Tuesday, April 15, 2008

God hates you. Get over it.

"You have been told that God is a loving, gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, wonderful, and good sky fairy who runs a day care in the sky and has a bucket of suckers for everyone because we're all good people. That is a lie... God looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,' and we say that is deserved, right and just, and then God says 'Because of Jesus I will love you and forgive you.' This is a miracle. "

Mark Driscoll, in one of his sermons on November 6, 2006.

The sermon was in audio format, and I'm pulling this quote from Wikipedia. So I admit I could missing a few things, especially due to the ellipses.

But if this were the case, then shouldn't the verse read, "For God so loves His son that He loves and forgives the world for the sake of Jesus?" Instead, it says that God loved the world, that He gave His son.

Or, rather than "Everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God, but the unloving know nothing of God. For God is love; and his love was disclosed to us in this, that He sent His only son into the world to bring us life." 1 John 4: 9-10.

Jesus changes God's hate to love, according to quote.

I'd have a really hard time trusting this sort of God who hates me. Or loving this sort of God. I'd keep relying on Jesus to keep me safe from this God, and why would I even want to be with this God? This God doesn't love me, He loves Jesus and only Jesus.

Not only that, but I don't get this sense of God hating us all from the Tanakh, and only loving us due to intervention. We could bring up the sacrificial system, but how many Psalms are so grateful for animal blood because it makes God love them? Or changes God's hate to love?

Why would God even create what He hates?

I also don't believe that God is a giant sky fairy with a bucket of suckers.

22 comments:

Andrew said...

This is a perfect example of projection. I think the truth is that Mark "looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,". He preaches this way and imagines God to have these motives because he feels a frustration and an anger towards anyone who is not Christian. He will tolerate them only if they come to his side and submit to his view of Orthodoxy. He had re-made God in his image.

Mystical Seeker said...

The comment about how it is a miracle that God loves us, which Driscoll tacks onto the end of that quote, sounds like the typical view that a lot of Protestants have that we don't deserve God's love, that by all rights we deserve to be sent to hell because we are so bad.

The thing about Mark Driscoll's hyperbole is that he actually cuts to the chase. In reality, any God who thinks that we deserve to go to hell must be a very hateful God. This idea that we don't deserve God's love is a far cry from the loving Father in heaven that Jesus envisioned. But there you have it.

DagoodS said...

What I don’t get is this: why would a God care?

After a point, wouldn’t this become old hate to him/her/it? Figuring humans have been doing this for 10’s of 1000’s of years, and look like we will be doing it for 10’s of 100’s more, I would think God would become a bit blasé to the any complaints, sins, etc.

When I was a young lawyer I met a (distant) relative of my wife who told me what a certain law required them to do. I figured, since they knew they were talking to a lawyer, they would be both curious and grateful to learn how they were incorrect and their position was actually better than they thought. Boy was I wrong! They were FAR more concerned with the audacity of me (a licensed lawyer) DARING to tell them what they knew was absolutely, positively the state of the law, and daring to question them on it. I wisely shut my mouth.

Over the years, at various functions, I have met similar people with similar entrenched ideas of some law or another. Despite my years of training, my years of delving into the practical application of the law, and my firm grasp of the subject—I know they are not interested in hearing how wrong they are.

I don’t get angry. I don’t get frustrated. I hardly care. After seeing it over and over and over—I become quite ambivalent. Its going to happen; so what?

Even more, think of a God—a being which can create an entire universe, concepts such as gravity and time and light and love and sunsets and sex. And this being, with all its awesomeness, gets angry over some petty act or statement by a human? An act or statement which has probably been done 10,000,000 times before, and will be done 10,000,000 times again?

And if a God (a GOD mind you) is so torn up about it, it seems almost comical it cannot seem to do anything to rectify the situation. Appear and explain itself, maybe?

I am not sure if they are making their god too small, or inflating themselves too large to think a god would be so interested in every thought or twitch.

Ken said...

I didn't know there was such a dichotomy in the Godhead. I thought there was perfect harmony. I thought Jesus was a perfect representation of God's character. I thought the gospel was 'good news'. I thought God hated sin because of what it inflicted upon the mankind He loves. I thought God loved mankind so much that He sent His Son to deal with that sin so mankind might be restored to their original position and purpose. Or did God originally hate man even before he sinned?

