One of the things I have probably struggled with the most is the difference between the Old Testament God and the God as described by Jesus. It just seems to me that The OT God is pretty much an egotist, vengeful, and merciless god and the God of Jesus is totally a god of love. How to reconcile that difference is a very difficult thing for me to accomplish.
I think most of the theologians of past and present kind of brush over this extreme differences as it is too difficult for them to address. I have personally resolved this by not trying to solve it. The god of the Old Testament is the God of the Pharisees and you know how Jesus felt about that crowd. I personally don’t give much of a hoot about the Old Testament and all its rules and regulations. Instead, I will cling to the one proclaimed by Jesus.
Some say that the Bible is really a history book of two different religions. That sounds a reasonable stand to take to me, so I have left it at that. With that accomplished, I want to turn this post into being about prayer and doing God’s will to love one another and be our brother’s keeper.
I have said in past posts that prayers aren’t for God’s sake, he doesn’t need them, but they might be pleasing to him in that it helps us to do his will. In other words, our prayers are not for God but for our own benefit. They keep us aligned with our purpose in life and what is more important than that? God listens to us, and we should listen to him, especially through the words of Jesus.
Carrying this even further, I have come to believe that the same thing it true for the church in general. It is to keep the message of God on our lips and in our actions. We are not doing God a favor by attending weekly services praising him. The lavish buildings we construct in his name are much more for our own egos than for anything else. Thinking of places like the Crystal Cathedral and other such structures, I think this message has been lost to too many of the versions of Christianity.
Over the centuries since Jesus’ time we all seem to have fashioned a god to our image of him. Again, it is not about God, it is about his will that he planted in each of us and was taught to us by Jesus. Of course that message was to love God and to love each other. If the church does not cultivate that goal it is doing more harm than good. Too many churches have been sidetracked by other messages and ignoring the one about loving each other. That seem especially true now in light of the actions of White Evangelical churches who are agonizingly focused on politics of these times than God’s will. Shame on them, and shame on their members who allow them to do that.