Friday, April 18, 2008


Here is how I have been looking at the difference between the OT depiction of God and the NT depiction that still to this day cause so much trouble for what seems to be most people that proclaim a belief in God. God seems to have from the beginning allowed for our free will. He lets us choose. We know his people were making all kinds of demands of him and choices that weren't his desire for them and yet he said Okay, here you go. He lets us have the desires of our hearts through the exercise of our choices. One of the things they wanted was to be like every other nation. So they got it. All the other nations had gods that in actuality were figments of their imaginations. gods that worked for them and no one else. gods that often even ordered them to slaughter everyone that stood in the way of what they wanted to accomplish out of their self-governed agendas....often it was just an act of survival. All of this is still alive and well today...that is, in people's minds, they live and act as if they know what God is like and most often he is for them and people like them and against everyone else.

But when Jesus entered many things seemed to change and look very different. He begins telling stories about a father who's desire was to embrace...not those who had jumped through the hoops of religious obligation and rituals perfectly performed or those born to the right tribe, but those who had been so unable to measure up and had become painfully aware of it, and the only ones Jesus seemed to get angry with were those who were clinging to the god of old that they had conjured up in their imaginations and were using to control others for their benefit. And it's not just religious leaders that do this...we are all caught in the same game with everyone around us until we are delivered from it.

It was this continuation of the misrepresentation of who God really is and what he is really like that Jesus seemed to go after to destroy. He destroyed all the god images and gave us the image of a loving father beyond anything they or we could have imagined or dreamed up for ourselves. I think it is the effects of sin, shame, guilt, unworthiness, self-preservation and fear that created the images of all the gods all cultures live with and are trapped in trying to appease.

Jesus is a god image buster and religion buster who's desire is to introduce us to a father and a family...a family living in harmony that only he can make possible as we learn to live free of dysfunction in all it's ugly forms. It is coming to know of his true character...LOVING, GRACIOUS, MERCIFUL FATHER...that makes all of this possible.

In Jesus we see the Father.....and he stands in stark contrast of the many made-up gods created by the imaginations of people (me included) who attempt to make sense of it all but in the end can easily make him look like something other than he is...or should I say, attempt to make Jesus something other than what he is.

Now, is it about us making our best attempts to "see" and "understand" or is it about learning to rest in him and be delivered of the fear that makes us do many destructive things in an attempt to survive and conjure up an imagined god that will side with us and against everyone we don't want to embrace?

Just thinking out loud here....


OKDiane said...

This post reminded me of a favorite hymn I grew up with.

1. Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear;
things I would ask him to tell me if he were here:
scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
stories of Jesus, tell them to me.

2. First let me hear how the children stood round his knee,
and I shall fancy his blessing resting on me;
words full of kindness, deeds full of grace,
all in the lovelight of Jesus' face.

3. Into the city I'd follow the children's band,
waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand;
one of his heralds, yes, I would sing
loudest hosannas, "Jesus is King!"

Kent said...

Diane, thanks for posting the hymn.

Sue said...

I did enjoy your thinking out loud. Thanks for sharing :)

My blogroll is so very satisfying this week! Like a big giant steak.