If your quote of MD is accurate, I cannot understand how he drifted so far out of the narrative of the Bible.

OneSmallStep said...

Andrew,

And from the little I've seen, he seems comfortable with this. Almost like he's okay with the fact that so many will go to hell, so many will suffer. When are we ever suppose to be comfortable with the suffering of others?

Mystical,

** In reality, any God who thinks that we deserve to go to hell must be a very hateful God. This idea that we don't deserve God's love is a far cry from the loving Father in heaven that Jesus envisioned. But there you have it.**

I think there's something just as redeeming about the idea that we don't deserve to go to hell, that we do deserve God's love. I'd find that just as awe-striking, because it would make me want to see how God created me, us, the world. It would make me want to know what God is like, because by understanding God, I can better understand who He created.

DagoodS,

**I don’t get angry. I don’t get frustrated. I hardly care. After seeing it over and over and over—I become quite ambivalent. Its going to happen; so what?**

I think this is a healthy attitude to have, and wish I had it, also.

But as to your question, I've asked myself the same thing. IT's easy to hold to an idea of God taking personal offense when you think the Earth is it, the center of the universe, and everything revolves around it.

It's not so easy when staring at actual pictures of space. Have you ever seen how many galaxies there are out there? I look at those, and just wonder if it's ego-driven to say that Whoever created all of that cares about what I do on this one tiny speck in the universe.

Ken,

**I thought God hated sin because of what it inflicted upon the mankind He loves. I thought God loved mankind so much that He sent His Son to deal with that sin so mankind might be restored to their original position and purpose.**

The other problem I see with the MD quote is that it says that humanity and sin are essentially the same. If God hates you, and God hates sin, then you're almost sin, in a way. But in order to be redeemed when sin is destroyed, humanity has to be more than sin. There has to be something that's "not sin" there. Otherwise, when sin is destroyed, we're destroyed, as well.

societyvs said...

"That is a lie... God looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,' and we say that is deserved, right and just" (MD)

Where is Mark's proof for this idea or theology? Are we supposed to accept this rhetoric that plays down our role in faith? This guy's theology is both radical and a joke...I suggest no one follow this man because love is based on 'what you do right'...otherwise you're...you know the word I wanna use.

"Why would God even create what He hates?" (OSS)

Good point...and exactly! I wonder how Mark treats people that don't agree with him - must be with utter disdain because the God he serves seems to think this way.

God is love - and always has been. Why didn't God just kill Adam and Eve if this theology is true? Or is it He so cruel he wanted more to mess up so He could kill more people with the few He saves? That theology is a joke and anyone that thinks this guy is onto some form of truth - need to realize he is playing them down to make God look nice.

OneSmallStep said...

Society,

**Where is Mark's proof for this idea or theology? Are we supposed to accept this rhetoric that plays down our role in faith?**

I don't know, because that would require listening to him in depth, and that's just something I can't do. However, if you wanted to explore it further, I know that Brad on Confessions of a Seminarian has said that there are aspects of Driscoll that he likes, so maybe you could ask him?

**I wonder how Mark treats people that don't agree with him - must be with utter disdain because the God he serves seems to think this way. **

I think the answer to this depends on whether someone likes Mark or not. ;) Because I've seen people say Driscoll treats non-Christians fine, and others say the opposite.

**God is love - and always has been.**

Agreed. The problem comes in when someone says that because God is love, God will save everyone. To many, that smacks of a kind of mild love that says everything you do is okay.

That's not love. Love, while supporting, also demands the very best. Love doesn't let you get away with everything, because half of what we do can hurt us or others. It's exactly why loving parents impose rules on their children, and discipline them. To make their children better people.

While Love doesn't punish eternally, Love also corrects, in order to bring about repentence.

John Shuck said...

God hates you.

But his son, Jesus, love you.

And Jesus is his own dad.

MOI said...

Ditto what Andrew said!

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Man, that's an out-right denial of the deity of Christ. God hates you, but Jesus loves you.

