Posted by: the warrioress | July 31, 2012

Loving God Exactly As He Is

There are those who know of God only through what is written by the men and women who loved Him, within the Holy Bible.  On these pages is presented Holy God.  Through the pages of this book, a picture begins to develop of this god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Who is He?  What is He?  How does He operate?  Is he “good?”

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. – Genesis 1:27

This verse gives us our first clue that we are created in God’s own image.  Read here to find out how we are like God. It is through these likenesses that we grow to understand God, though I think this would take a lifetime with the current capabilities of this earthly mind of ours.

My love for God is and has always been greatly unconditional and accepting. When I first called out to God, in my utter brokenness and humility at the time, I opened my heart to this being, to whomever He was and is.  I was not making my calling upon Him conditional;  He did not have to answer to me, in other words.  I believe that God honors this kind of love and appreciates it;  I actually think he favors it.

I’ve been asked before that if I found out that God was not “good,” what would I do? My answer was that I would continue to love God no matter what or who He is, and no matter if He is good, bad, or a mixture of the two.

I say this because however the human being can judge, through our minute capabilities, (compared to God), I know the limitations of my judgment compared to God’s capabilities and judgment. I am incapable of adequately judging God, nor do I want to do so.

My love for God is a commitment and that commitment consists of loyalty and belief in Him no matter what I come to find out about Him later or even now, as I’m living here on planet Earth.  I don’t always understand the things God has chosen to do in the past, that were written about within the Bible, but I don’t have to; I trust God’s judgment over my own. I trust that this being is worthy of my worship, submission, and deference.

Those who cannot love God in this way, who cannot come to Him in faith and simple acceptance, may never understand or even know really loving God. Loving God in this way requires humility, an ability to submit, and a child-like ability of innocent acceptance, no matter what. The rebellious heart cannot understand or accept this kind of love; it must reason everything out and this kind of love is not reasonable.

I said the following to Sabio on his blog the other day:

“The heart that is open to loving God would love God, no matter who or what He is, flawed, perfect, ego-driven, or whatever.”

God is similarly capable of offering this same kind of love to us in our absolute humanness and imperfection. We are flawed and imperfect, and most certainly not holy, but God loves us anyway. God created a way to love us  and to make us holy before Him through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. We become perfect in God’s eyes because of what Jesus did for us.  All we have to do is accept this gift He has offered us, this free unconditional acceptance of who we are. He asks us to give Him the same kind of love in return.

Think about it.

I want to thank Sabio for bringing this post about inadvertently, through our ongoing discussions on his blog and mine.  Sabio, your mind is ever working and exploring and I love it; it’s a beautiful mind in action.

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Responses

  1. “My love for God is and has always been greatly unconditional and accepting.”

    the bible says
    We love each other because he loved us first.
    1 John 4:19

    In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
    1 John 4:10

    unconditional is a powerful word you use there. It’s difficult and bizarre to say Love God as he is, because he only know him through what has been made known, through the scripture and experiences of prophets (Isaiah seeing the Lord seated on the throne), and apostles like Paul, and words of Jesus himself. But to love God exactly as he is is something impossible for one person to do at one given time, because he is Love, perfectness of obedience, holiness, patience etc. Can we consider all these factors when we pray our 2 minute prayers? No we focus on one tiny aspect like giving thanks for something or adoration and worship of his purity (his Holiness) or praise (like You are holy etc.).

    Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (NLT)
    1 Corinthians 13:12

    God bless sister

  2. The love for God should be more than a commitment, it should be a life style, which in turn is an adventure through the unknown testing our faith beyond our imaginations knowing that what is inscribed in the very pages of the Holy Bible are true words of knowledge and wisdom, which in turn are our compass through the daily grind we call life, and without it we would be lost not knowing right from wrong and ultimately failing at anything life throws our way, thus we would end up miserable and with out an inkling of hope as to whether we go to a better place after we leave the earth or a worse place.The love God has for us is the same love we should give back in return and that is my thought on this subject, I hope you’ll agree.
    Rambo

  3. @Stan

    the bible says
    We love each other because he loved us first.
    1 John 4:19

    In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
    1 John 4:10

    Stan, these are excellent verses!
    Yes, we do love God and one another because he first loved us. God loved us unconditionally and He showed this to us through sending His Son to be a sacrifice for our sin.

    unconditional is a powerful word you use there. It’s difficult and bizarre to say Love God as he is, because he only know him through what has been made known, through the scripture and experiences of prophets (Isaiah seeing the Lord seated on the throne), and apostles like Paul, and words of Jesus himself. But to love God exactly as he is is something impossible for one person to do at one given time, because he is Love, perfectness of obedience, holiness, patience etc. Can we consider all these factors when we pray our 2 minute prayers? No we focus on one tiny aspect like giving thanks for something or adoration and worship of his purity (his Holiness) or praise (like You are holy etc.).

