The other day I listened to a podcast in which one of the participants suggested that some Christians’ idea of God is more akin to the Godfather than God the Father. I thought this was too good an idea to pass up the opportunity for a short blog post.
Before you dismiss the idea of any believer seeing God as a divine mafioso, think about it for a moment.
What does the Godfather do? Well, he promises to bless and protect you, as long as you abide by his code and pay your dues. And he’s true to his word: if anyone picks on you, the Godfather will deploy whatever threat, force and/or violence is necessary to protect you. And once people know that you’re protected by the Godfather, they may even show you grudging respect.
But there’s a flip side to all this blessing and protection. If you step out of line, if you transgress even slightly, if you break one little rule of the mafiosi code, all that power that was previously being brought to bear against your enemies will come raining down on you in an instant. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve faithfully toed the line; it doesn’t matter how loyally you’ve served him and how sincerely you thought you were genuinely part of the family; it doesn’t matter that you previously had a one hundred percent track record and now all you’ve done is make an innocent mistake. Know this: if you cross the Godfather, he’ll shoot you in the back without a moment’s hesitation. (Don’t believe me? Ask Fredo.)