The title of this post is in my opinion the most dangerous question we can ask.
Would God really?
Would God really condemn homosexuality?
Would God really send people to hell?
Would God really create man and woman with different roles?
I have a major issue with this type of language. Let me explain the danger of this little phrase.
First, this phrase expresses a secret atheism. I believe that among many modern Christians a moderated atheism has become an acceptable norm. This strand of atheism expresses itself by creating for oneself a form of godliness that fits the cultural norms that we have established for ourselves. In other words, we suggest that if our God doesn't believe exactly as we do, he must not be much of a God. This is the crux of secret atheism. We don't really believe in a God that is beyond our scope, our mind, our capability. We only want the religious experience and the peace it brings. In other words, we desire the peace found in the gospel without the God who brings the gospel.
Second, when we pose the question "Would God really?" we are suffering from cultural elitism. Think about this for a second. The Middle Ages (and much of the religious right) struggle with the question of whether God would really call us to a life of peace. When we assume that God couldn't condemn certain lifestyles, certain supposed victimless crimes, what we really assume is that our current culture understands the ultimate direction required for societal perfection. This is the same elitist mindset that declared the earth was flat. We cannot trust ourselves as the ultimate standard of the universe, of God's creation, or of God's design for human life.
Third, what we are really saying when we say "would God really" is something more like this: This is so far removed from my understanding that I refuse to acknowledge God if he works this way. In other words, we again want to place God in a box we can understand.
If God really created everything (think about that for a minute: everything!), can't we expect him to have a little different viewpoint on the world than we do? Can't we expect that God says things, does things, teaches things, and commands things that just plain don't make sense to us?
This week, I will look at several issues where God says things that go against our cultural senses. I am going to try to be fair with biblical texts, even when they make me squirm (and some issues that come up in the Bible really do make me uncomfortable). I ask you to join me, challenge yourself to take God's word seriously.
Perhaps he will make you uncomfortable. It may scare you. But transformation is always difficult, it always hurts. If we are truly Christian, if we are truly followers of God, than we must allow Him to transform us through His word. Imagine if a caterpillar never became a butterfly because if feared the transformation within the chrysalis. The beauty God intended for it would be missed altogether. Join me, and perhaps we can transform ourselves into something better entirely: Faithful People.
Wednesday: Gender Roles
Tuesday: Eternal Judgment
I look forward to some good conversations!