Posted by: the warrioress | March 25, 2013

God

Sometimes I just cringe when I read commentary and postings from various conservative Christians about God. To read their blogs, and listen to their interpretations of the Old and New Testament, there is the image of a vicious, brutal dictator as God. He is holy and dangerous to aggravate.  And love? I see no sign of a loving god in what they write, in their descriptions of Him.

This isn’t the god I know! This isn’t the god I love.

How can we all be so wrong? Someone has made a terrible mistake. Is it me? Or are they completely backward and deluded in what they believe? All I have to go on is my relationship with God, my prayer life, the feelings I have about Him when I feel that I’m in His presence and the daily “being” with Him and the feelings that this evokes.

Storm from an Angry God

Storm from an Angry God (Photo credit: vladdythephotogeek)

In my personal experience, God is not the harsh & hateful creature that they make Him out to be. I hate what they write and how they portray my Father who art in Heaven. He is not the angry, legalistic, old monster they make Him sound like. Now I’m not saying that He’s not stern at times or even strict — but He’s loving and knows me better than I know myself. He makes allowances for my weaknesses, for my HUMAN-NESS.

I’m not sure I could love a god who scared the dickens out of me, who seemed more evil than loving, whom I could not even trust. A god who was out to get me, who was secretly watching for every moment I sinned or screwed up, would be a horrific beast that I would want to hide from. I wouldn’t worship a god like that; that’s an abusive alien monster.

I wish we Christians could all get together on exactly who God is in our various interpretations and descriptions; it makes for a very confusing testimony when we’re all envisioning something completely different — what’s up with that? Is the bible really that confusing that we’re getting such different images of God?

 

Edit:

I edited this post after the fact because it was offensive to a fellow Christian sister in my use of a descriptive adjective “bastard” to try and describe God from the point of view of those who view Him in punitive, angry fashion.  I didn’t mean to offend anyone by the use of this word and apologize if I did so.

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Responses

  1. Hey there, I noticed that you referenced my recent blog post in this. Forgive my asking, but did you reference me in a favourable way, or was it more that I am one of the “completely backward and deluded” ones? Just asking because while I tried to make my point from a personal angle, I still do come out affirming that Hell is real and that “good” people go there apart from Christ. So I can’t really tell why you’re referencing me. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Yes, I did reference your blog, MP, and I did so because I liked the way you explain God. I did not get an evil, angry feeling about God from the posting I referenced that you wrote. You don’t describe a mean god, watching for every sin and eagerly casting us into hell because we blew it, or whatever. Your description of God is not unloving. Thank you for that. 🙂

  3. Thanks for you kind words! Yes, I definitely think we are off-target if we imagine a God who is perched on the edge of a cloud somewhere, waiting with bated breath, almost hoping that we’ll mess up. No; the God of the Bible is the God who spared no personal cost in order to save sinners–it wouldn’t become Him to turn around and be scrooge-like with the very grace He’d gone to such lengths to extend. Although, at the same time, He will not be mocked.

    I’ve found that it is more a matter of faith than one of doctrine, to believe in the love and grace of God. The words are there in the Bible, but, when I was Arminian, I feared that one false move would send me to Hell; when I was Calvinist, I feared that I was hopelessly un-chosen. Even now, years later, I sometimes find it hard to believe that I am really, truly loved and held in His grace; saved unto good works. Perhaps that is at the heart of this issue for many: as Karl Barth wrote, the problem is that we fear God more than we love Him.

  4. Adrienne, you wrote:

    All I have to go on is my relationship with God, my prayer life, the feelings I have about Him when I feel that I’m in His presence and the daily “being” with Him and the feelings that this evokes.

    I think that is very accurate for the large part. Now just think how many non-Christian have that exact same mental space inside themselves and try to share it too. Some call that “presence/God” by the name “Krishna”, some “Amida”, some “my Heart” and by many other names.

    You have found that just because someone simply calling one’s inner life “Jesus”, “Yahweh” or “God” and says they believe the Bible does NOT make them similar to you at all. You have discovered that what draws you closest to folks is not that they are “Christian”.

