Failing the Cupcake Test: The Myth of a Condemning God



Imagine a room, smallish, and scantly furnished with a chair at either end of a table that’s situated in the centre of the room. You walk in and see me in the chair facing the door, and I motion to you to sit in the other chair. You notice on the table are two cupcakes. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s back up a bit…


On a previous blog post, one of my friends replied that they loved my religion/philosophy. It was nice to hear that some people (or at least one, um… people) find comfort in my words, but of course the last thing anyone should do is encourage me. It might inspire me to continue, and that may or may not be a good idea, depending on who you ask.


To be clear, I have no religion. My only allegiance is to the truth. I care not for dogma, or sectarianism. I don’t care about churches or religions, I simply seek to learn and speak truth, and I don’t believe that any religion has a monopoly on truth. This truth occasionally butts up against things, like preconceived notions, or organized religion. And yet, I will still speak the truth as best I know it, and correct untruths as best I can based on my own experience, and the truths that I’ve uncovered. And I do this knowing full well that I have religious people in my family and amongst my friends who will no doubt disagree with what I say. They’re free to do so and I will happily debate the topic with them at any point they choose.


I will say, however, that truth is truth, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you. With that all being said, let’s talk a little about fear-based religions, because hey, why not? Besides, I get to talk about cupcakes, and who doesn’t like cupcakes?


Over the last year, I’ve had a number of, oh, let’s call them “moments of clarity” that have led me on a profoundly personal spiritual journey. As if I haven’t spoken enough about that recently, I’ll probably speak of the transformation in a future blog post, but now’s not the time for that. Suffice it to say, that this former atheist is now firmly convinced that God exists, God is everything, and God is love. On this, I’m sure most religionists will agree.


However, religionists tend to have some crazy contradictions. “God is all loving,” they say, unless you deny Him, then you’ll burn in everlasting torment forever and ever. “God loves all his children,” they say, but you must come to him in the right way, through the right church, and the right religion (some even add the “right” sexual orientation), otherwise He will be angry, and then you should fear His wrath. And woe be unto you if you should worship the “wrong” God, then He will cast you out or leave you behind. Above all else, you should fear His wrath and His judgement.


This idea of a wrathful, jealous, vengeful God simply doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Here’s why:


If God is love, why allow everlasting torment and suffering of unspeakable agony? Well, because God gave us free will and wants us to come to Him of our own choosing, they say. But if the choice is suffering of unspeakable agony forever and ever, what kind of free choice is that? Which brings me back to the cupcakes I mentioned earlier.


When you sit down at the table, you see two cupcakes. I tell you, you’re free to choose whichever cupcake you want to eat, but the one to my left is the best cupcake you’ve ever tasted. The one on my right, however, if you eat it, will leave you writhing in agony and unspeakable pain even until the end of time. Now, which one do you pick? What kind of a false choice is that? And what kind of God would offer such a choice? Is it any wonder that many people choose neither cupcake? Is it any wonder that people like myself have said, “The hell with you and your games! If this is the choice you give me, then I choose neither. I’d rather starve than play your tricks.”


So you see? It is religion itself that has created atheists. It is the myth of a condemning, vengeful, wrathful, judgemental, petty, spiteful, vindictive God that has caused people to turn their backs on religion. If I had simply placed two cupcakes on the table and said, “Here are two cupcakes. Both are divine. Both are the most wonderful, amazing cupcakes you have ever tasted. After eating one, you will be happier, more fulfilled, and more joyous than you ever thought possible. Now which do you choose, the chocolate, or the vanilla? You can, of course, choose neither, and you will still feel happier, more fulfilled, and more joyous than you ever thought possible.”


In those two scenarios, which one seems the more Godly? And which the more Devilish? We have ascribed devilish characteristics to God, and have thus, caused people to turn away from God. Thus, the view of a judgemental God is simply wrong and needs to be corrected, for the simple reason that it doesn’t do what religion is attempting to do: bring people closer to God.


So, with my blasphemous statement out of the way, let’s begin:


God is everything. I’m sure all religionists will agree to that, so let’s start there. If God is everything, then God NEEDS nothing. Let’s say you had all the money in the entire universe. How much money would you need? None, right? Excellent. Let’s continue.


