Daddy vs Sir

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10/15/2005 9:55 AM
1 out of 137

I started to post this in a different thread, then realized it was off topic for it, so I'll start a new one.

Some of you and I have such different perceptions of God.

God to me is the one Jesus said to call "abba/Daddy," the one who wants justice and mercy, not sacrifice, the one who leaves 99 sheep to go look for the lost one, the one who runs to welcome home the wandering and lost.

I get the impression sometimes that some of you view God in such a way that he would be charged with child abuse if he were a human father.

Is there some reason you find it helpful to believe in such a violent and vengeful deity? Is there some reason you find it difficult to believe in a warm and loving God?

Personally, I probably used to believe more in the rigid and vengeful kind of God who needed to be propitiated. I think my views changed as I had children of my own and watched them grow. Having children also made me view my parents in a new light. My parents were good and loving. One of the worst punishments they could give me was to say "I am disappointed in you."

Through life, I have also learned that I can learn from pain and disappointment. It didn't need to be punishment, merely logical consequences. Life and faith seem to me to be kind of like learning to ride a bike. You can start out with training wheels or someone running beside you holding onto the seat. Eventually, though, you need to run the risk of skinned knees. It isn't because mom or dad want you to suffer or punish you for not being a good bike rider, it is because they know that you ultimately have to find your balance yourself.

Serious questions, truly. Why do you believe God needs to be so harsh? Or not?

10/15/2005 10:38 AM
2 out of 137

God is indeed a God of love. What Christian would deny that God is love? However, is He not also a God of Justice? Nevertheless, in His mercy, He presents himself as both a God of Love and a God of Justice, so that He can also display His mercy.

For what need would there be for salvation? Or, Salvation from what? Except, God in His mercy, saves sinners whom deserve death; which is the second death, the wrath of God’s perfect Justice, eternal damnation in Hell; which all mankind has earned for rebellion against God.

Below is a glimpse of God’s eternal mercy towards the multitudes that will have become saved from eternal Hellfire….

Revelation 7:9-12
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Are you ready to meet God?

10/15/2005 10:41 AM
3 out of 137

Sometimes reading on this board can be so emotionally draining. The arguing and stuff that goes on. And then a question like this is laid out...and my emotions fly right to the surface and I realize, this is the crux of my spiritual dilema.

Why do you believe God needs to be so harsh? Or not?

I don't need God to be harsh. I don't take comfort that Katrina and other recent disasters were God's judgement on innocent people to punish wickedness. But that is how God has been presented to me. That is the God I grew up with.

How do I shed that image of God. I try and I can't. This is the only God I know. I can't seem to find the loving God some speak of. And so....I wish I never knew God. I wish I was never raised to be a christian.

For me, God is a big entity somewhere out there. He is neither personal, nor caring, nor loving. Never has been. At least not for me. And the thought of ever reconciling myself to him and seeing him differently just seems an impossibility.

10/15/2005 10:51 AM
4 out of 137

I get the impression sometimes that some of you view God in such a way that he would be charged with child abuse if he were a human father.

This is a very serious problem I have with a lot of Christian theology. It presents a God who is, by any ethical standards, insane and abusive at best and entirely evil at worst.

I do not believe that when the words "love," "justice," "holiness," "mercy," "goodness," and "truth" apply to God, they mean entirely different things than they mean to us. If that were the case, then those words have no meaning at all, and the Bible may as well be complete gibberish.

We know what love is, and love does not involve deciding your children, who you once thought were very good, are entirely depraved, wicked, and unworthy to live in your own the first time they disobey. We know what mercy and justice are, and mercy and justice do not involve torturing someone for all eternity for finite crimes and/or for not accepting our particular doctrinal beliefs.

I don't know why some people insist on believing that God is a sadistic madman who, if human, we would consider to be a horribly abusive parent and a genocidal maniac leader. Honestly, if that was the way God was, we would have a moral imperative to reject his rule and to rebel against him.

Maybe it's because people had unhappy childhoods with either abusive or overly authoritarian parents and cannot imagine respect being linked to anything but that kind of controlling, cruel behavior. I honestly don't know. But, I think we are blaspheming against God when we imagine God as being a monster, which is what much Christian theology does.

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