    This is well said, Stan. It’s so difficult to explain what I mean, but when I say that I love God exactly as He is, what I mean is, what I have learned about Him through the bible, through life experiences, through my relationship with Him, etc. Initially though, I knew very little about God. As a child, I knew there was something..someone there; I sensed Him. I accepted Him even then, though I didn’t know who He was. I was very, very young at the time and in some extremely difficult circumstances. I didn’t know about Jesus Christ or anything about the bible either. I knew something out there cared though. Like a child, I accepted that something and I still do even today.

    Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (NLT)
    1 Corinthians 13:12

    God bless sister

    Some people read the bible and say that God is not good; they don’t understand God’s judgment, his holy anger, etc. They see God as a bully, ego-centric, demanding, and a tyrant. I am trying to tell them that I love God exactly as He is, no matter how He turns out to be, because instinctively I know that God is “good.” And I know that God loves me. You said this perfectly with this statement, Stan:

    Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.

    It’s so hard to explain to those who don’t understand this, Stan, who see God as mean and negative. Thank you so much for sharing here. I really appreciate it.

  4. @Rambo

    The love for God should be more than a commitment, it should be a life style, which in turn is an adventure through the unknown testing our faith beyond our imaginations knowing that what is inscribed in the very pages of the Holy Bible are true words of knowledge and wisdom, which in turn are our compass through the daily grind we call life, and without it we would be lost not knowing right from wrong and ultimately failing at anything life throws our way, thus we would end up miserable and with out an inkling of hope as to whether we go to a better place after we leave the earth or a worse place.The love God has for us is the same love we should give back in return and that is my thought on this subject, I hope you’ll agree.
    Rambo

    For me, loving God has become a lifestyle..yes. This is a good way to put it, Robbie. It’s not just a commitment, but when I try to explain to someone why I would love God, no matter how He turns out to be, I am trying to explain why and how this comes about over time. Initially, loving God was not a lifestyle for me, but it has become that along the journey. My love for God has grown and transformed into something very different from what it once was. And yes, this love that God shows us, this unconditional love and acceptance, is what He would also appreciate from us. Thanks, Robbie!

  5. One important thing we need to recognize in response to the questions you brought up is..God’s soverighty reigns, He alone is God and there is none other. Nothing, absolutely nothing catches him off guard.

    God works all according to His will & none can turn Him. He kills & makes alive. Causes well-being & calamity. – Ep.1:11; ISa.2:6; Is.45:7

    None can ward off God’s hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” His counsel stands from generation to generation. Dan.4:34-35; Ps.33:11

    The Scriptures declare that the LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty extends over all (Ps.103:19).

    Sadly, God’s sovereignty is especially disdained in Western Christianity where individualism, self-autonomy, and democracy are sacred themes.

    Now specifically still addressing your question let me answer your question about God being a bully with this quote.

    “While I was speaking to some college students recently, an interesting twist on the contrast between our unresponsiveness and God’s great desire for us came up. One student asked, “Why would a loving God force me to love Him?” It seemed like a weird question. When I asked the student to clarify what he meant, he responded that God “threatens me with hell and punishment if I don’t begin a relationship with Him.” The easy retort to that statement is that God doesn’t force us to love Him; it’s our choice. But there was a deeper issue going on, and I wasn’t sure how to answer it in the moment. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I would tell that student that if God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed?”
    — Francis Chan, Crazy Love

    There are no limitations to God’s government, nor is there any creature or activity beyond the boundaries of His scepter, and yet beautifully interwoven into his creation is man’s free will. However evil, or no matter what action man chooses to do God will be glorified because of it at the end. The wicked by their rebelliousness will see what great kindness and gentleness they’ve mocked and dismissed, and at their seperation, God’s eternal justice will be glorified. All things will glorify him because he calls the past into account to settle those who’ve dismissed him. However those who through patience, forgiveness, and love will see God’s great mercy and eternal everlasting reward he has stored for them.

    Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for eternities of eternities
    Daniel 12:3

    In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.
    Romans 9:23-24

  6. no problem

  7. Uncoditional is a powerful word. My love for God is unconditional because He loves me inspite of the sins I have done. It should be the same with people –

    Ed

  8. […] Loving God Exactly As He Is (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com) […]

  9. @efchristi

    Uncoditional is a powerful word. My love for God is unconditional because He loves me inspite of the sins I have done. It should be the same with people –

    Ed

    This is lovely, Ed. I think my love for God initially came about as a very young child because I simply knew He was there; I felt Him/sensed Him. I needed His help. I knew I was safe with Him, so I guess it was because He first loved me, just like the bible says, though I hadn’t even heard of the bible at that tender age. Good to see you, Ed, and thanks!

  10. @Stan

    You said:

    One important thing we need to recognize in response to the questions you brought up is..God’s soverighty reigns, He alone is God and there is none other. Nothing, absolutely nothing catches him off guard.

    God works all according to His will & none can turn Him. He kills & makes alive. Causes well-being & calamity. – Ep.1:11; ISa.2:6; Is.45:7

    None can ward off God’s hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” His counsel stands from generation to generation. Dan.4:34-35; Ps.33:11

    The Scriptures declare that the LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty extends over all (Ps.103:19).

    You certainly know your bible, Stan. You’re a joy to read because I love to be exposed to various scripture as it relates to what someone is saying, and these fit in with what you’re saying so well. God’s sovereignty is magnificent and awesome, but I don’t know how to convince someone else of it if they don’t see it on their own, you know what I mean? I’m not sure I can persuade them, in fact, I doubt I can or even if I should try. Perhaps just sharing what I believe and feel, as you’ve just done…

    You said:

    Sadly, God’s sovereignty is especially disdained in Western Christianity where individualism, self-autonomy, and democracy are sacred themes.

    Yes, I know. I don’t understand why though because it seems as if God could only enhance these themes not detract from them.

    You said:
    Now specifically still addressing your question let me answer your question about God being a bully with this quote.

    “While I was speaking to some college students recently, an interesting twist on the contrast between our unresponsiveness and God’s great desire for us came up. One student asked, “Why would a loving God force me to love Him?” It seemed like a weird question. When I asked the student to clarify what he meant, he responded that God “threatens me with hell and punishment if I don’t begin a relationship with Him.” The easy retort to that statement is that God doesn’t force us to love Him; it’s our choice. But there was a deeper issue going on, and I wasn’t sure how to answer it in the moment. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I would tell that student that if God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed?”
    — Francis Chan, Crazy Love

    There are no limitations to God’s government, nor is there any creature or activity beyond the boundaries of His scepter, and yet beautifully interwoven into his creation is man’s free will. However evil, or no matter what action man chooses to do God will be glorified because of it at the end. The wicked by their rebelliousness will see what great kindness and gentleness they’ve mocked and dismissed, and at their seperation, God’s eternal justice will be glorified. All things will glorify him because he calls the past into account to settle those who’ve dismissed him. However those who through patience, forgiveness, and love will see God’s great mercy and eternal everlasting reward he has stored for them.

    Mr. Chan says it perfectly and it’s a wonderful explanation for why God is as He is.

    I love what you say here, in particular, when you mention that “God will be glorified by man’s free will, even in the end of it all. All things will glorify Him… no limitations to God’s government.” Beautifully put, Stan.

    You say:

    Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for eternities of eternities
    Daniel 12:3

    In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.
    Romans 9:23-24

    I agree, Stan. God is very patient. Only when one begins to know and love God can they see this, though.

  11. ” I don’t know how to convince someone else of it if they don’t see it on their own, you know what I mean? ”

    I know what you mean, you are not called to bring people into the Christian movement, no one is. I got into an argument with someone who is very scientific, I was shouting and yelling at him at first but I had such a deep guilt at the end, my motives were to prove him wrong. As Paul says in Ephesians 4:15, Speak the truth in love. We want to save them, we want to save them not shame them or attack them. How do we treat patients in hospitals, HIV patients, so forth? Do we shame them first then treat them? So instead of judging them, we let them know what they are doing is self-destructive. If they ask why or if you are a good-too-shoe tell them no its called sin and it harms them, and it is rebellion against God. When people ask why disasters happen, I simply tell them “I don’t know” but I know regarding your hope, you need Jesus and heres why..

