September 30, 2006

Why Does God Want Worship?

Posted in culture, mythology, psychology of religion, theology at 10:32 am by Jerry

It isn’t that God is lacking anything. God wouldn’t be God if S/he needed something. God doesn’t need others to acknowledge Her existence. So, if God has asked for humanity to worship her, why? Is it that God wants us to acknowledge how great She is? But if that’s true, why? Is it that God asks for our worship because it’s good for us? If this is so, why?

I’ve mentioned near the end of a post of mine, awhile back, that there are similarities between the myth of Narcissus and the Christian God. What I didn’t mention is that what we understand as “Malignant Narcissism” today was originally referred to as “The God Complex” (a derogatory label for us image bearers, but not so much for God). I did, however, say that there are healthy and unhealthy narcissistic traits. And I’d like to expand on that further.

When Narcissus looked into the clear pond and fell (literally) in love with his reflection in the pond, Narcissus was overwhelmed by his beauty, not the attention he was getting from his reflection. Fame was not his desire, love was his desire. He wanted to know and be known, not just be known about. Narcissus was not interested in his celebrity status. Narcissus was interested in relating (though ignorant enough to believe his reflection was a real person).

I applaud Narcissus for acknowledging all beauty found in nature, including his own. But if Narcissus was ONLY concerned that others pay full, undying attention to him, then I lose all respect for him. And the same goes for God.

If attention from others is all that matters to someone, then others are mere objects that produce an effect — like a drug. THIS is not healthy! No one is merely a means to a euphoric effect. When persons are acknowledged it must include their sentient qualities. If we are to have healthy relationships with others, our humanity must be acknowledged by those relating to us.

“God” happens to be a celebrity all over our blue-green globe, whether people believe in Her existence or not. But I have a hard time believing, if She does in fact exist, stardom is the only recognition She wants. I think She wants us to “worship” Her simply because She thinks it’s healthy to acknowledge ALL beauty found in nature. And I can see this as including “how great she is”.

But if God wants me to worship Her just because She feels She deserves everyone’s full and undying attention, then She will not get it from me.



  1. SUZANNE said,

    God does want us to worship him, but not for his profit, but for our own.

    God is the source of all Truth and Beauty, and these things make our souls happy. When we worship God, we explicitly or implicitly acknowledge him as the source. It makes us happy to contemplate those things.

    God could have not made the world, not made you, and he would have still been perfectly happy.

    That’s another reason to worship God: to learn gratitude.

    If you learn these things, you will be on the path to happiness and fulfillment.

  2. Shuana said,

    Hmmm, do you have some narcissistic personalities in your group of friends? I do, and I feel the same way about this lack of humanity among those who follow the ways of Narcissus…and who feel that their Beauty (something they did nothing to achieve) qualifies them for admiration and worship , and those who lack Beauty ought to bow and scrape and worship them—No, this is the opposite of our sacrificially loving God. But, that was obviously your conclusion too.

  3. Shuana said,

    OR…was it? I may have “misread” you (Harold Bloom’s concept).

  4. Eric said,

    I never ceases to amaze me at how people continually presume to know the mind of God. Where does this knowledge come from I wonder? Knowing what God ‘could’ or ‘couldn’t’ have done? Please. It also assumes only one kind of God, the kind that thinks and decides and feels like us! What arrogance. I’m sure many would love to quote me scripture at this point…
    Sounds suspiciously like a Christian God.

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