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John Shore Christian Blog and Commentary

We Get the God We Can Handle

  • John Shore
    Besides here on Crosswalk, John blogs on JohnShore.com.
  • 2009 Oct 29
  • Comments

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In yesterday's The Moment of My Christian Conversion--And How Mistaken It Left Me, I left off wondering why God chose "to reveal of himself just enough to deeply inspire people, but not so much that they would actually agree upon the beliefs inspired by that inspiration."

That's right; that's how I roll with my Rollerball.

No, but you know what I mean? You wouldn't think that God, of all people majestic entities, would be as willing as he apparently is to leave so much of who and what he is so completely up to the interpretation of his individual adherents. I think it's safe to say that if God wanted all of us to think and understand the exact same things about him---if he wanted to once and for all make perfectly clear exactly who he is---he would, and we would. But that hasn't happened. And that leaves so many people who call themselves Christian with so many radically different ideas about what that does or should mean that it's reasonable to wonder---and it's certainly reasonable for someone outside the faith to wonder---whether or not we're all really worshiping the same God.

One group believes in a God who holds that women should possess no authority in His church, and that when they die all homosexuals and people who don't believe in him go straight to hell. Another group believes that women make excellent pastors and bishops, that unrepentant homosexuals are as welcomed in heaven as anyone else, and that heaven is available to all, Christian or not.

Can that really be the same God?

Of course it can. People might ... get a little muddled, but God remains eternally God. (And in truth, who can blame any Christian for being at least a little confused about God? Have you tried to read the Bible?)

So for those of us who believe in his infinite wisdom and power, the question is why God has arranged it so that different people who believe in him believe such wildly different things about him.

My answer is that God is exquisitely orchestrating his relationship with every one of us in a way that exactly meshes with what each of us most needs. God knows our life, our heart, our mind, our history, our psychology. So, in the manner of a loving God, he melds into our consciousness in a way that respects us---that works with us, that ennobles us, that enhances not just who we are, but who he knows we can become.

God starts with us where we are, period. And then, within each of us, he begins working on that process by which we are all ultimately rendered the same.

Apart on earth; together in heaven.

Keeps things spicy, doesn't it?

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