- Religion and Philosophy
Why God Shouldn't be Defined by Churches
What's your excuse?
Countless number of times I have heard someone say, "I'll never pray to God again because so and so did such and such terrible thing at my last church and that's turned me away from God". This drives me crazy when I hear this. What they should say is "So and so hurt my feelings and instead of being a grown up and finding a different place of worship, I'm just gonna be a little kid and blame God and run away cause I needed an excuse to not go to church anyway". Do you really think that God should be blamed for the actions of a few hurtful individuals? No! God made humans with a will and he will not violate human will, even if it means he doesn't step in and protect you from all bad things. God does not "control" people. He created people knowing that they would do bad things sometimes. Face it, no one is perfect. Only God is. And he is so perfect that he will never break his own rules, the way he set them in place from the beginning of time. God does not and will not control man's will. If he did, then us loving him would not be a choice. God created us with the capacity to chose to love him. If he can just make us love him, then it would not be true love. The good news for you is that God IS love. Literally everything in his being is love. One of his names in the Bible is "I Am". "I Am" is a verb. It is active, and in the present tense. God is alive and he loves you right now and forever. We should be thankful that not only did he die on the cross, just so he could have a relationship with you, he still loves you even when you turn your back on him. Whenever something in your life goes wrong, its not God's fault. We are responsible for our life and choosing the people we allow in it. If someone hurts you in the name of God, or in the house of God, then it is identity theft! God didn't authorize that person or church to hurt you. Do you think he is happy that he has been misrepresented? If it costs him your love and friendship don't you think that he would be very displeased? He is! He grieves when his people turn their back on him. We should instead be running to his arms for comfort telling our daddy in heaven all of our hurts and pain so he can soothe and heal our hearts instead. That is the God that I serve. He loves me and cries when I cry and sends the Holy Spirit to comfort me, and his only son Jesus to die for my sins and make a way for me to spend eternity with him in heaven. That's my God, who loves with his whole being, and longs for my company. An omnipotent, omnipresent God that knows me intimately, and can run the universe all at the same time!
God wants Christians to fellowship, but we aren't perfect
God doesn't attend church board meetings. He doesn't approve the church's membership rules, or count the offering. God doesn't live in churches. He lives in our heart. In my heart, in your heart. How sad it is when people mistake the people of church for the one true God. Christians are forgiven, not perfect. You don't become perfect when you get saved. God forgives you of sin instantly, but becoming "Christ like" takes the rest of your life. There is a place for church and churches can be a great source of friends and family. The Bible says, "Let them not forsake gathering together". A healthy church can encourage, teach, and love you. But there are unhealthy churches where people forget who it is they are supposed to be worshiping; pride and other vices set in and all kinds of things can go wrong. The people of God are just that, people. They aren't God, they aren't angels (literally and figuratively), and although all of mankind must ultimately answer to God at the end of their life, for now we all make choices that have an effect on others. Your choices, especially the ones that take you from God are the most unfortunate. That's like walking away from the greatest source of love and comfort and relationship and friendship a human can ever know.
The greatest thing about my belief in God is that nothing and no one can ever take him away from me. If I go to a movie, he is there. If I go to jail, he is there. If I am lost and alone he is there. When I die, he will be there to take me to heaven to spend eternity with him in joy, peace and love. Only one person can remove you from God. You. Why would you want to do that?