(This is the third part in a series. Click the links to read the rest of the series: One – Going Back to the Beginning, Two – Stuck Between Two Horses, Four – Stepping Stones and a Crossroads, Five – Of Simmering, Resting, and Labels, Six – He Is Not a Tame Lion, and Seven – Letters to the Wounded from the Wounded)
This week, a friend encouraged me to ask myself some questions. What exactly it is that bothers me about the faith that I’ve practiced for the first thirty years of my life? What are the questions or the issues that keep me from having full confidence in it?
We talked a little about it then, and I have thought a lot about it since.
I think, so far, that it boils down to three things: I don’t want to be wrong about this (or anything, but that’s a different issue), I have questions about the Bible itself, and I don’t trust the God I think that the Bible describes.
But if I were to sum all three of those up into one sentence, it would be “What if I have believed in the wrong God?”
Now I don’t mean that I believed in Allah when I should have believed in Yeshua. I mean that my concept of who God is is wrong.
Or might be.
I hope it is, actually. Because, right now, when I think of God, I don’t think of a Being that is good or wise, just one who is powerful. And that translates into cruelty — a mad scientist experimenting with people’s lives just to see what happens. (That’s kind of how the story of Job reads to me, for example.) I can’t trust that kind of God.
But I know people who believe in a good, wise, and powerful God. One who isn’t just experimenting. One who isn’t cruel and without feeling. One who loves the people He made enough to give them the freedom to make real choices, and loves them enough to rescue them from their bad, selfish choices. And that sounds like a Divine Being I could trust.
That’s the God I want to find. But I don’t want to make that God up just because I like this Divine Being better. I want that God to truly, really, for sure be God. I want to believe in the right God.
So I’m trying to read the Bible, a book that claims to be the word of God, with fresh eyes. I think I’ve gone wrong somewhere, and I need to get it right. To see what’s really there, who God really is in that book.