Top 10-#7 God Is Not A Monster
God has been misrepresented to many of us. As children we may have received a picture of God that is vengeful, boring, uncompromising, angry, arbitrary and narcissistic.
As adults we were told clichés like, “God is trying to teach you something,” “When God closes a door, He opens a window,” and “You can trust God because he knows what’s going to happen anyway.”
The problem is, these simplistic explanations for why stuff happens paint a picture that is limited at best and inaccurate at worst.
God is often likened to either Frankenstein or Santa Clause.
Frankenstein is out to get you. Santa Clause gives you everything you want.
I don’t think God is either.
What is your concept of God? Is it due for a makeover? Have you lost hope that God is knowable, touchable, relatable, and a best friend? Do you think God sits above with a really big stick ready to whack you every time you screw up?
I often hear that people like Christ; they just don’t like Christians. I understand that sentiment.
I get it that the old testament of the bible is violent; it hits me every time I read it.
But as a communication scholar, I know there are pieces of the puzzle and context that have been lost on us thousands of years later. There is some great stuff there, but we don’t have the full picture.
Despite my limitations to understand, I also see an image of God that is kind, patient, longsuffering, humble, persuadable, and more like a lover than a monster. Those passages are also there.
Jesus is often looked up to as a model person. Even religions and philosophies that don’t consider him divine like him and think his teachings are beneficial to humankind.
I like what Pastor Greg Boyd says: Look at Jesus and you understand what God is like.
Jesus hung out with prostitutes and government employees. It was the religious leaders who burdened people with rules that he had a problem with. He sat with little children and went out of his way to meet people where they were. He washed feet. He gave his life.
If you think God the Father is chronically pissed off and Jesus is the nice guy, you likely have a distorted picture.
I would also add that if you think God is male, you have an inaccurate picture. I love how my new church prays, “Our Mother, our Father…”
There are many voices out there that are rethinking the paradigm. Many find the old pictures, ideas, and practices don’t work for them anymore.
This is permission to pursue God on different terms.