Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Saturday, May 16

Today’s Readings: Psalm 99; Song of Solomon 8:1-7; Matthew 9:18-26; 1 John 4:7-12; Psalm 103

One of the challenges we face in developing our personal theology as monotheists (people who believe in just one God) is to develop a belief system that truly addresses the expansive nature of God. Let me give you an example of what I mean here. Individuals who are polytheists (people who believe in multiple Gods) have an easier time compartmentalizing aspects of the world and attributing very specific qualities to each god. Ancient Greeks, for instance, could turn to a goddess like Aphrodite to represent love and beauty. Ares, on the other hand, was used by the Greeks to embody things like war, murder, and bloodshed. By having multiple gods, the individual could simply pick and chose which god they wanted to relate to in any given circumstance. As monotheists, however, we don’t have that luxury; we simply have one God who covers the totality of the world. So why am I talking about the challenges of monotheism? Well, in today’s second psalm, the psalmist take time in verses 3-5 to list all of the qualities he associates with God: things like forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, mercy, goodness, and renewer of youth. All of these qualities are good. But what happens when we face aspects of life that aren’t so warm and fuzzy – things like brokenness, death, downfall, apathy, cruelty, badness, and decay? Does this mean that God is not present in these difficult places? Some would respond to my question by saying that another god of sorts – Satan – takes over in such places. How would you respond to my question about where God is in relation to those things in life that are cold and prickly? Is God only the God of what we would perceive of or label as warm and fuzzy, or is God truly the God of all? Til next time…

1 comment:

Dutch said...

1 John 4:12 God is only half the equation.

How is God present in the bad times? Difficult to answer clearly. Old Testament says God causes them. Some say God allows them. I would say they are a necessary part of creation. A difficult tenet to hold.

In Thursday's 1 John 3 God accepts our self condemnation. Does not condemn nor punish. For suffering beyond our control is God really neutral?. Just accepting and being with us. Allowing the pain or conflict to exist and letting go of the stress of fighting it. We might still fight cancer but from a calm center. The calm center being our half of the equation which allows the Divine to live in us?

Is this similar to Buddhist idea of being with pain and stress and letting go?