Although I’ve been what some would call a “born again Christian” (I dislike the term and avoid it) for nearly four decades, I’ve recently come to a startling realization: I haven’t always liked God all that much.
For a long time, God has been kind of a mean, scary guy – make that Guy – to me. After all, I’ve been taught that He has a “holy hatred” toward sinners (which pretty much describes me), watches idly while I do really stupid stuff, punishes people for all eternity, etc. And just listen to many Believers talk: “Don’t pray for patience [or whatever],” they say, “because then all kinds of terrible things will start to happen in your life.” The divine practical joker, I guess.
God’s Son, on the other hand, has always been cool. He’s the advocate, the one filled with compassion, in fact the savior of the world, willing to die for bad folk like myself.
So lately I’ve been wrestling with these thoughts: Aren’t a couple fundamental beliefs of Christianity that Jesus is God, and that indeed these beings are one and the same? So when the Bible calls Jesus the friend of sinners, shouldn’t that pertain to who I think of as God The Father just as well? What about the scripture that says “God is love”? Can I take that one to the bank or not?
Maybe I’ll come to grips with a new concept of God soon. I have a feeling He’d like that.