    Next, I would guess that you have moved away from a Conservative Christianity you embraced more in the past too. I think you have confessed so. Is that because GOD changed? Well, yes, sort of. Because your inner voice changed. Your Christianity was filled with more anger and apocalyptic (brace against the falling evil world) mentality in the past. Heck you still have violent imagery of being a “Warrioress” and the last days with Eli where you are the only ones screaming the truth. I personally feel you have even moved beyond that. You have stop clinging to the violent images of Yahweh in the Old Testament (which are obviously present) and clung more to images of the New Testament writers who have more open, caring, loving view of the human spirit. You still think the Bible speaks with one voice, but it doesn’t. You still cling to the “I believe in the Bible” mentality of the conservatives. But I think you believe in LOVE far more. “The Bible” was a lifesaver of certainty, dogma, identity and much more in the past, but now you are learning that Love is far bigger than that. But you are not yet fully aware of that, it seems. You still are a mix. Many Christians agree with you on the primacy of love and yet, the are not Bible worshippers and the are inclusivists in how they understand salvation.

    I would encourage you to continue listening to love and speaking against the religions that preach exclusive, self-righteous, hate — wherever they are. Not as a warrior, but as a lover. Stop worrying about “a testimony”, about “Christianity”, about “the Bible and focus more on Love and watch the change.

  5. You know, I think about the sermon I heard Sunday concerning people who are lost in terms of the prodigal son but also his brother, who had such great contempt for him. This is when you come to understand how a loving God is also a vengeful God, when you see how brutal the righteous so frequently are toward people they think of as sinful.

    When I was younger, the idea of a punishing God scared me, too. I was in tears just thinking about Santa Claus at age 5; it was a relief to find out it was just my mom and dad. I’ve taken my daughter to different churches and for her own sanity, I let her know that we tend to create God in our image.

    In terms of legalistic adherence to good, I’m living a life right now that is very legalistic. The way I speak to my ex husband is legalistic, the way I must address teachers who abuse me and grade me out of their personal offense is legalistic. Cheated out of money by lawyers and debt collectors, daily I cry out for justice in so many areas of my life and I hope to be treated fairly one day. Ultimately I think one must be prepared to do what is right even in the face of tremendous personal calamity, and when it all comes down to brass tacks I find that all I have is my faith and my writing.

    Thank you, as always, for reading my posts!

  6. I am totally with you on the subject. Fundamentally, our image of God creates us. Loving, open and expansive people believe in a loving, open and expansive God in whom they are safe to be human and address the downside of being a fallen creature. Likewise, people who believe in a harsh, demanding, rigid and exclusive god behave likewise. We buy into the false self’s notion that what we think is what we believe, but our real beliefs show up in how we behave. The world is a shark tank, and if you are raised in a predatory environment, you will be shaped by it and project that onto God if you come to faith. The trick is not getting stuck in a false theology that gives you, especially when negatively-reinforced by religious traditions that share a similar false theology. At some point, those who are born of the spirit will know the Truth and be made free – free of religious bondage. How interesting that Jesus began his earthly ministry with a word from Isaiah, in the religious house of worship, about setting the captives free. We have the same religious landscape today, only it’s (sadly) in His name of all things.

  7. I don’t want to come across as being rude but I do not agree with everything written in your post….God is absolutely love, but, just like a child who disobeys his parents there will be consequences! You don’t stop loving your child when they’re disobedient but there must be punishment for their actions. And when Jesus walked among men he taught we should love one another but he also taught we were to adhere to his teachings and sin no more. As far as the old testament is concerned it’s there for a reason. To teach us about God’s ways. His patience, mercy, forgiveness, his love and his grace. The old testament is the History of how the Bible came about and it’s a continuation into the New Testament. And if you only choose to see God strictly as a loving God you are truly missing what the Bible teaches in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.

    But, I must ask, do you read the Bible daily? Do you spend time in prayer? Have you prayed and ask God to open your spiritual eyes? Because the way you speak goes completely against the Bible, with the exception of Love.

