This past weekend I was speaking at our retreat, our topic was basically being connected to God. I started off with talking about God’s desired connection with us, and that led me to the first two chapters of Genesis. What I found in those chapters was what I believe rather revealing to the love that God has for us and the heart that He has towards us.
I have heard from various places that there are tribes of Christians that believe the problem with the world today is that there is not enough of the “fire and brimstone” mentality in sermons and in reaching out to the world. The mindset there is that they don’t believe people understand that if they don’t change they will go to hell. Therefore, it is our job to inform them through propaganda. From my experience this does very little except show that you have an agenda that if others don’t follow you, they will be placed in the worst possible place that anyone can imagine.
Does the thought ever get out there that God doesn’t want that? It seems like that mindset throws out the idea that God almost wants that for people who don’t follow Him. This paints the picture of the thunder bolt wielding god ready to zap people. I don’t know what god you follow, but that is not the true God. I guarantee it. That may not mean much to you, and I do believe God is a God of justice and that there will be a reckoning, however, the true God wants nothing more than to be connected to you.
If you read the first few chapters of the Bible, you see how carefully God designs man. How with everything else God speaks things into existence, but with man, God kneels down on the earth He created to carve man out with His own hands and then breathes the breath of life into man. Nothing else in the whole universe can say that. He walked with mankind, and talked with them, He gave the earth and all its beauty to man. Sure sounds a lot like a god that can’t wait to be separated from his to me (note my sarcasm). When mankind broke the relationship, instead of forever separating us, He put into motion a plan to reconnect us.
While we can’t Barbie doll-ize God (from a past blog), we can tell that His great desire is to be connected to us, through that connection, glorify Himself as He reveals Himself and His love to and through us. When we understand the plan that He has laid out to reconnect us, without condemning us, and He does all the work. We accept Him and live an open life for Him to have control, and as we lay our life down and search for Him He meets us. From what I have seen in Genesis, there is a loving God that has a desire to be with us. I see that there is justice in how He must deal with us when we become disconnected, but I also see that He is full of grace and a desire to re-connect us.
A brimstone driven god does not depict the true God well.
Having said that, if you have encountered that agenda, I apologize because there is a way to handle truth and I believe the way that it was handled with you is not the full truth, only a selective part. I would encourage you, as well as any who have not encountered this agenda, that God loves you and wants to talk with you and be with you. If you are of the mindset that we need to push that sort of propaganda of judgment, I encourage you to forget your pre-conceived notions and then re-read your Bible. If you truly drop those notions, I believe your theology will get rocked.
May God, the true God, bless you. I pray that today is a day that He reveals a new truth about Himself to you. Search for Him, you will find Him.
**I do not dispute the concept of judgment, I dispute God’s desire for judgment.