GENEVA – A panel of distinguished psychiatrists spent four years reviewing the Bible to uncover what makes God tick.
The top shrinks say God’s personality is clearly revealed in the written record of His encounters with prophets and biblical characters.
The Lord is strong, loving and generous, they say, but “He can be a little bit picky.”
“He tends to be inflexible on occasion and He does have a temper,” says Dr. Gustav Weberlitz, head of the seven-man panel.
“He has a prodigious memory. He can recall things a person has done years and years later. He keeps score.
“The good thing is that the Lord is a forgiving entity who treats the faithful very well. But He doesn’t like it if they are ungrateful or get seriously out of line, like worshiping a golden calf or something. If that happens He gets mad and then He can be very, very strict.”
The panel’s fascinating report has stirred up controversy and vigorous debate in Europe.
A number of religious leaders have spoken out strongly against the work, saying it’s blasphemy to try to characterize God in human terms.
But defenders of the psychiatrists’ work say it may offer unusual insights for Christians who want to delve more deeply into their religion.
Among the report’s relevations:
1. God is extremely intelligent. He knows everything – even the thoughts and feelings of his flock.
2. God makes His own rules. He is not influenced by any factors but His own opinions when making decisions and promulgating rules.
3. God is a formal entity who likes ceremony. He appreciates folks who worship regularly, sing in choirs, give up something for Lent and so forth.
4. God is jealous. He does not want people to turn to other deities – or even to a love of money or sex. He wants to be first in people’s lives.
5. God is slightly sexist. He almost always relies on men, not women, to do His bidding. He does, however, have a loving and protective attitude toward women and children.
6. God loves love. There’s nothing He’d rather see among His people than brotherly love. He rewards it.
7. God has artistic tendencies. He loves to create beautiful things, which is why He has lavished so much attention on landscape, plants and trees, animals, stars, etc.
8. God thrives on praise. He revels in the worship and devotion of millions of followers. He likes to feel loved.
9. God is a high-energy deity. He enjoys undertaking thousands of activities at the same time and keeping track of millions of people and events. When He’s not busy, He’s bored.