    Like I said I do not intend to be rude so please do not take it this way. Just an explanation from one who truly strives to follow the teachings of Jesus and God and does not appreciate blashemy from someone who doesn’t seem to be that familiar with the Bible…Many, many blessings to you….Robin

  8. Easter weekend is around the corner and I have a young daughter to attend to, so I try to get to comments as quickly as possible, but sometimes there is delay. Your comment, however, I feel is a “must respond now” type.

    Robind,

    You don’t have to agree with anything I write, just as I don’t have to agree with whatever you feel and write. I take it that you are a Christian and have trouble with this particular posting and I’m sorry if it’s caused confusion for you.

    I don’t think I claimed anywhere that God is a doormat or someone whom we can just run over and treat with disrespect. I stated in what I wrote that God can be strict and stern. Of course there are consequences for our decisions, good and bad. As for “punitive,” which you infer a parent is toward their child, I had to pause and think about that.

    I’m punitive to a small degree with my own child, but more than anything, I strive to make the best decisions that might deny her something in order to teach her; I call this “grounding.” It happens a few times a month since she’s become a teenager, I would guess.

    I never want to actually harm or hurt her in a punitive fashion, however — though she has certainly made me angry at times. I’ve reacted emotionally in response to her behavior, but then had to apologize later for my lack of self control in that moment. I couldn’t say if God has engaged in behavior He regrets later because I don’t have the foggiest idea. I’m only human, but I’m guessing God doesn’t have these over-reactive moments like I occasionally do. God is always “in control” in other words, I would guess. He is logical and well ordered at all times, I would suppose.

    I have never seen God as only a “loving god.” I see God in a balanced manner, in my opinion. I do not dwell on the ideal of God as He was with Moses, when the Israelites were under Old Testament Law. I dwell upon the image of God under the new Law of love that His son Jesus Christ brought into this world, to us, if we will but accept His sacrifice for us upon the cross at Calvary. The god I have known since I became saved many years ago IS a loving god. I cannot speak for your perspective of how you relate to God, however.

    You said:

    But, I must ask, do you read the Bible daily? Do you spend time in prayer? Have you prayed and ask God to open your spiritual eyes? Because the way you speak goes completely against the Bible, with the exception of Love.

    I don’t read the bible every single day without fail, no. I read the bible very regularly though, at least countless times per week, but I’m not on a particular reading schedule. I pray on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. I’m basically in ongoing prayer. And yes, a long, long time ago, I asked God to open my spiritual eyes; in fact I believe I ask Him to keep me in His will pretty much daily. “The way I speak” does not go completely against the bible, and that’s a really vague accusation, isn’t it? You’ll have to do better than this and clarify exactly what I’ve said that goes against the bible.

    You said:

    Like I said I do not intend to be rude so please do not take it this way. Just an explanation from one who truly strives to follow the teachings of Jesus and God and does not appreciate blashemy from someone who doesn’t seem to be that familiar with the Bible…Many, many blessings to you….Robin

    Are you a conservative Republican Christian, Robin? I’m just curious. I find that I disagree with some conservative Christians, unfortunately, a lot. I find that there are conservative Republican Christians who are more Republican than they are Christian, which is very difficult for me to keep quiet about and so I’m not quiet about it.

    I don’t see the Lord Jesus Christ within the Republican party’s insistence that they are the party for the born-again Christian, and that we must vote with them if we are “real” Christians; I completely disagree. I see a perverse love of money in the party attitude and actions to the extent that it is idolized more than God within the Republican party. I see a complete lack of care for the earth we live upon, along with the wildlife and animals that roam its pastures. I see inconsistencies galore within their so-called “pro=life” ideologies and so many more things that are hardly Christ-like in their perspectives and views. We don’t even want to begin discussion about how they treat the poor, elderly, infirmed, and unemployed, or those who are barely making a living wage.

    Anyway, I don’t agree with Christians that are inclined to try to scare people about who God is. The fire and brimstone preachers and teachers are old school and annoying, and they aren’t scaring anybody; their methods of bringing others to Christ are something that I shake my head at in some horror.