    God has no need for us to make a defense on His behalf or to round off a few of His “rough edges” to make Him more appealing to fallen man! We have to let them what’s wrong, that is sin. We don’t want to save them to make them join a church but help them become aware they need a savior from their sin. If they don’t realize they NEED saving from sin, then there is no point. This is why we need to speak in love, with your motive being to save them not to punish them..

    Before you go speaking in love, you need to be FIRM in the truth and walk in it. If we play an instrument we can try to teach someone who doesn’t know how to play an instrument how to, but if we know alot about an instrument the try to argue one instrument is better than the other, we’re bound to get nowhere.

  12. I know your heart Warrioress (I wish you would use your real name in conversation, it is so disrespectful having to call you Warrioress) is filled with love for your Maker and I understand what you are saying about having faith and complete trust in Him in that it doesn’t matter about His personality being totally good or otherwise. For an outsider who doesn’t as yet believe in God that might be a stumbling block to them. God is perfect, He is the epitome of love and goodness and He reveals that to us in Scripture, the Scripture He placed in the heart of the prophets to enable them to write it down. It is only through reading God’s word that we begin to gain a full understanding of His greatness, goodness and love and it is by The Holy Spirit that we are taught these things. Many people read The Bible and do not see these things for they have not The Spirit or are not open to Him. When people are searching for God, as I did when I was an unbeliever, they are looking for answers, they want to know if God is real and if He is as good as we Christians say He is. This is where we have to be faithful in witnessing, to explain to the seeker why it is we have this joy in our hearts and we do this in love. One thing I should point out is the fact that an unbeliever should already be aware that we are different by the way we live, by the way we react to the things in life. In other words they should be able to see Christ in us or we are failing in our own walk with God. God will reveal Himself to those who earnestly seek Him. He doesn’t need His children to go about preaching hell-fire and damnation, He needs them to speak about the good news, the gospel, His coming kingdom and His love for us all. To even think as a Christian believer that God is or could be anything but the epitome of love and goodness and completely flawless is a sin in itself. We love God because He first loved us but it is more than that because He demonstrated His love in this, that whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We can see from this alone that God is all good. One of the hardest things in being a Christian is to witness to the unbelieving heart. We need to pray for individuals before we embark on our missionary journeys in life and pray that the Holy Spirit will open hearts to receive the truth which is the Gospel.

    Shirley Anne x

  13. @ The Warrioress

    (1) As you know, many people like you, in times of difficulty and turmoil call out to God in “utter brokenness and humility” and then find a God who answers and then become devout. But the important thing is to remember that these stories abound in every country with many different faiths. And oddly enough, almost everyone of those converts to the religion they grew up hearing about. And they become certain of the truth of their scriptures.

    Does this make their experience meaningless, no? But perhaps their interpretation is too narrow.

    (2) I still find your honesty amazingly refreshing when you say:

    I’ve been asked before that if I found out that God was not “good,” what would I do? My answer was that I would continue to love God no matter what or who He is, and no matter if He is good, bad, or a mixture of the two.
    –the Warrioress

    For such a stance closes many conversations. I am certain many Christians would disagree with you. Disagreement would not make you wrong, of course, but it is interesting. I wonder if you could take a poll here just for Christians that said:

    Question: If you went to heaven and indeed found out that you were mistaken and that Yahweh was “bad” or “evil”, and were given a choice of annihilation or remaining in heaven for eternity where you were required to worship evil Yahweh, what would you do:

    (a) Stay and Worship
    (b) Opt for Annihilation

    BTW, thank you for the compliment at the end of your post. PS — are you affiliated with any denomination or go to any church or are you part of the “unchurched”? I am sure you have talked about this before, but I am new here.

