excerpt from the online article, Giving: The Key to Blessings)
“Never be discouraged. If I were sunk in the lowest pits of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains piled on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top.” – Joseph Smith, Jr., founder, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
“When I stepped in, I felt compelled by a higher power. Honestly, have you ever been grabbed by the Lord in a way you never thought you would or you could? That’s exactly what I’m testifying to, and I’m not speaking in hyperbole. I’m speaking right from the heart.” - Thomas Hammer, a teacher who said a ‘Higher Power’ told him to attack a kid on a skateboard
“Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exposed.” - Adolf Hitler, speech in Munich on April 12, 1922
The next time someone tells you God is on his side, be very, very careful.
Originally published in Sunstar Davao.