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Maybe when you see a fill-in the blank about God not being something, or someone, your mind runs to fill it in with something akin to the title of the 2007 Christopher Hitchens’ book, God is not Good. Maybe you’d fill in the blank by saying something like “God is not a merciful, forgiving God.” This is certainly what Richard Dawkins thinks, as he wrote in his bestselling book, The God Delusion:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
But that’s not what this episode is about at all! This episode looks at false views of God emerging from within the Church.
Christians, in our sinfulness, far too often approach God in ways that are contrary to how he is revealed to us in Scripture. Sometimes, these presentations might come from people who claim to be Christians, but are really not! They might be false teachers, or people who think they are followers of Christ, but in reality they are far from God, based upon their confessions of who he is, and, or, their approach to interacting with him in their day to day life.
In this episode, Stephen Puls, joins me again; this time to discuss some false views and approaches to God that we far too often see in the Church.
For instance, we might approach God as a Black Hawk helicopter God. We expect him to swoop in and save us from all of our trials and tribulations. But is such deliverance from all earthly afflictions promised in Scripture? No, it’s not. God is not a Black Hawk helicopter God.
Another example of a false approach is treat God as a magic genie! We simply approach him again and again for things that we need and want, and that’s it. That’s the bulk of our interaction with him. What happens when such prayers are not answered in the affirmative? Will our faith be shaken? Will others who are not Christians, laugh and mock our God for not responding to our prayers as we expect him to?
Sometimes we treat God as a vending machine. We expect to get blessings from him, but they come at an expense! We have to pay in some fashion to receive God’s gifts. We treat all of our dealings with God in transactional terms: I prayed; I went to Church; I went on that mission trip; so I expect x, y, or z, from you in return, God!
Stephen shares these and many more false views and approaches to God in this episode. And most importantly, he shares a true view and approach to God: God is an anchor God!
Another episode featuring Stephen Puls: “Religions, Atheism, and Wars!”
Andy Wrasman’s Blog Posts on “Who is God?”
Order Andy Wrasman’s book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True
2 thoughts on “44. God is not a _____!”
Great post. The God of a capitalist West, and the indulgent, and a pill for everything. The God who must bow to our demands or we will go off in a huff and stop believing in Him. Is this the God we worship?! As if…!
God’s greatest gift to us whilst we are on this earth is that He wants an intimate, up close and personal relationship with us. We have all prayed for healing, success, for our ambitions to be recognised, endorsed and fulfilled by God, and sometimes we struggle against what we want and actually what God is trying to do for us! Our biggest battle can often be with God and the way we perceive Him. The granter of 3 wishes… The avenger who will show we are right and everyone else is wrong… The God who is only really concerned with yours truly…. The God of the white middle class…. The God who is a European and/or American God… The God who just absolutely would vote Republican… The God who wants unthinking robots to follow him… The God who wants all Christians to be the same bland people…. The God who is waiting for us to slip up so He can zap us…
The God who I worship cannot be contained, and will not conform to a professional religious class of people, or anyone else’s perceptions of Him either! He is a God of nice surprises, and that’s the way I like Him. God is my best mate!!!
I’m glad you liked the post. Thanks for sharing many great examples of who God is not and how he does not interact with us. I’m thankful to him that he is not who we in our sinfulness often times imagine him to be.