  14. Sabio….there are indeed many different ‘religions’ and those who believe may be very sincere in their belief but they can also be very sincerely wrong! As Christians we believe in the relationship we have with God, the Creator through Jesus Christ, for it is through Jesus Christ that all things came into being. It is just that no everybody knows that or believes in that. Christianity is a relationship with God, it isn’t a religion in the same sense as in other faiths. It is the only relationship that has the promise of eternal life, not re-incarnation but a life with God in His Kingdom. It is a spiritual thing. As I said in my earlier comment, the spiritually blind have a veil over their eyes (their hearts are closed to the truth) that needs lifting. They think it is foolishness, see 1 Corinthians 1:18-19… Christ crucified is God’s power and wisdom

    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

    ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’

    Shirley Anne x

  15. @Shirley Anne
    You said:

    I know your heart Warrioress (I wish you would use your real name in conversation, it is so disrespectful having to call you Warrioress) is filled with love for your Maker and I understand what you are saying about having faith and complete trust in Him in that it doesn’t matter about His personality being totally good or otherwise. For an outsider who doesn’t as yet believe in God that might be a stumbling block to them. God is perfect, He is the epitome of love and goodness and He reveals that to us in Scripture, the Scripture He placed in the heart of the prophets to enable them to write it down.

    Shirley, hi…I’m Adrienne. I don’t have a lot of time this afternoon as I’m heading out of here into town for the rest of the day and will be back later this evening to answer the rest of the comments, but yours seemed like it needed a response immediately so I could clarify what’s been written on the last few posts and this one, so far.

    This “what if God were evil” stuff has come about due to a poll that Sabio took on his own blog, which I responded to with the answer that I would remain loyal to God exactly as He is, regardless of what I find out later when confronted with Him. I answered Sabio honestly, and in my post before this one, “Should Christians Evangelize Atheists?” discussion of this question became intertwined and continued in the comments. In expounding upon one of my answers to one of his numerous questions, I answered Sabio’s question with this posting that we’re discussing now.

    Personally, I have noticed that there are a lot of unbelievers who have difficulty with passages in the bible where God has destroyed many; some of these unbelievers consider this to be bad/evil and not good behavior on God’s part. Some consider God to be a tyrant. Attempting to explain all of this to them isn’t easy, but you’ve done a wonderful job of summing up the loving aspect of God here in your post, probably better than I ever could; I appreciate it.

    You said:

    It is only through reading God’s word that we begin to gain a full understanding of His greatness, goodness and love and it is by The Holy Spirit that we are taught these things. Many people read The Bible and do not see these things for they have not The Spirit or are not open to Him. When people are searching for God, as I did when I was an unbeliever, they are looking for answers, they want to know if God is real and if He is as good as we Christians say He is. This is where we have to be faithful in witnessing, to explain to the seeker why it is we have this joy in our hearts and we do this in love.

    I think the readers who don’t believe need an answer for why God has engaged in behavior that they consider to be genocidal or wrong/bad. I don’t have time to get into this in detail right now, but you’re certainly welcome to help me with an explanation that will further their understanding. I’m just grateful for the questions and interest from them, frankly, and I admit I know I don’t “witness” perfectly, by any means.

    You said:

    One thing I should point out is the fact that an unbeliever should already be aware that we are different by the way we live, by the way we react to the things in life. In other words they should be able to see Christ in us or we are failing in our own walk with God. God will reveal Himself to those who earnestly seek Him. He doesn’t need His children to go about preaching hell-fire and damnation,

    I agree. I’m definitely not normally a hellfire and brimstone type of Christian, so I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that. lol.. If the matter should come up, I discuss hell and the punitive aspect of dying unsaved, but I don’t try to put the fear of God into the unbelieving, as a rule.

    You said:

    He needs them to speak about the good news, the gospel, His coming kingdom and His love for us all. To even think as a Christian believer that God is or could be anything but the epitome of love and goodness and completely flawless is a sin in itself.

    I hope you don’t mind if I ask this, because it isn’t coming to mind at the moment, but could you provide scripture where it says that God is perfect, flawless, and completely good? I’m unaware of scripture that quotes this or I would have quoted it already, but again, I don’t have time to do so right now anyway so I would really appreciate it. I have always thought that since we are made in the image of God and we are hardly perfect, flawless, or good, that perhaps God is similar. I mean, after all, He does get angry, does He not? And the bible says that anger is a sin. Admittedly, I have wondered about this myself. There are times when God has engaged in the very behavior that we are told not to engage in. How do you explain that to the unbeliever? I’m seriously interested in your response and the scripture that goes along with it, if you don’t mind.

    You said:

    We love God because He first loved us but it is more than that because He demonstrated His love in this, that whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We can see from this alone that God is all good. One of the hardest things in being a Christian is to witness to the unbelieving heart. We need to pray for individuals before we embark on our missionary journeys in life and pray that the Holy Spirit will open hearts to receive the truth which is the Gospel.

