Our attitudes about God are based on what we understand about God. My parents can tell me all they want that they love me and want the very best for me, but mutual respect is what leads to a meaningful relationship and following their guidance. Do their actions match their words? What we think God is really like can determines whether we want to have a relationship with our Creator much less enjoy a meaningful relationship. If you hear characteristics about God that you don’t buy, reject it!
Others’ views of God according to the Bible are not infallible. That is why there are so many different interpretations about what the Bible teaches. It is people’s interpretations that can influence our attitude about God. Rational people don’t question if God advocates murder based on whether one believes in their version of God or not. But, some beliefs are claimed to be immoral according to God, which can impact whether we respect God enough to want to pursue a deeper relationship. Would it make a difference if you discovered God’s love is the love you always imagined would be true of a loving God? We can’t always believe everything we hear!
- I don’t always know what God would do when justice must be served, but I am convinced God doesn’t torture people forever after death for certain beliefs they have while living on this earth. Who doesn’t know unending suffering is pointless as it doesn’t produce any good. The traditional understanding of Hell is nowhere to be found in the Bible. God will know best how to love us or our loved ones even if they had no interest in God while on earth.
- Good people suggest the Bible teaches wives are submissive to their husbands in a way husbands aren’t submissive to their wives. If such a model works for both partners in a marriage, that is great. If such a view of roles has you questioning God, you are in good company. Many biblical scholars aren’t convinced the Bible advocates a hierarchical as opposed to equalitarian relationship between the sexes. I believe decisions are best made according to one’s gifts not gender. No one needs a man or priest as a go between with God.
- I am convinced God doesn’t condemn same sex relationships that are monogamous. The Bible doesn’t say anything about such relationships. I am biased toward monogamy because I think souls get hurt otherwise. Each person can seek God’s guidance in their relationships.
- I am not convinced God has a litmus test of beliefs for acceptance from God unless you believe self-centeredness is a virtue. God is a God of freedom of beliefs, even about God. Loving parents know they can’t demand their child love them if they expect to have a meaningful relationship. The only hidden agenda a loving parent or God has is to earn their child’s belief that they truly have their best interests in mind.
- Sometimes a parent doesn’t interfere in their child’s suffering because freedom of choices can only lead to true change. A lot of suffering is not because of one’s own moral actions. Is it wrong not to stop my child’s suffering if I knew their suffering, inevitable in a free world, would enable them to help others in similar circumstances? There may be plausible reasons a loving God doesn’t intervene in underserved suffering since God oversees a world given freedom.
What understandings about God give you a bad taste in your mouth? God’s actions and morals are the same as the highest of human morals. God’s love and perfect human love are surely one in the same. If one suggests a certain characteristic about God that I don’t believe lines up with that, I am going to question it and challenge my God until I believe I have a satisfying answer. We can expect understandings of God to be plausible based on what a loving God should be like. How else can I respect God or have a meaningful relationship?