Here I thought no man had seen the Father, but Jesus has revealed Him. But I guess some Americans have seen the Father, and know that though Jesus loves you, the Father doesn't. Here I thought Jesus does nothing on His own, but only what the Father does, for whatever the Father does he shows it to Christ. But I guess Jesus figured out this love for sinners on His own.

George MacDonald (or C. S. Lewis or the gospel of John) provide good emetic for this sort of nonsense.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Hm...I just noticed looking at some of your archibes that you don't believe Jesus is God. Uh...I didn't mean that post antagonist, I was trying to take your side. I of course disagree with you, and think this point is very very important, but I'm not going to mock you or anything for disagreeing with me.

I am curious however, why don't you believe Jesus is God? Do you just not think the Bible teaches it, or is there some positive error you are trying to avoid?

SocietyVs said...

"I am curious however, why don't you believe Jesus is God?" (Matthew)

Brother, that question is a blog in and of itself...and this debate happens a lot in these circles...I also don't think Jesus is divine.

I have thought about this and now I propose something new to us all - do we want an image of God we can make in our image (ie: God is a human)? That's the part I am looking at now - and I think the human race has always wanted this...but the fact remains - we serve a God that doesn't want this.

God's 2nd commandment in Exodus 20 is about this very thing - making images/idols to serve...does God include Himself in that idea? I mean, if we actually saw God - would He want statues erected in His honor? Or maybe a painting? Now you can see the human vices on this subject...we want an image (even a photo will do).

Jesus - if he is divine - does that very thing for Christians. We have a 'human God'. Now we can draw pictures, statues, paintings, coloring books, etc. I do not think God would break commandment number 2 - as with number 1 - if Jesus is divine.

Christians are human also - we want an image of the 'invisible God' (I quote Paul here). That's Jesus! But wait, there is a problem here...noe Jesus becomes all things once we know the image. Jesus is a biker for bikers. Jesus is skater for the skaters. BY God being imaged - we can also play with that image and make it into 'anything human'. Just go and see how Jesus is used and held up in many Christian circles - made to represent whatever the church so much as chooses. You give God an image - you also have the rights to that image.

OneSmallStep said...

Matthew,

**Uh...I didn't mean that post antagonist, I was trying to take your side.**

No worries, I understood what you meant. :) If one part of the Triune God hates you, and the other part loves you, then the Triune God has opposing wills, which doesn't work.

**I am curious however, why don't you believe Jesus is God?**

That is a loaded question within itself, and not one that has a simple answer (as Society said).

One way of answering would be to read my post on "define God." To follow on to that, when I read the New Testament, I get a very clear sense of a hierarchy, not equality. Jesus is important in God's plan, he played a role that no one else could and was seen as the Logos (God's word/reason/creative power/wisdom) made flesh, and a way of interacting with God. But I also have the Bible specifically saying that no one has seen God at any time, and the Son has made God known. I have the Bible specifically describing the love that God has for us by sending His son, rather than saying in equal specific terms that God loved us enough to become human and die for us. I have Jesus saying that the goal is to know the one true God of Israel, and Jesus Christ, whom this one true God has sent. I have Jesus saying that he is going unto his God and our God. Or Jesus telling everyone to trust in God, and trust in him. Paul says that all things will be subjected to God, including Christ, and then God will be all-in-all. Or Paul saying that the important aspects of the gospel are that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and raised -- but doesn't go into Jesus being God as equally important.

There are all the big speeches in Acts, when the apostles are describing Jesus in very human-like terms, rather than demonstrating that Jesus was God. Rather, they focus on how God worked through Jesus, and anointed Jesus, and raised him from the dead.

I do understand those who believe that Jesus is God, and the passages they use to support that. I just end up with the feeling that if we only had the New Testament to go on, based on a complete Hebrew mindset, we wouldn't come anywhere close to the idea of the Trinity.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

I think you'd be surprised on how much we agree on. I would want to say that God so loved the world that He gave us the greatest gift. But the gift is not less than the giver.

I know Christ says that He is less than the Father. But as I argued in this post, paradoxically, that verse actually says that they are equal. (If Christ says He is less than God, and He does whatever God does, God says He is less than Christ.)

I think I would also point to I John 1 "If we are in the light as He is in the light...and the blood of Jesus Christ His son." This passage seems to say that the Father (we know its the Father because Jesus Christ is His Son) does not stand on His own, but only in the Light of Christ.