    I think the kind of punitive hellfire preaching perspective about God drives people away from Him, not toward Him. I think a legalistic focus upon religion instead of RELATIONSHIP is erroneous.. a constant preaching against sin and hatred exhibited toward the sinner is a twisting of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    A constant insistence that we are saved by how well we follow the commandments, forgets the primary and the secondary most important commandments: “Love the Lord thy God with all of thy heart and mind, and love thy neighbor as thyself.”

    There is no blasphemy in anything I say, though I have no doubt that certain Republican-leaning Christians could convince themselves that this the case, rather than have a look at what they’re preaching and teaching, and in how they perceive God, based upon their twisted interpretation of the bible.

    As to my familiarity with the bible, I believe you’ll need to read a lot more of my postings then just this one, in order to make the judgment call that I’m not all that “familiar with the bible.” Despite our disagreement on these matters, I do appreciate your commentary here and thank you for stopping by. It’s always excellent to discuss these matters with those whom I disagree, which is part of the reason that I write to begin with.

    God bless you, hon. I hope your Easter weekend is lovely.

  9. MP:

    You said:

    The words are there in the Bible, but, when I was Arminian, I feared that one false move would send me to Hell; when I was Calvinist, I feared that I was hopelessly un-chosen. Even now, years later, I sometimes find it hard to believe that I am really, truly loved and held in His grace; saved unto good works. Perhaps that is at the heart of this issue for many: as Karl Barth wrote, the problem is that we fear God more than we love Him.

    I agree with you completely. I think it is our own insecurity that will not allow us to really trust God that this is real and permanent – that we belong to Him, and that He is not an angry god ready to swoop down and destroy us every time we screw things up. We just cannot understand this kind of love, I think.

  10. Sabio,

    You said:

    Adrienne, you wrote:

    All I have to go on is my relationship with God, my prayer life, the feelings I have about Him when I feel that I’m in His presence and the daily “being” with Him and the feelings that this evokes.

    I think that is very accurate for the large part. Now just think how many non-Christian have that exact same mental space inside themselves and try to share it too. Some call that “presence/God” by the name “Krishna”, some “Amida”, some “my Heart” and by many other names.

    I neglected to mention, though I think it is a given, that I also have the bible to go on, and that is perhaps the most important, even more than my experience, because it is God’s word given to me by those who came before. And yes, I can see what you’re saying about those who believe in their various gods/god, and how important and meaningful, and authentic they are to them.

    You have found that just because someone simply calling one’s inner life “Jesus”, “Yahweh” or “God” and says they believe the Bible does NOT make them similar to you at all. You have discovered that what draws you closest to folks is not that they are “Christian”.

    Well, I am still discovering this as we speak, Sabio. It’s new to me, remember. I believe God is revealing this to me slowly and it is mind blowing.

    Next, I would guess that you have moved away from a Conservative Christianity you embraced more in the past too. I think you have confessed so. Is that because GOD changed? Well, yes, sort of. Because your inner voice changed. Your Christianity was filled with more anger and apocalyptic (brace against the falling evil world) mentality in the past. Heck you still have violent imagery of being a “Warrioress” and the last days with Eli where you are the only ones screaming the truth. I personally feel you have even moved beyond that. You have stop clinging to the violent images of Yahweh in the Old Testament (which are obviously present) and clung more to images of the New Testament writers who have more open, caring, loving view of the human spirit.

    The “inner voice” is God’s Holy Spirit, and that hasn’t changed for me at all. What has changed is my listening to the people around me and online whom I respect. I begin to admire the more gentle, loving Christians, who reveal a god of love and grace as opposed to a harsh, angry god of wrath & vengeance. There is a balance between the two, actually, I think. I think the bible shows this balance, but some people want to view it as completely black or white while it isn’t — God is more shades of gray that balance out, but His love is the primary focus, imo. Anyway, some of what you’re saying here is definitely accurate.

    You still think the Bible speaks with one voice, but it doesn’t. You still cling to the “I believe in the Bible” mentality of the conservatives. But I think you believe in LOVE far more. “The Bible” was a lifesaver of certainty, dogma, identity and much more in the past, but now you are learning that Love is far bigger than that. But you are not yet fully aware of that, it seems. You still are a mix. Many Christians agree with you on the primacy of love and yet, the are not Bible worshippers and the are inclusivists in how they understand salvation.