    Shirley Anne x

    I agree, Shirley, and I do pray before I write a post and often while I’m writing it. I am never going to feel that it’s a sin to question God, though, or to think and wonder about Him and what is said in His word if I don’t know the answer to something and an unbeliever brings up what I wonder about myself. I don’t think God considers our wonderings and thoughts about Him “sinful” even if He doesn’t care for what I’m wondering or thinking. (He never has with me anyway). God is very patient from what I’ve experienced.

    I have considered that God has engaged in behavior within the OT that seemed anything but what we as human beings consider “good.” I would appreciate your explanation on why this is. I believe I’ve already stated that God’s ways are not our ways and God doesn’t use the same intellect that we do because we can’t see around corners, while He can. Anyway, please do feel free to answer Sabio’s many questions and comments if you don’t agree with an answer I’ve provided on any of these posts, because admittedly, I sure don’t have all the answers. Another thing to consider is that God may be using you to provide answers that we all need and would appreciate, so thanks, Shirley Anne.

  16. @Shirley

    I feel you somewhat missed Sabio’s point.

    “Sabio….there are indeed many different ‘religions’ and those who believe may be very sincere in their belief but they can also be very sincerely wrong!”

    Except that this is precisely what Sabio was driving at. I can reuse this statement for literally anyone. All people believe that their religion is correct and that others are wrong.

    “As Christians we believe in the relationship we have with God, the Creator through Jesus Christ, for it is through Jesus Christ that all things came into being. It is just that no everybody knows that or believes in that.”

    Again, here you are just talking about the tenets of your faith. Other faiths have different tenets.

    “Christianity is a relationship with God, it isn’t a religion in the same sense as in other faiths.”

    I can reuse this statement for any other religion. “It isn’t like the others”.

    “It is the only relationship that has the promise of eternal life, not re-incarnation but a life with God in His Kingdom.”

    Being the “only religion that does X” does not make it the “correct” one. Just a different one.

    Sabio’s point is that other faiths cling just as strongly and they, too, can bring up tons of arguments and points in their favor, just as you have done.

  17. To all engaging in this discussion,

    Regarding our ongoing, post-to-post exploration of who God really is, His perfection and behavior that we may not always understand, etc., I’ve been doing some reading tonight and attempting to find some answers to sate my own curiosity; I also want to try to address the various questions of those who are reading here.

    Anyway, I look forward to continuing this with all of you after I’m able to get some scriptural evidence into a cohesive format so I can adequately answer some of the questions that have come up thus far in my mind and yours, so bear with me and thanks for your patience!

  18. In answer to your question about the perfection of God Adrienne here are some relevant passages from the online Bible
    1Deuteronomy 32:4
    He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
    Deuteronomy 32:3-5 (in Context) Deuteronomy 32 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    2 Samuel 22:31
    ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.
    2 Samuel 22:30-32 (in Context) 2 Samuel 22 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Psalm 18:30
    As for God, his way is perfect: the LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.
    Psalm 18:29-31 (in Context) Psalm 18 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Romans 12:2
    Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    Romans 12:1-3 (in Context) Romans 12 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Hebrews 7:19
    (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
    Hebrews 7:18-20 (in Context) Hebrews 7 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations

    Deuteronomy 32:4 is especially informative …’who does no wrong, upright and just…..’

    Shirley Anne

  19. @ The Warrioress ,
    A few things:

    (1) Other commentors
    I probably won’t respond to other commentors for several reason. (a) Conversations can get confused that way. (b) Many of the folks who visit your blog seem like people I don’t feel drawn to have conversation with — I won’t go into the reasons. Maybe you can imagine. I’m am sure you see some atheists on other sites who you are not drawn to dialogue with. The best dialogues are productive ones.
    So I just wanted you to know why I let their comments to me slide.

    (2)Christians aren’t really better
    You said,

    I think the readers who don’t believe need an answer for why God has engaged in behavior that they consider to be genocidal or wrong/bad.

    If anything productive could come from our dialogue, I would hope it would be to show you that there is a huge variety of non-believers and that your typifications are often too general.

