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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!