But I think I more or less agree with your fundamental concern. I strongly believe the Father is Christ's God and ours. I just add that Christ is the Father's God and ours.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Oh...and I also have seen how many Christians make "Jesus is God" into "Jesus isn't really human" and that really bugs me. I think the human flesh and blood gift of the Father is equal to the Father.

OneSmallStep said...

Hi, Matthew.

In terms of subordination, I was thinking of 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul says that even Christ will be subordinate to God who has made all things. But I was also thinking of Jesus saying that the Father is greater than him, and other verses such as that.

The problem I would have with the idea that the Son can only do what the Father does is that I don't see that as equality, or even that God has at one point said that the Son is greater than the Father. First, I don't see that because of how Jesus does say that all authority in heaven/earth is given to him (end of Matthew), as well as the rest of John 5, where Jesus is saying that all jurisdiction is given to him, and it's the Father's will. Those types of lines give me the impression that Jesus does not have equality with God, because he is given something he didn't previously have.

It also depends on how Jesus was defining actions. This seems to be tied to a type of healing, and works, and thus Jesus can only do the types/works that God can, because he is God's son. But does that necessarily include the idea that Jesus could only learn to say the Father is greater than I if God says the son is greater than him? My parent is still greater than I simply by the default of being my parent. Part of their identity makes them greater than I. Couldn't the same apply to Jesus? He imitates the FAther, and yet due to who the Father is, he knows the Father is greater, because that's part of the identity. You can know that someone is greater than you simply by knowing who the other person is, and who you are.

With the Father is greater than I, in that same chapter, we have Jesus saying to trust in God, and trust also in him. I see that as a clear dividing line between God and the one whom God sent. That, and Jesus says that they should be happy he's going back to the Father, because the Father is greater than him.

**If we are in the light as He is in the light...and the blood of Jesus Christ His son." This passage seems to say that the Father (we know its the Father because Jesus Christ is His Son) does not stand on His own, but only in the Light of Christ.**

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. I know the passage you're referring to, in that God is light, and there isn't any darkness in God. If we're walking in the dark while claiming that light, we're lying, but if we walk in the light as he's the light, we have a common life, and are being cleansed from sin by the blood of Jesus, God's son. But I'm not sure how that means that the Father stands in the light of Christ?

My big concern with the idea of Jesus as God is that if Jesus is God, then I find very little value in saying that he lived a sinless life, or the life that we couldn't live. Of course he lead that life -- he was God. It was impossible for him to sin. If it were impossible, then to say that Jesus was tempted as we were holds no meaning for me, because he would've abhored sin. How tempting would it have been to go against God, since he was God, himself? It would be like tempting me to eat brussel sprouts. I hate brussel sprouts, so anyone trying to tempt me is wasting their time, because nothing in me wants the food. Wouldn't that mean that nothing in Jesus wanted to go against God? That Jesus couldn't even have a sinful desire? How can we take comfort in Jesus knowing the power of sin, if he had a huge advantage we never had? There's nothing in that for me to relate to.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

One small step,

I don't know if I can address all those points in a coherent essay, so I'm going to do this piecemeal.

Those types of lines give me the impression that Jesus does not have equality with God, because he is given something he didn't previously have.

I agree that in a very real sense Jesus did not have anything and received everything as a gift from the Father. But first (see my later point) Jesus reveals the Father not merely by what He says but who He is and what He does. And that would mean that Jesus' not seeking his own, but receiving everything by faith as a gift is an image of the Father. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I think we see from Jesus' humility and from his justification by faith in His Father His Father's humility and justification by faith in His Son.

For instance, prior to Christ, the Father did not have de facto authority over the world nor did He claim de jure authority over the world. But through Jesus' ministry, He has been given both de facto and de jure authority by Jesus. I Corinthians 15 then plays into this--the Father gives all authority to the Son, and we shall see that the Son gives all authority to the Father.

But second, if God merely has, and does not receive, He is not as good as He could be--It is blessed to receive, and even if we don't say that, it is good to bless someone by giving them the ability to give you a gift. And so, it seems, God receives good things as a gift. But who is good but God? What other gift could satisfy God beside God? And what other giver could satisfy God than God?

