In light of my series this past week about the Bible, in which I said that the Bible is the most violent religious text in the world, someone sent this picture to me. It made me think… Hmmm, why do I want my children to read the Bible again?
When we sin, bad things happen, but God takes the blame. God takes on our violence and accepts responsibility for our actions and their painful results. God inspired the Old Testament authors to write about Him in a violent way so that He could do the same thing for Israel that Jesus did on the cross. Just as Jesus became sin for us, God became sin for Israel, and in this way, hopefully, stops the cycle of violence from continuing.
When we commit violence and then blame it on God, we are following the example of our father, the devil, who was a liar and murderer from the beginning. Yet God covers our actions in His own blood, so that every time God looks like a lying, murderous, baby-killing, woman-raping bastard, it is because God has taken the burden of human sin upon His shoulders, and borne it away upon His body into death.
Is is wrong for Christians to cal God Allah? Most might say no because Allah is the name for the Muslim god. But it might be okay if we think of Jesus. If, when you think about God, you picture the God revealed in Jesus Christ, but use the name Allah, I have no problem with that.
I received an email from a person who felt like God was a cosmic cowboy herding him toward starvation and death. What can you say to a person who feels like God is playing games with their life, and is leading them away from happiness and joy and only into barrenness and loneliness?
Are you one of the millions of people who have stopped “attending church” so that you can better follow Jesus into the world? If you are one of the millions of people who are no longer attending church but who nevertheless have a vibrant and growing relationship with Jesus and have seen your relationships with other people grow in amazing ways, please share your experience in this blog post. If you would like, also share some tips and suggestions for how to respond to church-going friends and family who think that you have fallen away from the faith because you are no longer “attending church.”
Some difficulties with the flood account can be resolved by looking at various ways of understanding Genesis 6:13. The text indicates that God did not plan to send the flood, but that He became aware that the flood was coming.