    Yes, Sabio, I am definitely still a mix. God is taking this at His own time frame which is good. It’s happening though because I do see myself changing and I like the changes, don’t you? Some people don’t though, and I find that to be sad.

    I would encourage you to continue listening to love and speaking against the religions that preach exclusive, self-righteous, hate — wherever they are. Not as a warrior, but as a lover. Stop worrying about “a testimony”, about “Christianity”, about “the Bible and focus more on Love and watch the change.

    Hmm. Well, I get your point, Sabio, though I doubt I will ever stop focusing upon the bible because I see the bible as love. 😉

  11. Valerie,

    You know, I think about the sermon I heard Sunday concerning people who are lost in terms of the prodigal son but also his brother, who had such great contempt for him. This is when you come to understand how a loving God is also a vengeful God, when you see how brutal the righteous so frequently are toward people they think of as sinful.

    Wow..you said a mouthful here. The righteous are brutal to those whom they believe are sinful. I don’t want to become that and it’s doubtful that I ever will because I rarely feel “righteous.” Usually I feel pretty unworthy and like a student who fails a lot… but it’s okay, you know?

    When I was younger, the idea of a punishing God scared me, too. I was in tears just thinking about Santa Claus at age 5; it was a relief to find out it was just my mom and dad. I’ve taken my daughter to different churches and for her own sanity, I let her know that we tend to create God in our image.

    Again, how interesting, Val. My image of God is so many, many things..too many to expound upon here right now, but this would make for a wonderful post later. Thanks for the idea.

    In terms of legalistic adherence to good, I’m living a life right now that is very legalistic. The way I speak to my ex husband is legalistic, the way I must address teachers who abuse me and grade me out of their personal offense is legalistic. Cheated out of money by lawyers and debt collectors, daily I cry out for justice in so many areas of my life and I hope to be treated fairly one day. Ultimately I think one must be prepared to do what is right even in the face of tremendous personal calamity, and when it all comes down to brass tacks I find that all I have is my faith and my writing.

    Thank you, as always, for reading my posts!

    I wish we could hear from you more, Valerie. I so enjoy what you write and your comments here. I’m praying for you because I feel that you’re a very special Christian and I wish we could become better acquainted. I hope you and your daughter have a lovely, blessed Easter, Valerie. Adrienne

  12. Mike,

    I am totally with you on the subject. Fundamentally, our image of God creates us. Loving, open and expansive people believe in a loving, open and expansive God in whom they are safe to be human and address the downside of being a fallen creature. Likewise, people who believe in a harsh, demanding, rigid and exclusive god behave likewise.

    You’ve described it perfectly. I love that! I do believe in a god who it is safe to be human with, who accepts me as a fallen creature (thanks to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, of course). He is and has been recreating me since I gave my life to Him and I am born anew and He is very accepting of me and gentle. I cannot imagine what it’s like for those who see God as harsh, demanding, rigid etc. How awful that must be to perceive of God like that.

    We buy into the false self’s notion that what we think is what we believe, but our real beliefs show up in how we behave. The world is a shark tank, and if you are raised in a predatory environment, you will be shaped by it and project that onto God if you come to faith. The trick is not getting stuck in a false theology that gives you, especially when negatively-reinforced by religious traditions that share a similar false theology. At some point, those who are born of the spirit will know the Truth and be made free – free of religious bondage. How interesting that Jesus began his earthly ministry with a word from Isaiah, in the religious house of worship, about setting the captives free. We have the same religious landscape today, only it’s (sadly) in His name of all things.