    For instance, I did not stop being a Christian because of my understanding of Yahweh or a felt conflict of science and some preacher’s interpretation of the Bible. The reasons that non-believers are non-beliers vary greatly. And are usually multifactoral. Likewise, I believe that the reason people are believers in any religion are for multiple reasons. People become Christians for different reasons — it certainly is not always because of a strong desire to be saved, for instance

    You agreed with Shirely when she said,

    One thing I should point out is the fact that an unbeliever should already be aware that we are different by the way we live,

    But research has shown almost no difference between believer and unbeliever’s behavior. Thus, very contrary to both your views, this hypocricy is what drives many former believers away — lots.

    And concerning “Christian Perfection” — as you know, there are whole groups of Christians that believe this doctrine and others that take it less literally. But either way, when measuring Christian behavior, we get no difference. The standard reply to this is: Well, those who aren’t different, aren’t real Christians. And I think no one really wants to defend that position.

    (3)Studied Answers
    I understand and respect that you take time to read scripture and try to get a good answer to questions. However, the most meaningful replies are the ones that come from your heart at the moment. Censoring, sterilizing, santizing your response with lots of Bible verses is usually a good way to stop real dialogue with a non-believer. It is a common practice. Instead, talking to you at the moment. Seeing how you are the type of Christian you are at the moment is the important thing. For again, I am not trying to get you to stop being a Christian, but instead, to think about some issues that may affect your spirituality [for lack of a better word].

    If your answer is too studied, it will be hard to talk to you. Because then you will be trying to defend your interpretation of certain Bible verses and I won’t get into an exegesis debate. I just want to discuss with how you think today or tomorrow.

    I hope this point made sense. I’ve never written on it before, but I think it is even true on many other subjects besides religion when having certain type of subjects.

    (4)Is God Perfect
    I think many, many Christians think just like Shirley and that your opinion about God is yet another theology contention point. Did you ever see my post called: “My Favorite Type of Christians“? There I list many of the different many theology points the Christians differ on. I think that it is important for Christians to understand the varieties, and to understand why they exist and why they serve people’s needs. That helps them to understand how religion often works. I hope that point is not to vague.
    I admire your honesty on this issue and your study. Very cool.

    @ Brandon,
    Thank you for adding clarification.

  20. PS, Warrioress:

    I thought of another really good post you may want to consider , and/or include it here. The title could be something like:
    “How I research the Bible”.

    For instance when looking into the “Nature of God” issue (a very popular theological topic. I don’t imagine you just re-read the whole Bible keeping in mind the topic.

    Some folks may go right to certain apologists or to certain books or to a certain concordance or a certain research Bible or the like.

    The point is:
    Write a post making transparent your “go-to-texts/sites” for looking into Bible issues.

    I sometimes feel that discussing HOW we gather our opinions is more instructive than exactly WHAT opinions we gathered.

    Just a thought.

  21. @Shirley Anne

    Shirley, thank you so much for the passages. I’ve found some others too, and some links that I want to share as well, but I think I’m just going to make another post at this point — (it’s going to be really long; oh well) so that I can tie up all of these loose ends. Please feel free to join us and continue to comment on that post in case I leave anything out that you think is important, or you just want to add something. (hugs)

    Adrienne

    @Sabio

    I’m going to get to all of your questions and comments, not to worry, but I’m going along at my own particular pace, in my own particular way. Thanks again for making me think.

    @Brandon

    Thank you so much for joining our conversation, Brandon, and I hope you’ll continue to comment because you bring up important aspects of things surrounding the topics we’ve been discussing. I appreciate your commentary.

  22. @Adrienne: Take your time — it will allow me to attend my blog and my children! 🙂

  23. @ Sabio

    A few things:

    (1) Other commentors
    I probably won’t respond to other commentors for several reason. (a) Conversations can get confused that way. (b) Many of the folks who visit your blog seem like people I don’t feel drawn to have conversation with — I won’t go into the reasons. Maybe you can imagine. I’m am sure you see some atheists on other sites who you are not drawn to dialogue with. The best dialogues are productive ones.
    So I just wanted you to know why I let their comments to me slide.

    Sabio, if you don’t feel drawn to get into a lengthy conversation, don’t. It’s certainly up to you to respond to whomever you like. And yes, I tend to avoid the rude and uncouth as often as I’m able. I hope you won’t find too many Christians who appear this way participating here, but I understand that you may not feel you can communicate with everyone even if they are polite.

    You said:

    If anything productive could come from our dialogue, I would hope it would be to show you that there is a huge variety of non-believers and that your typifications are often too general.