It would seem to me that for God to be perfect, He would have to receive a gift, and receive that gift from someone. But to fully satisfy Him, both the gift and the giver must be good--that is must be God. Yet he isn't really receiving a gift if He is the gift the recipient and the giver.

My parent is still greater than I simply by the default of being my parent.

Would you still agree with this if your father thought he had no superior?

But I'm not sure how that means that the Father stands in the light of Christ

Would you say that the sun is in the light, or that the sun is the light?

If the Father is in the light, there is a light source that illumines Him.

My big concern with the idea of Jesus as God is that if Jesus is God, then I find very little value in saying that he lived a sinless life, or the life that we couldn't live.

Yes, I agree completely. The problem with the statement "Jesus is God" is that it seems to deny that He is a man. And I strongly object to any theology that denies that Jesus is a man. Or that says He is somehow a superman. It is absolutely imperative that we assert that Jesus was the son of Mary--really her son and thence Adam's son. And since he has a human mother, he is literally and fully and in every conceivable way, human. Because so often we get the starry-eyed Jesus who doesn't really feel the pull of temptation, who really isn't human, and then are told this non-human is human, it's really hard to say clearly Jesus is a human. Let me say it this way, all those things you say about Jesus being a man, I agree whole heartedly with them. And yet somehow, that man is exactly like God, and was so before anything was created, and indeed as Philippians says, chose to come down and be a man. Yet, as you say, is absolutely and really a man.

OneSmallStep said...

Hi, Matthew.

**And that would mean that Jesus' not seeking his own, but receiving everything by faith as a gift is an image of the Father.**

So you'd put no limits on this, then? Because I don't see the Father ever saying that He doesn't seek to fufill His own will, but rather the will of the one He sent. The Bible is always pointing back to the Father's will, and completing that. I see Jesus saying that he doesn't seek his own will, but the will of Him who sent Jesus. I never see God saying that He seeks the will of the one He sent.

**I Corinthians 15 then plays into this--the Father gives all authority to the Son, and we shall see that the Son gives all authority to the Father.**

See, I just don't see this playing out in the Bible, that the Father gives authority to the Son, and the Son gives authority to the Father. I don't see that equality, or that type of sharing. Even if we use the Philippians Hymn you reference later. Jesus doesn't seize at equality with God (like Adam did), but rather empties himself. As a reward for his obedience, including the cross, God raises him and gives him a name above all other names, and then people will bow at that name, to glorify God the Father. There's still a hierarchy in this. Jesus doesn't give God anything there. God gives. In the 1 Corinthians passage, it says that Christ will be subordinate to God, which gives an idea of inequality. Not that Christ is giving God authority, as an equal. Another verse I think supports this is the idea of Christ as God's heir, and us as Christ's fellow-heirs.

**But who is good but God? What other gift could satisfy God beside God? And what other giver could satisfy God than God?**

I don't agree with this, though. That's like a parent telling a child that any gift a child gives isn't satisfying, b/c it's not on the parent's level. If I had a child, and they gave me a gift, I would consider that gift "perfect," given the child's abilities in producing the gift.

Plus, if I take that verse to the fullest sense, it's essentially saying that God will never be pleased with us, will never be satisified with us, and that's a rather chilling picture.

**But to fully satisfy Him, both the gift and the giver must be good--that is must be God. Yet he isn't really receiving a gift if He is the gift the recipient and the giver.**

Wouldn't you need two seperate Gods here, then, if God can't receive the gift if He's the gift of the receipient and the giver?

**Would you still agree with this if your father thought he had no superior?**

If it was true, then yes. But the fact of the matter is that God can have no superior. That's part of being God. But if I say I do everything my father does, and am the exact image of my father, I don't literally mean every thing. To be technical, I can't produce children the way he does. :) But it would be limits like that that are built into my saying I can only do what my Father does.

**If the Father is in the light, there is a light source that illumines Him.**

Except the verse states that God is the light, and nothing in that verse leads me to believe that the "God" there refers to the Trinity. The 'his' in that passage, with the claiming to be sharing his life, or walking in the light as God is in the light, and then being cleansed by his Son. I don't think the sun example works because the sun only occupies a certain aspect of space. If God Himself is omniscienct, then He's occupying all space. If you're both the light and you're everywhere, it seems that, by some reason, you'd also be in the light.