    Yes, I’m free of religious bondage..well said! Jesus set me free, and I think we need to reveal this to those who are under a false impression about God/Jesus, and the whole of who God is. So many people are caught up in this religious bondage, and don’t know the loving side of God. They feel that they have to try to earn this love, I suppose, and hardly believe they deserve it or ever will deserve it. Of course, I don’t feel worthy of it myself, but that is the unbelievable surprise, that He loves me anyway! God bless, Mike. Have a superb Easter Sunday… Adrienne

  13. Hi and thanks for your reply. Your post doesn’t cause me confusion, it causes me concern! My concerns are;

    1)False teachings
    2)The use of the word bastard within a Christian post
    3)Your view of Punishment

    The Bible teaches we are to follow Christ teachings. We are to sin no more. Christ taught if we didn’t accept him and obey his teachings we would continue to sin. This isn’t speculation, it’s Biblical fact. And any teaching which goes against this is false.

    As I stated, I believe God is love this is the reason he sent Christ to cleanse us of our sin. My concern is when you state;

    “In my personal experience, God is not the harsh bastard that they make Him out to be.”

    Jesus taught what makes a man unclean is what comes out of the mouth because it’s from the heart. I have difficulty with the language your using when your referring to our Father. I understand what your trying to say but the words you chose is reflected in a negative manner. This disturbs me as a Christian.

    The Bible teaches there is a heaven & hell, Jesus teaches this throughout his ministry. And there will be consequences to the choices we make. If you teach there is no hell then you are deluding yourself and others and teach false doctrines. If you teach that one can go to heaven strictly by loving everyone and disregarding the rest of Jesus’s teachings then you are deluding yourself and teaching false doctrine.

    I do agree with you regarding God’s love and love of Jesus. But when we truly love Christ we’ll follow his commands. In fact, he stated, if you love me you’ll obey me. If your not teaching what the Bible states, it’s false.

    As far as your labels, I don’t believe in them. I believe in following the Gospel of Jesus, this is what truly matters.

    These are the only concerns I had with your post. Thanks so much for your response, many, many blessings to you and I wish you and your family a very happy Easter…Robin

  14. Robin,

    Allow me to take the word “bastard” out of that posting, please, because I can see how it would be offensive to anyone, especially a Christian. Sometimes when I’m writing I don’t edit myself, and I just get going along and it doesn’t always come out as it probably should. I figured you had a problem with this. My mistake there..

    As for the rest of your comment regarding your concerns, I will return and comment again to clarify as soon as I can later this evening, I hope. Thanks again for sharing here, Robin.

  15. I appreciate your willingness to remove it, but it is your post. Your post is very good I just had a few concerns. Now I understand what you were trying to say and I respect and appreciate your view. Please do not take me as being critical, but I’m zealous for our Lord.

    And I actually enjoy a healthy discussion, this is how we learn. And even if we don’t always agree with each other we can still learn from each other.

    You have a great blog and the way in which you write does cause people to think. Thank you for the discussion, many, many blessings to you…Robin

  16. Had a post on the topic of the nature of god i wrote today using an analogy of a puppy….

    Who could punch a puppy?

    http://benkilen.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/who-could-punch-a-puppy/

  17. I hope I haven’t offended you in any way. If so, I truly apologize. It’s definitely not my intention. Many, many blessings to you and your family…Robin

  18. Just when I think I’m alone in the world I remember wordpress and read a blog like this. Pleasure as always my friend.

  19. Adrienne, I am writing a book about this. The church needs to be set free from religious bondage that stems from substitutionary atonement, which has carried over into the New Covenant the false image of God painted by the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant. God never required sacrifice but we were hard of heart and demanded it. We would not let go of our image of God as one who is angry and bloodthirsty for appeasement. So God moved us along from human sacrifice (Isaac) to animal sacrifice, but not because God wanted it. Then, to end it altogether God gave us Christ as a once and for all sacrifice, but not because God required it – because we required it. That was the religious context of the first century. Unfortunately, we have cause ourselves to be stuck in a first century context by continuing to hold to sacrifice as the centerpiece of our theology. It is errant and needs to go.

  20. Robin, you said:

    My concerns are;

    1)False teachings
    2)The use of the word bastard within a Christian post
    3)Your view of Punishment

    The Bible teaches we are to follow Christ teachings. We are to sin no more. Christ taught if we didn’t accept him and obey his teachings we would continue to sin. This isn’t speculation, it’s Biblical fact. And any teaching which goes against this is false.