    For instance, I did not stop being a Christian because of my understanding of Yahweh or a felt conflict of science and some preacher’s interpretation of the Bible. The reasons that non-believers are non-beliers vary greatly. And are usually multifactoral. Likewise, I believe that the reason people are believers in any religion are for multiple reasons. People become Christians for different reasons — it certainly is not always because of a strong desire to be saved, for instance

    You agreed with Shirely when she said,

    One thing I should point out is the fact that an unbeliever should already be aware that we are different by the way we live,

    But research has shown almost no difference between believer and unbeliever’s behavior. Thus, very contrary to both your views, this hypocricy is what drives many former believers away — lots.

    I never feel that anyone should judge Jesus Christ and God on Christian behavior here on this planet. We are forgiven; we are not perfect. Christ is perfect. God is perfect. We are sinful creatures who are being remade in the image of Jesus Christ; that takes time. It’s a process. I don’t believe that there is no difference between believer and unbeliever behavior all of the time. I would think one would need to measure what is occurring internally, conscience-wise, within one’s mind to get an accurate reading of this matter. Judgment is different, imo. Behavior is also different. I remember reading something that stated that the religious are more generous in terms of giving financially to charities, and that they are also in better mental health (happier, less anxiety psychologicaly-speaking) I will have to find my source.

    You said:

    And concerning “Christian Perfection” — as you know, there are whole groups of Christians that believe this doctrine and others that take it less literally. But either way, when measuring Christian behavior, we get no difference. The standard reply to this is: Well, those who aren’t different, aren’t real Christians. And I think no one really wants to defend that position.

    I don’t believe there is absolutely no difference in behavior; I would find fault with the way that this is being judged or rather the stats on the matter and the way in which the samples were obtained and what they choose to measure.

    You said:

    (3)Studied Answers
    I understand and respect that you take time to read scripture and try to get a good answer to questions. However, the most meaningful replies are the ones that come from your heart at the moment. Censoring, sterilizing, santizing your response with lots of Bible verses is usually a good way to stop real dialogue with a non-believer. It is a common practice. Instead, talking to you at the moment. Seeing how you are the type of Christian you are at the moment is the important thing. For again, I am not trying to get you to stop being a Christian, but instead, to think about some issues that may affect your spirituality [for lack of a better word].

    If your answer is too studied, it will be hard to talk to you. Because then you will be trying to defend your interpretation of certain Bible verses and I won’t get into an exegesis debate. I just want to discuss with how you think today or tomorrow.

    I don’t mind giving you my immediate take but that can change, as we just saw within the last couple of posts. I believe the bible and am always going to defer to it. That may make it difficult to talk to me. I may express my doubts or questions honestly, but when I am confronted with the bible, I defer to it, always.

    You said:

    I think many, many Christians think just like Shirley and that your opinion about God is yet another theology contention point. Did you ever see my post called: “My Favorite Type of Christians“? There I list many of the different many theology points the Christians differ on. I think that it is important for Christians to understand the varieties, and to understand why they exist and why they serve people’s needs. That helps them to understand how religion often works. I hope that point is not to vague.
    I admire your honesty on this issue and your study. Very cool.

    Thanks, Sabio…
    Despite where Shirley and I may differ, I think you would find a lot more in common than differences. She and I most definitely agree on the basics and consider ourselves sisters in Christ. Our points of contention are not something we would greatly argue about, or allow to come between us, I don’t think. I celebrate the commonalities, and prefer to simply ignore the differences if at all possible. Sometimes I learn from the differences and sometimes the differences become commonalities. It’s all a learning experience for me.

  24. @ Warrioress
    Thanks for the long reply

    Are Christians better People?
    To continue this conversation would require exploring the studies on this issue. I think you would find them surprising. But I would have to do a lot of work to pull those together. I keep telling myself to do that — maybe some day. But if you ever want to read summaries of studies on religiosity, I love the site of Tom Reese at “Epiphenom” where the exploration is to get behind the mind of believers and unbelievers alike — in all faiths. It is fun to read science which addresses the soft sciences of psychology and sociology.

    One difference in your and my approach may be that I assume all of us do similar things. For instance, people being religious share traits across religions. They want to think their religion and their issues are unique, but they have no idea how much they share with people who they feel the devil has tricked. Studies make this clear. But my experience made it clear to me.


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