**And yet somehow, that man is exactly like God, and was so before anything was created, and indeed as Philippians says, chose to come down and be a man. Yet, as you say, is absolutely and really a man.**

Except, to me, there is a difference between saying a man is exactly like God, and is God.

But again -- does saying that Jesus was tempted hold any meaning if Jesus was also God? Wouldn't the God aspect of Jesus prevent the temptation from being effective by default?

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Wouldn't you need two seperate Gods here, then, if God can't receive the gift if He's the gift of the receipient and the giver?

You'd need three.

I don't see the Father ever saying that He doesn't seek to fufill His own will, but rather the will of the one He sent.

When the disciples ask to see the Father, Jesus says that whoever has seen him has seen the Father. How the Father acts, the Son acts. But the Son is defferential to the Father. Therefore the Father is defferential to someone. Otherwise this aspect of Christ, which by both of our accounts is a large part of who he is, is not a reflection of the Father, and precisely in that Christ is defferential and the Father not, the disciples have not seen the Father. Christ must show the Father.

But the fact of the matter is that God can have no superior.

Does he not in humility consider others better than Himself?

Again, the Scriptures say that Jesus is the exact image of the Father. I suppose you could limit this somewhat (though I'd disagree with it) by making exact hyperbolic. But the problem is the Bible praises Christ most for things like his humility, for not exhalting himself, for making him less than others, for being a servant, and for offering Himself to God. If we cannot extend this to God (i.e. His Father), we make Jesus a poor image of the Father. Shouldn't he be most praise worthy for the aspect of him that is most like God?

**Would you still agree with this if your father thought he had no superior?**

If it was true, then yes.


But don't children whose parents act that they have no superior rebel and act like they themself have no superior?

Plus, if I take that verse to the fullest sense, it's essentially saying that God will never be pleased with us, will never be satisified with us, and that's a rather chilling picture.

Or else it ends up praising the heights we will be lifted to.

A good mother is, rightly, quite thrilled by her two-year-old's drawing. But not because the drawing is good, but because the two-year-old is a person she desperately loves--and thus in a very real sense her equal--and he has now given her a gift. But she wouldn't be satisfied if he continued to give her scribbles. A two-year-old loving his mother, and giving her something from his heart? Yes wonderful. But both gift and giver must grow, and until they have grown, she can't really rest. She is pleased by her child's gift, but not satisfied. And it would seem if Christ is radically less than the Father, the Father can, perhaps be pleased by Christ's gifts, but not satisfied. If he is satisfied, he is satisfied in himself and not in another.

But consider a husband giving a wife the gift of a child. Now her equal is truly satisfying, and gives a gift that, himself a person, and thus in one sense her equal, is himself satisfying.

And it seems to me, for God to be good, he must be satisfied by the giver and the gift. That is, the gifts He receives from his Son, must be more like the gift of a child a mother receives from her husband, than like the gift of a (admittedly beautiful) scribble a child receives from his mother.

And I think that the mystery of the Incarnation lies here: God in his vast humility sent His equal, that His equal could receive a gift from you and I that is actually satisfying, and God choose to come down, that men might give even His Father a gift that is truly satisfying.

Wouldn't the God aspect of Jesus prevent the temptation from being effective by default?

The answer I give is, of course "no." I'm not sure I can understand it. Here's my stab at an answer: People of course have certian attributes, which can be pleasant, or unpleasant. But we don't (or shouldn't) value the person for the attributes but the attributes for the person. We should value that hand in ours, not because we like holding hands in the abstract, but because we value the person whose hand we are holding, and this hand in ours is their way of communicating their affection, or even is their affection. A more fundamental question than "what" is "who."

Applying this to God, God isn't beautiful and good because He has some property, there is no foundation that the person stands on. The Person (or rather the Persons) are themselves good, and one of these persons decided to become a man. But whatever He becomes, He remains Who He is. And so the Person who is God, is now a man. But he doesn't have some "god quality" rather he is God, Himself.

