Sunday, May 26, 2013

Father God 101

My blogging and Facebook friend Bob put an article up on his site today that really stirred my old religious juices. Not in a "Wow, I really want to believe again" kind of way, but a "Wow, this hits where they are really missing it" kind of way.

Please forgive my quoting the entire thing. It is short, and I couldn't snag a particular quote that was able to be detached from the rest... but please, after reading, go visit the original... it has a great Hayward cartoon.
"Announcing one loves Jesus, has a relationship with Jesus, serves Jesus, lives for Jesus, honours Jesus, is practically declaring something that is actually void of any real substance. There is absolutely no way of measuring this commitment, in reality it is just pious talk, even if well intentioned.
Many atrocities are committed by people who claim to have put Christ first. By putting Christ first they are now in a position to place their neighbors second. People are now dispensable. This means that in the name of Christ one can commit crimes against humanity. History is littered with examples of people being exploited in the name of Christ.
What we need to do is put our neighbors first, not in word but in deed. This is putting Jesus first and then we will fulfill the words of Christ when he said:" "as you do unto the least of these, you do it unto me." Matt 25:45"
Here the author NAILS what most Christians miss on a fundamental level.  Allow me to put on my Christian hat and speak in Christian for a few paragraphs... it will just make this easier to type without making endless qualifications.

Most Christians think it is all about God. They need to put God first in everything and make everything focus on him.  This is completely backwards.  To God, the focus is about his kids.

See, if God is a Father (as Christianity proclaims) he really doesn't give a rat's ass what you think of him.  Your saying his name in every other paragraph, singing songs to him, spending the vast majority of your time socializing with others who also act this way toward him..... this all means nothing to God. How do I know it means nothing to him? I am a Father too... and if you are a parent, you know what I am talking about.

Sure, I like to be treated well as much as the next person... but what really puts you on my A list is treating my kids well. Our theater director is a friend of mine... but the investment she has made in my kids over the years makes her my hero. This could be said of a lot of the folks in our theater company. I am forever grateful for the mentoring roles they have played for my children. If someone invests in my kids, I have their back for life.

I love when my kids love me... but what really makes my heart swell is when they love each other. If I had to put it to a choice, I would put the greater value on their loving each other.

A loving Father God is going to put much more value on his children than on himself. That's what good parents do... they give their lives away.

A loving Father God is not the god of most Christians. They may state otherwise, but the truth is found in their actions. Their obsessiveness with him can be sycophantic. Most of the churches I have attended in my life proclaimed a loving Father God. My previous one did, but dig through their belief statements and you discover what they really believe at a foundational level:
"Death seals the eternal destiny of each person. At the final judgment, unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation. Believers will be received into God’s loving presence and rewarded for their faithfulness to Him in this life."
This deity does not qualify as a good father - heck, he doesn't even qualify as a bad one. People who believe and follow the above statement ARE going to be emotionally and relationally dysfunctional. They are living in a dysfunctional household, but since they know nothing else, they have come to believe it is normal. If you don't think this is true, just look at Christianity's public credibility ... and then consider Jesus's public credibility.

Jesus makes very clear in his sheep and goats story where the heart of God is... it is with his kids. You want to make his heart swell? Be good to his kids.
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