What we think God is like, affects not only our theology, but our relationship with him and the quality of our life. In the Middle Ages, he was pictured as an old man sitting on a cloud. According to how we interpret the Old Testament, we could see God as being jealous, angry and vengeful. Some picture God setting up the universe, creating the laws of morality and physics, and leaving us alone to face the consequences of our actions. None of us can fully grasp the nature of God, but if we are to have a more accurate view we must look at the life and teachings of Jesus. Continue reading “What is God actually like?”
Jesus and non-violence
There is a cost to being opposed to violence. The cross stands out as the ultimate price of non-violence. Jesus allowed men of violence to nail him to that cross and apparently triumph over him. But the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was the ultimate triumph of love over violence.
Violence is the actions of men or women against other men and women, involving physical or psychological force, in an attempt to gain power over other people.
- In children it results in bullying
- In evil men it results in criminality
- In despots it results in oppression
- In nations it results in war.
Does God love everyone?
In my last blog, I stated that God loves everyone, unconditionally and that love is the very nature of God. I believe that with all of my heart, but it is good to be challenged now and again. After publishing last week’s blog, a long-term friend came round to see us. She had just read a book about God and natural disasters and was disturbed by what she had read.
Accepting the challenge, I downloaded the book to my kindle and read it all in a day. The book was written by a well-known bible scholar. (I will not mention his name because I don’t want to attack him publicly.) The book addressed the age-old problem of “If God is a God of love, why does he allow natural disasters”. Continue reading “Does God love everyone?”
Choose love – change our world
Love is arguably the strongest force in the universe – but love is a choice. We can choose to love or choose not to love. The possibility of love is built into our nature, but is not automatic. We are not robots, mindlessly obeying instincts. In a universe, ruled by the laws of physics, voluntary love stands out as distinctive. In a creation full of random events, love is not random but is a deliberate choice. That is why I say that love is the strongest force in the cosmos.
Knowing and feeling God’s love
What is the difference between knowing the love of God, and feeling loved by him? What is the difference between believing that God is a God who loves us, and really knowing that love?
On Sunday we were looking at the story that Jesus told about the ‘prodigal’ son. When Martin finished speaking he invited us to discuss the implications around the tables where we were sitting. I made a statement on the spur of the moment and without really thinking about it. I said,
“I have always known that God loves me, ever since I was 5 years old.”