Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What Kind of God do you Believe In


  1. Sounds like Good News to me. Thanks Bro. JMark.

  2. The following is a quote by a British guy named John Hick. I found it interesting that I came across this after watching your video.

    Further, in the Bible there are two very different and incompatible conceptions of God and of God's will for humanity. The Torah tells us that when the Israelites came out of Egypt to occupy the land of Canaan, and were fighting the existing tribe of Amorites, 'the Lord threw down great stones from heaven upon them. . . there were more who died because of the hailstones than the men of Israel slew with the sword ' (Joshua 10: 11), and then that God made the sun stand still for a whole day so they could have more time to slay the Amorites (10: 15); and later, when they were fighting the tribe of Amelek, God commanded the Israelites, 'Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass' (I Samuel 15: 3). This is a picture of a violent tribal warrior god. But there are other, later books of the Hebrew scriptures in which a quite different understanding of God is expressed, as the universal Lord who is gracious and merciful to all and not only to the Israelites. In the words of one of the psalms, 'as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward all who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us' (Psalm 103: 11-12).

    In line with this latter Jewish conception of God, in the teaching of Jesus God is a God of love and mercy, and we should emulate these virtues on earth. He taught, 'You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy". But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven, for he makes his sun shine on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust' (5: 43-5). Again, later in the new Testament we read, 'God is love. . . He who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen' (I John 4: 7, 20).
    The result of this wide variety within the Bible is that in using it we all inevitably select, either consciously or unconsciously. Some Jews and some Christians appeal to the violent and vengeful conception, and others, the greatest number today, to the very different conception of God as Love.