By large there has been a silent reformation of faith within the Church, we have been successful in our breaking down of religion into relationship, this has led to some extremely hard questions being asked by a generation that overwhelmingly has not accepted the status quo of what has been taught in conjunction with the character of God.
“you can find in my last blog a great explanation of what I feel the reformation may be looking like, without reading that, this may be confusing as this is a series of my growth, I believe it looks like a change in belief of the character of God.”
I ask one question. Have we complicated our faith and fallen toward the end time’s prophecies surrounding the Church, have we have become guilty of tickling the ears of our faithful? Have we become fearful of being honest in relationships? ultimately fear leads us and those looking toward us into deception just because we don’t want to offend others with confrontation or correction, through this we have inadvertently began people pleasing. Who are we serving, people or God?
2 Tim 4:3
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry
Religion exists because we feel safe when we are told how to believe, there is a certain anxiety when we realise we have to take responsibility for our own lives and our own faith, perhaps even responsibility for the fall. I fear there may have been an accidental deception creeping into the church over the past century.
“It is my understanding that in this century we have created a theology that excuses God for His behaviour. “Yup I Just said that.” allow me to qualify this.
Have you ever wondered why when posed the question, “If God is so good and loving why is there so much evil in the world?’ the answer, “Well God is Just sovereign” actually does not cut it with people living in this world of pain and discomfort. And I believe rightly so as this is not an answer but a rebuttal to a question we have not dared to look into due to its seemingly heretical nature.
“Perhaps the deeper question may well be this, Is God in control? If he is, then we have to blame him for the state of affairs we see in the world. This would indeed implicate our Gospel with a very different character of God with the one that is presented, I happen to have changed my opinion, I, of course, believe he can be in control however due to the nature of our relationship I am led to believe he has chosen to not be.”
The Gospel has been complicated simply because of this, we have been trying to excuse God of his behaviour, we had believed he created all the sickness that he designed us flawed and ultimately we were an experiment before Jesus came to “fix” us.
We see in Genesis that man was created, and He was very good, yet we believe we are inherently evil? Due to our desire for sin within our nature, we believe God created us this way causing an impeccable distaste for His character while trying to live for him. This sounds astoundingly like a dysfunctional father not a loving one. God’s inherent creation was good and you my friend are good!
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day
This belief may not have been cognitive, and I can only share my experience. I realised about twelve months ago that God did not the orchestrate my testimony, I was a victim of a range of really bad circumstances, before this realisation I believed that God had placed me in that mess and pain so that I could learn something, this, however, I have found to be completely wrong.
This led to a dream where I sat on a table with Jesus as we spoke and laughed and enjoyed each others company, “in the dream” Jesus posed me a question! This was set to transform me for the rest of my life I have had to come back to this question time and time again as my flesh is tempted to blame God for my life.
“Adam, do you believe I love you?” my answer was one that rocked me to the core until this day. As I type I feel the anguish as my heart cried out a most certain, “no Jesus I do not.”
How could I? I believed he was in control of this world and every move made within it, surely he allowed my parents to fight, my father to cheat, placed the drugs I took before me, allowed me to steal, lie, cheat and become temporarily homeless as a teen. How, God, could you have loved me? I realised I was a victim and not powerful and that this did not fit in conjunction with the reality that I was created in His image.
“There laid a problem for me in this thinking, nothing made sense anymore I had to know who he really was.”
This led me to rethinking the tree in the garden, My question was this. Why God knowing full well our capability to desire rebellion did you place that tree on earth? The potential answer astonished me, what if God decided not to know what we would do? As we were created in His image being in three parts Father, Son and Holy Spirit with perfect unity if God dictated the relationship between us and Himself, the rest of the Gospel and the unity of His own existence would not make sense! And by large with how I believed of Him, it really didn’t….
“The fresh perspective of the Tree in the garden was this, could it have been a forfeiting of control over his creation with the pure desire for a true relationship?”
This changed the view of which I read the scripture, it went from a cognitive relationship desired due to my understanding of my need to change, to a desire to change due to my understanding of his desire for me to walk with him in choice as he created it to be in the beginning. I am ever thankful to God for our Jesus, but I am not certain that was plan ‘A’.
My mind wanders to the moment we fell in the garden, and God came seeking Adam in the garden, when Adam hid from God he choose shame over relationship, I wonder what it would have looked like in the midst of his shame if Adam had called out to God, “Here I am ashamed and in your presence.” instead of, “I am ashamed and have departed from your presence.”
“Is this not the same lie we have believed ever since, a performance-based mindset in our relationship with God? we can’t even be real before men, yet we expect a genuine and deep relationship with God.”
Now let me clarify I do not Believe there has been any intentional deception surrounding the nature of our relationship with God, in essence it may have been a fearful reverence that has stopped this from being a contender for the truth of His character, but I do believe there is a stirring amongst this generation that will no longer stand for anything but the reality of who God is.
“I implore you join me in this journey, it is a road less traveled but the fruit is delicious”
My Prayer for you is not to take my word for it, If this at all resonates with where you are at, I pray that the God that has impacted me in such a way would transform you and renew your thinking and open your heart to a new realm of belief and freedom, that you would be able to release God of the blame for your pain and as I had to. I pray you become completely vulnerable and transparent with Him in a way that a real loving father would provoke, and that the depth of this understanding would truly answer the questions of your heart as it has mine.
I understand that this is offensive if offended me. Also, He is a good Father, and if you let Him, he will show you.
Adam Luke Thurling