The God Who Says “No”

Recently, articles have been written and shared and distributed all over creation about why individuals are leaving the church. The popular solution has been to redefine God and Christianity according to our own interests and preferences – to re-read God’s Word through the lens of cultural bias and create a God of love and not wrath. A God who forgives but never judges. A God who demands belief, but not repentance.

But God is both love AND wrath. He forgives AND He judges. He demands belief AND repentance. The Scriptures are not ours to cherry-pick. They are His revelation of Himself (His Whole Self) to us.

Our tendency toward redefinition of God creates a god who simply does not exist.

In a personal relationship with a real person, the other one can contradict you and upset you – then you have to wrestle through it to deeper intimacy. But when we simply ignore (either intellectually or psychologically) the parts of God we don’t like, it means we don’t have a God that can ever contradict our deepest desires or say “no” to us. We never wrestle with him. We never let him make demands on us. We can end up worshiping a much more comfortable God, but also a non-existent one.

From Timothy Keller’s, Judges for You

Any experience of reading God’s Word that does not surprise us, convict us, or disagree with our preferences should concern us. Any experience with a God in which we force His submission to our preferences while relieving ourselves of the need to submit to His authority should terrify us. At that point, we’re worshiping another god altogether – and he looks just like us.

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