People who follow God annoy me at times. We can very quickly use God to justify our ideas, our morals, our lifestyle, our wants, our desires as well as use God to create an us vs them mentality where we, of course, are in the right and the others are the them and are wrong. Witch hunts still happen in the name of God, perhaps not always hunting for witches but certainly hunting for things that we disagree with or are scared of. Of course, it is never phrased this way, but rather nicely put as ensuring that we maintain our christian identity, or a christian lifestyle, or uphold biblical truth – and by the way, we are the ones that know, without a doubt, the true way to follow God, we know what biblical truth is, what a god-honouring lifestyle is. How quickly we forget how certain we were about the “biblically” truthfulness of slavery, oh and how about the crusades, and perhaps even we should remind ourselves of Hitler.
Can we hold on to deeply to things that we believe to be true lightly? Does that diminish their power, the order and structure they bring to our lives? People have desired to legislate morality, god, and other things over the centuries, but it doesn’t seem to work. Perhaps God is not all about rules? Perhaps many of our rules are more about cultural norms or power and control than about God? What would happen if we stopped abusing God by using him/her/it to justify what we want, and hold onto our truths lightly and extend some grace – isn’t that what christmas/easter is about?
While we debate how many angles can dance on the head of pin or play god by trying to determine whether someone is saved or not by the number of times s/he goes to church, publicly prays, – I think God weeps while people go unfed, unclothed, lonely, are raped, without school, without parents, without doctors. Perhaps God isn’t in the building worrying about the debate, but is out on the street with the others trying to extend love, grace, and open arms wishing that that there were more people joining him
I don’t know that many times i am reminded of the two most important commands.
1) Love God with everything.
2) Love everyone like you would like to be loved. (STT)
Coming from a Church background where the “Call of God” and the evidence by miraculous signs was more important that loving the people beside you, I hear you. I do believe that God does to talk to His people to extra ordinary ways, but I wonder if we are the “adulterous and unbelieving generation”
Amos, My hope is to be part of a leadership group that can help mold “religionists” view into something that is much more at the heart of God.
Have you read “Jim and Casper Go to Church” or “The Irresistible Revolution”?
nice blog! i’m totally with you on this one – there are so many things done in the name of God that im sure God despises. at the heart of it, i think we all face the challenge of ‘separating the grain of inspiration from the gravel of human impulse.’
Jesus seemed constantly to blur the lines that we like to impose. He rolled up his sleeves and extended God’s love to those we would least expect, and saved His harshest criticisms for the proud and haughty religious types for their hypocrisy and self-righteous pride. He seemed more concerned with faith, not legalism – and preached that the one rule is to love. and what that looks like will always be different.
tho that the God of the bible is a God of justice and mercy is something that i cannot just hold onto lightly – it’s a truth that speaks volumes – but i reckon as you say, the Spirit’s already out there working and waiting for us to get on board.