If God NEEDS nothing, then there is nothing you need to do to please him, and thus there is no requirement you must meet. If there is no requirement that must be met (ie: your devotion to his “one true son,” for example), you cannot be judged as to whether or not you met that requirement. If you cannot be judged, you cannot fail. If you cannot fail, then you cannot be condemned for that failure.


God is everything. We are part of that everything. We are all a part of God. We can never be separated from God. Our fear-based religions have convinced many of us (conveniently for their sake) that you are separate from God, and that they know the one true path back to God, and it is their way, under their rules, by their dogma.


If you fail to come to God “on His terms,” via the right church in the right religion, or via the right saviour or prophet, who would He condemn? Himself? And where would he cast you out to, if He is everything? There is nowhere for you to go, nothing that exists outside of God. There is no Hell for you to burn in everlasting condemnation for failing to meet some requirement. Nor can you hurt God’s feelings, or injure Him in any way. The universe is a place where supernovae occur regularly, and supermassive black holes reside at the centre of each galaxy, sucking in and crushing everything within range, and you think that simply denying God will hurt His feelings?


In the beginning, God wished to know Himself experientially. But in the absence of that which is not, that which is, is not. So in order for Him to know Himself as what He was, He had to create that which He was not. So in order to know Himself as everything, He had to first know Himself as that which is NOT everything. This He cannot do, since God cannot “unGod” himself, but He CAN fake it a little. So He split himself into tiny pieces we call “souls.” But the soul knows who it is, and like God, cannot NOT know who it is, but it CAN cause itself to forget, and thus created the mind, which is forgetful and ignorant of its true nature.


This forgetfulness is our greatest gift. It allows us to know who we are but first NOT knowing who we are (in the absence of that which is not, that which is, is not, remember?). The very act of life, our very purpose, is simply to remember. That is, to re-member, to once again rejoin the body of God.


And thus, God knows the Divine Plan. God knows who you really are, even if you don’t. He knows that any mistake you make is born out of ignorance to who you really are. So why then would He condemn you for a mistake based out of ignorance that He himself designed into the system? Would He not just then be condemning Himself? Or His Plan? Would He not simply love the process? Would He simply not just watch us quietly, giving us guidance, and sending us teacher after teacher, and letting us find our way slowly back to Him, via whatever path we choose?


This is the path of evolution, of insight, of knowledge. It is a slow process of knowing who we are by understanding who we are not. This is God’s Plan. Therefore judge not, and neither condemn anyone or their path to God. The Bhagavad Gita states it nicely: “All paths, Arjuna, lead to me.” Not SOME paths, not the paths of a certain religion, not the followers of a certain prophet or savior, but ALL paths.


You might be saying, “But Tommy, aren’t you judging religionists? Or condemning their religion?”


No, I’m merely stating that what they’re saying isn’t bringing them closer to their goal. If someone is staring east waiting for a sunset, it’s not wrong to tell them to turn around. It’s not condemning them to say, “You’re looking in the wrong direction.” It’s simply pointing out a simple mistake.


So believe in your religion, I won’t ever tell you to stop doing that. Or change your religion. Or believe in no religion at all. It makes no difference to me. I hold no ego investment in the matter. Make your own choices, seek your own truth. If who you are and who you choose to be is that of a man or woman of a particular faith, then be that man or woman.


But remember this: like attracts like. Love attracts love. Fear attracts fear. “Love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy might. This is the first Commandment.”


Love, and do not fear.


“All paths, Arjuna, lead to me.”


This is a great truth.


“Judge not, and neither condemn.”


This too, is a great truth. For if God won’t judge you, why would you judge another? Why not simply support people on their own path? It was precisely BECAUSE I was an atheist for 40 plus years that I came to the truths that I now speak of. It was BECAUSE I was an atheist that I know speak of God.


Know this:


You are a part of God. You can never be separated. You will never be judged or condemned by Him. You cannot be. You will not be. Not now. Not ever.


Seek to find the divinity within you, and you will see this to be true. It is as all the prophets said, Love is the answer. Know this, and you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.



Sat nam.




Tommy Heiden is a family photographer based out of Maple Ridge who, when he’s not caring for his amazing wife and two beautiful children, is occasionally found taking pictures of other peoples’ wives and children, and even more often, speaking and blogging about how to add more love to your life.

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