my god

Well, I suppose I should answer my own question: What is the god like that I’ve created?
It’s funny … I think the god (and I use the lower case because this god I’ve created is not the Almighty…) is probably a combination of Houston’s and MH â&emdash; 1,000% social justice and constant disappointment with the church (read the comments of the previous post to get the specifics). I often imagine God sitting up there looking down angrily on the “institutional church” for its unwillingness to get out of the building and do justice and mission (the way I would like it done). I like to imagine all these “churchy” people lining up at the gates of paradise and being turned away because they said “Lord, Lord” but never worshipped him with their lives. Sometimes I even enjoy those thoughts, as sick as that sounds. I guess “my god” enjoys those thoughts as well. My god lives in a perpetual state of disappointment with his people and with the world â&emdash; basically, with everybody but myself.

But God loves the church, with all its imperfections. The church is the Bride of Christ. Spouses aren’t perfect, but they are loved unconditionally. Sure, they are continually called to deeper levels of relationship, but they are loved extravagantly through it all.

This quote from N.T. Wright really sums up how I need to see the church:

“I use the word ‘church’ here with a somewhat heavy heart. I know that for many of my readers that very word will carry the overtones of large, dark buildings, pompous religious pronouncements, false solemnity, and rank hypocrisy. But there is no easy alternative. I, too, feel the weight of that negative image. I battle with it professionally all the time.

“But there is another side to it, a side which shows all the signs of the wind and fire, of the bird brooding over the waters and bringing new life. For many, ‘church’ means just the opposite of that negative image. It’s a place of welcome and laughter, of healing and hope, of friends and family and justice and new life. It’s where the homeless drop in for a bowl of soup and the elderly stop by for a chat. It’s where one group is working to help drug addicts and another is campaigning for global justice. It’s where you’ll find people learning to pray, coming to faith, struggling with temptation, finding new purpose, and getting in touch with a new power to carry that purpose out. It’s where people bring their own small faith and discover, in getting together with others to worship the one true God, that the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. No church is like this all the time. But a remarkable number of churches are partly like that for quite a lot of time.”

Lord, forgive me for making you in my image.


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