By Dr. Kevin Thomas —
“When it comes to the god who hates me, I want to become an atheist.” The quote made me stop and think. Many of us grew up in a culture dominated by an angry god who was just looking for the opportunity to toss us into the flames. We’ve spent our lives looking over our shoulders hoping that this god wasn’t going to punish us for each of our peccadillos. Too many, realizing the impossibility of the situation, just gave up. They gave up on trying to please a perfect god who was obsessed with their imperfections.
The angry god myth has permeated our culture. The next time something bad happens, just listen. A child dies an untimely death-god’s will. Job loss-all part of god’s plan. A tornado ravages our beautiful community-god must have done it. You know what? I give up, too. When it comes to the god who’s picking my life apart, killing babies, and sending tornados, I want to be an atheist, too, because I’ve discovered a God who is so much more!
Of course, judgment is a part of God’s action in our lives, but only to help us, never to destroy. He is so slow to anger and so full of everlasting love! Our God is the Lover of our souls, the Giver of wonderful gifts! He doesn’t desire for evil to come to any of us. Can we stop blaming God for all the evil we don’t understand? Can we tear down the “Turn or Burn” billboards and replace them with love notes from the One who created us in God’s image? God wants to bless you and make you a blessing to others. Let’s be the church that builds people up, that loves the unlovable, and demonstrates that Jesus is still giving abundant life to all who will follow.