Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sky God

     Sometimes there are those that I meet that live in total fear of the wrath of God. For them they are always watching their behavior and when they fail to act right they become distraught. Often in this kind of behavior I have learned that they are creating a false depiction of God. This of course is something that we are all prone to doing but something we must also overcome by faith. The big factor in the false depictions of God is our feelings or emotions. Our human thoughts and emotions are always in flux. Sometimes they are like an out of control roller coaster changing from one minute to the next and in the end not really the place to find truth. Consequently, what we might think or feel about God may in reality be a self deception. When it comes to knowing God the proper response to Him is always one of faith. For in faith we say to God I don’t care how I feel or think what you said is the truth and I will believe it. By grounding our understanding about God in faith we will discover that are emotions and thoughts will have their proper response.
     To have faith you have to know what to have faith in. Obviously, this why the Church encourages study of the sacred scriptures. In fact, I have heard on many occasions the Pope saying things like, “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ”. This is a practical truth for if you don’t know whatthe holy sources teach about God you are forced to live on your own personal experiences. 9 times out of 10 the Christians that I meet that live in fear of God’s wrath have no working knowledge of scripture. Unfortunately, as I pointed out by not having a foundation in scripture you are forced to respond to a god of your own personal understanding or creation. Sadly, most of the gods that people create for themselves are extreme and sometimes all out cruel. The typical scenarios that I see are those that make God out to be some kind of sky god who demands sacrifices and deals all out wrath to those that fail.
     There is a certain wrath of God but not in one a believer in Christ most fear. As St. Seraphim once said, “God shows us His love for man not only in those instances when we do good, but also when we affront Him with our sins and anger Him”. God as a loving father is always working toward our good and sometimes must discipline us because he loves us. As the scripture says,” If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. (Heb12:8)”. No one likes discipline but one thing for sure is that we need not live in fear of the person giving it. As father myself I know my kids are going to need discipline but I am not waiting to dish it out and neither is the heavenly Father.
     To see God in a way in which he is out get us is not biblical or Christian. In the scriptures we find a God who as St. Irenaeus teaches,” was made what we are, that He might make us to be what He is”. When it comes to such knowledge we find God holding nothing back even for the greatest of us sinners. To accept this by faith means for us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,(Rom. 8:1)".What we now have in Jesus Christ demonstrates the obvious that God is always working for our good and wishes that we approach him as a loving Father. In addition, we must be also confident of the fact, “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phili. 1:6)”.We can be rest assured that God chose to be with us even though we may not have wanted Him and will remain committed to helping us to become what He is by grace.

2 comments:

  1. This is why I love the Jesus Prayer- 'have MERCY' we ask- trusting in the mercy of God because we will fall short

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  2. It is not easy to be christian. There is a stuggle to follow Christs teachings. If there is one teaching that stands out for me is the Sermon on the Mount. This involves the interior struggle to not judge ourselves, our neighbor or God. It seems that the less condemnation I have the more peace is in my soul. Also forgiveness is a part of this. But it seems I am always rreminded by God when I fail to be vigilant in being non jugemental. The less judgement I have the less fear there is of God and the more grace is available.

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