The "perspectives" this week comes by way of a group effort from Barry's home group ... so this time its only one article reflecting multiple views ...
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE WHAT I’M BEING TOLD ABOUT GOD?
When this topic arose in our house church there were so many keen blog volunteers we decided to tackle it as a group.
God, especially in the Old Testament, can appear to be cruel rather than a God of love. We read of nations being wiped out, harsh punishment for disobedience, Abraham being instructed to take his only son up the mountain to sacrifice him, something I’ve always found quite barbaric. Do we just ignore the parts of the Bible we don’t like?
We discussed slavery and the seemingly unfair treatment of Hagar and Ishmael – okay, so we digress at times – and why God demands so much praise from us; he is a jealous God, wishing to be exalted and come first in our lives, and how annoying these character traits are in human beings. We said faith and trust are difficult issues as humans, largely because we can’t trust each other.
So what do we do when we don’t like what we’re being told about God? We agreed this is where house church comes in. We can ask questions in a safe environment, and when we don’t reach a conclusion (we seldom do) it’s a relief to get the questions out there. We can keep reading the Bible, asking for fresh insight on well-known passages; keep asking questions while accepting that God would not be God if we could understand everything about him.