A radically new way for churches to see God: Look around, not up.
If the church is to survive, writes pastor and author Meyers (Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance, 2015, etc.), it must start relating to God in a different way. Believers must focus less on what they believe and more on what they should do. As a map for what the path that he believes the church should follow, the author points to the Sermon on the Mount, which contains every detail Jesus ever taught but says nothing about what one must believe. The sermon focuses entirely on action and the importance of working for justice, which, Meyers points out, is the same gospel that the Hebrew Bible’s major prophets preached many years earlier. The author argues that in order to manifest this new approach to religion, we must stop looking for God “up there” and start seeing God as existing on our level, literally in our relationships with others: "Instead of concluding that we are ‘a little lower than God,’ we might consider something that is both more frightening and more empowering: that we are the very image of God, and that our treatment of one another is our treatment of God." Meyers is blunt here: If the church doesn’t make working for justice its reason for being, it will continue hemorrhaging members until it dies. However, the author is not all doom and gloom. He firmly believes that if churches make justice their primary concern, they will become relevant again and continue to be a source of wisdom and transformation. This may not be a book for all believers, but Meyers believes a significant audience is waiting, which he characterizes as “everyone who is struggling with the old and narrow definitions of God but has yet to see any coherent and comprehensive way to reimagine the Ultimate Mystery.”
A bold case for seeing God in a whole new way.