Wednesday, October 8, 2008
One of "Those" Christians and Our God
I spent a wonderful day last Saturday at Carowinds with some youth and adults. It was Christian music day, so the park was filled with "good Christian folk." Throughout the day, I overheard conversations with some of these strangers (yet brothers and sisters in Christ) and I got a little perturbed. Some of these Christians tick me off. They talk about God as if they own him and say how wonderful God is, but then they talk about other people in a way I'm sure God would not. They also paint the disturbing picture of a God who is like a vengeful, evil wizard and who zaps people who sin. When I hear these Christians, I think to myself, "How dare they make God out to be like that? And do they think they are really that holy?" Much as these Christians bug me, I am often one of them. I am often a person painting an inaccurate portrait of our God. I am reminded of my own imperfect ideas of God, and I am reminded that I am not the authority on who God is. As a pastor, I am the authority on the church, in a small respect, but in the grand scheme of our faith in our God, I am no authority at all. I am simply a believer, like the rest of those Christians, God's children. I am simply loved by our God, like the rest of those Christians (and even those non-Christians, too). As evidence of my not-an-authority on the nature of God, and my own shortfalls in the faith, I recently finished a great book about God: The Shack. Without giving too much away for those of you who haven't read it, The Shack is a book that gives the reader a vivid picture of God's love for us. As I read, I found myself secretly asking, "Can God really be that good? Can eternity with God really be like that?" And there I was, one of God's children, not understanding his love and not believing in his goodness. So, the next time I go eavesdropping on conversations, I need to remember that I'm one of those children of God who misses the point, who lacks faith and understanding, but I'm one of all of God's children who is loved...anyway.