    I agree that Christ said we are to sin no more. When we accept Jesus Christ we want to please God. Surely we will endeavor to sin no more, but will we be successful? Do you never sin? I’m sure you try not to sin but are you telling me that you have never sinned since you accepted Jesus Christ? I cannot say the same. Thankfully, God forgives my sins still, even now. He looks at my heart and the intent of my heart and there is the grace of God for the times that I am simply only human.

    You said:

    As I stated, I believe God is love this is the reason he sent Christ to cleanse us of our sin. My concern is when you state;

    “In my personal experience, God is not the harsh bastard that they make Him out to be.”

    Jesus taught what makes a man unclean is what comes out of the mouth because it’s from the heart. I have difficulty with the language your using when your referring to our Father. I understand what your trying to say but the words you chose is reflected in a negative manner. This disturbs me as a Christian.

    I understand and I’ve edited that out — again, I do apologize for that; it was in poor taste.

    You said:

    The Bible teaches there is a heaven & hell, Jesus teaches this throughout his ministry. And there will be consequences to the choices we make. If you teach there is no hell then you are deluding yourself and others and teach false doctrines. If you teach that one can go to heaven strictly by loving everyone and disregarding the rest of Jesus’s teachings then you are deluding yourself and teaching false doctrine.

    I agree with you that there will be consequences to rejecting Jesus Christ and yes, I do believe in hell. I don’t understand everything associated with the judgment of God, but I do know that you cannot go to heaven through just loving everybody, being a good person, or following the old testament law. You cannot earn salvation; it’s a free gift so that none can boast. I endeavor not to teach false doctrine.

    You said:

    I do agree with you regarding God’s love and love of Jesus. But when we truly love Christ we’ll follow his commands. In fact, he stated, if you love me you’ll obey me. If your not teaching what the Bible states, it’s false.

    Agree with you again…. but when this is the primary focus of someone’s teaching over and over and they never show the loving aspects of God, this is also false doctrine. To act as if God is a god who hates us because we are only human and we sin is false doctrine. God hates SIN, not the sinner. And God knows our hearts. God knows our intent. Jesus Christ did not judge the sinner; He said to go and sin no more.

    You said:

    As far as your labels, I don’t believe in them. I believe in following the Gospel of Jesus, this is what truly matters.

    These are the only concerns I had with your post. Thanks so much for your response, many, many blessings to you and I wish you and your family a very happy Easter…Robin

    I’m glad to hear that you’re not the kind of Christian who cares more about politics then a dedication to following the words of Jesus Christ and living a life that is biblical. I wish I could say the same for the other Christians who are misconstruing who God is. These Christians visualize a heartless, angry, vindictive god, whom I have never encountered, thank goodness. I worry that this is the image of God that they put forth.

    God bless you too, Robin, and may your Easter be blessed too! Glad we appear to agree more than we disagree 🙂

  21. Mike, I’m so very glad to hear that you are writing a book about this. It is sorely needed! May God bless your efforts. I have to go. Have a wonderful Easter, brother.

  22. Sacred Struggler,

    God bless you and your sweet words this Easter Weekend..thank you so much. I sure do appreciate you too. Adrienne

  23. Your absolutely right, we all sin and thanks to the gift of salvation we can repent and be forgiven. I greatly appreciate your patience and I too am greatful we are in agreement. If I offended you in any manner I do apologize..Many, many blessings to you and your family and may you have a wonderful and blessed Easter….Robin

  24. I recently heard Dr M Youseff say that he gets so furious when he hears churches teaching that the God of the old testament was a angry punishing God and the Love came after Christ.. How wrong can they be?? He is the same He has not changed, His plan for a Messiah was in place all along, He is both Justice and Mercy. It astounds me how many can blatantly corrupt the Name of the Lord claiming to represent Him, using His very name to back up their rubbish!! Yes We must have fear AND love when considering our God, He is a mixed bag of more than we can conceive. We fear because we know we must answer to Him one day and that accountability is the best thing for us, alongside His forgiveness and LOVE! Totally agree with you Adriene. xo


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