Christianity 201

May 8, 2010

Using The Bible to Keep God at a Distance

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:35 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was very impressed with this analogy from David Paul Door’s blog.

There is a way to read the Bible that keeps God at an arm’s length. If you primarily read the Bible as a book of principles to follow and people to imitate then your relationship with God won’t be intimate, it will be contractual.

Why is this so?

In a contract whatever you put in is what you will expect to get back.  I pay my mortgage every month and after 30 years I expect the bank to hand me the deed of the property.  This relationship works because I don’t have the money to buy a house with cash.  And in exchange for some interest paid I get to be the full owner of the property.

But this does not create intimacy with the bank.  I actually don’t mind them fading into the background.  And on their end they don’t bother me unless I haven’t paid.

Do you see how a relationship with God can never be intimate when the interaction is based on these terms?  We think, “I put in obedience, He, in turn, blesses.” In this instance, our interaction with God can still be fervent, it just won’t be intimate.   There will be no love.

But when we begin to see the Bible as story of God’s blessing humanity, eve when they didn’t keep up their end of the bargain, something in our relationship changes.  The anger of “you owe me, God” is exchanged for humble gratitude.  The devastation of “I would’ve had more if I could’ve just been more obedient” turns into an exhilarating freedom and joy.

And who wouldn’t want to draw near to a God like that?

1 Comment »

  1. […] in May I borrowed an analogy from David Paul Door; and today I decided to see what he’s been writing more recently.    […]

    Pingback by Making Your Disappointments Work For You « Christianity 201 — December 29, 2010 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

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