Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why "Christians" don't like God?

Hopefully you will recognize the tongue-in-cheek of the title. Of course I believe genuine Christians love God, but many church-goers bristle at the truth of God and what He demands when it is preached or discussed. Our understanding of who God is must come from the Bible, but there are a growing number of people on church rolls who don't know what the Bible says about God or what it means to follow Christ. Rather than taking the Bible seriously they mold an image of a more comfortable, containable, user-friendly god... one that fits their personal worldview. This is a haunting trend even among Christian pastors. Let me suggest some reasons why these "Christians" don't like God (sprinkle with a bit of sarcasm).

1. "Christians" don't like God because He judges sin (Psalm 5:5; 11:5; Romans 2:4-9; Hebrews 10:26-31). It feels better to believe in a 'buddy-god' that bandages our bo-bo's and says "No big deal." Does God love us “while we were yet sinners”? YES! Does that mean God ignores our disobedience? NO.

2. "Christians" don't like God because He demands worship to be directed to Him alone (Deuteronomy 6:13; Psalm 86:10; Colossians 3:17). Wait a sec... worship isn't the time in the service that is there to make me feel all tingly. Worship is not 'Christian karaoke' but obedient surrender through adoration in song, thought, and deed.

3. "Christians" don't like God because He calls for us to endure suffering (Matthew 5:10-12; Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5). I always heard if Christians suffer it's Satan's fault and God only wants to make our life better (translation- richer, easier, more liked)... could my Sunday School teachers have been wrong?

4. "Christians" don't like God because He calls for us to live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Luke 8:43-43-48; Hebrews 11). I hear people say they have faith, but then their lives are dependent on $$, prescription drugs, peer groups, affection and accolades of others, etc. Do we even position our lives (lifestyles) so that we need faith?

5. "Christians" don't like God because He is not a post-modern (Matthew 7:14; John 14:6; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 22:18-19). Absolute truth? Church discipline? Narrow is the way that leads to life? Yikes... sounds so dogmatic, so intolerant, so unattractive, so... well okay you get the idea.

6. "Christians" don't like God because He is sovereign over human salvation (Deuteronomy 4:32-39; Isaiah 6; Romans 9; Ephesians 1; 2 Timothy 1:8-11). Look, I didn't say God was easy. He can't be boxed in our finite minds and limited understanding. He alone knows what will most magnify His love and glory.

7. "Christians" don't like God because He calls for us to deny vanity and to be evangelistic (Matthew 10:25; 16:24-26; 28:18-20; Acts 1:6-8; Romans 10:14; 2 Timothy 1:8; 4:2). Many people are so concerned with their own vanity- a fear of offending people or people rejecting them that they sugar-coat, water-down, or re-dress the truth to pedal a spiritual life insurance policy. Let us be evangelists who are more concerned with God's glory than our own vanity.

Let us be obedient to the truth that God calls us to this purpose (Ephesians 2:8-10). Let us be a people that sets aside our doctored views of who God is and uncompromisingly discover who God reveals Himself to be in the Word He has given us. I’m reminded of what Susan asks the Beaver regarding the lion Aslan in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, “Is he safe?” Beaver responds, “Of course he’s not safe... but he’s good.”

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