Or to say the same thing another way, God wished to give us a gift. But being a good gift-giver, he gave us a gift that was exactly what we wanted, and yet exactly like Him. The gift was exactly like Him--that is, was a person--and was exactly what we wanted--that is, the gift became a man. And to add to the mystery, God is (or shall be) satisfied by our reception of the gift.

Matt

OneSmallStep said...

Matt,

**When the disciples ask to see the Father, Jesus says that whoever has seen him has seen the Father. How the Father acts, the Son acts.**

Except that very verse where Jesus says that if you've seen him, you've seen the Father, Jesus also says that the Father dwells in him, who is doing his own work. The Father is the source of all that Jesus does. We don't have the same application going with the Father saying that the son is that same source. It always comes back to Jesus saying that he's not doing his will, he's doing the will of the Father.

**But the Son is defferential to the Father. Therefore the Father is defferential to someone.**

But this is laregly coming down to a matter of implication, rather than an outright statement, and I still see limits imposed upon this. Yes, the son is defferential to the Father, because that is the nature of a son/Father relationship. The Father is the source. But since the Father is the origin. If there is a leader I follow, and I am suppose to be the image of that leader, yet I still defer to that leader, I don't think anyone would then expect the leader to defer to me. He can't, merely by teh fact that the title of "leader" and what that title implies. I can mirror the leader in the sense that I'm just, or I'm loving, or I'm merciful. But there'd be a limit to that imitation.

**Does he not in humility consider others better than Himself?**

Does God? I don't know of any verse where we specifically have God the Father doing that.

The Bible does praise Jesus for the humility, and not exalting himself. IT does say that he is the image of the invisible God (though that makes sense to me, and still keeps Jesus in a less position, because the image is the not the same as the source. The image can't exist without the source, where the source needs no image to exist). But I don't see that as making Jesus a poor image of God, even if God is not deferential to another. (In one part, because I'm still seeing the "whatever the Father does, the Son does, also" in terms of certain authority and actions, such as healing the sick).

**But don't children whose parents act that they have no superior rebel and act like they themself have no superior?**

This originally started with the idea that my parent is my superior simply by default of being my parent. You then asked if I would think this even if my parent had no superior, and I said yes. When you asked, did you mean if the parent behavead arrogantly and thought there was no other superior? Or that the parent might literally have no superior, and simply be the best at everything? I see a distinction between the two: there are people who have very few superiors because of their position or talents. That doesn't always translate into rebelling against authority. And then there are those with an inflated opinion of themselves, who do rebel.

**A good mother is, rightly, quite thrilled by her two-year-old's drawing. But not because the drawing is good, but because the two-year-old is a person she desperately loves--and thus in a very real sense her equal--and he has now given her a gift.**

Good by what judgement? It can be good in the sense that it's all the two year old is capable of. If we're applying a definition of "good" in the fact that it's not a work of art, then is that even a fair standard to apply to the two year old?

No, the mother wouldn't be satisfied if the two year old grew, and yet at the age of 15, was still providing scribbles. Why wouldn't she be satisifed with what the child gives at the age of two, when it's all the child is capable of?

**His equal, that His equal could receive a gift from you and I that is actually satisfying, and God choose to come down, that men might give even His Father a gift that is truly satisfying.**

Herein lies my biggest problem with statements like these: there are two seperate entities discussed here. A Father and a Son. There is no consistent definition of the word "God" in this format. In any other context or setting, we would not read this as one God, but rather two Gods. It would become polytheistic.

**And so the Person who is God, is now a man. But he doesn't have some "god quality" rather he is God, Himself.**

I'm not sure I followed this -- we value someone not in the abstract, but in who the person is. We value holding someone's hand not because we like holding hands, but because of the person themselves, and the affection that displays between us and the other person. When God became a man, He still remained God, but was also a man.

However: when applying that to Jesus being tempted, was there any way for Jesus to succumb to that temptation? Would he have even wanted to commit any sort of evil, the way we all sometimes want to? If he can't experience that yearning the way we can, if there's not even a chance he would've done something wrong ... how can we relate to that?

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Sorry I disappeared, I've not been feeling well the last couple of days. I'll try and get something short up in the next couple of days.

matt

Amy said...

These thoughts pin-point one of the main reasons I left Christianity.