A Conversation with God

An article on God, church and sin by Guest Contributor Charity.

I slung my backpack into the next chair and sat down. “What’s up?”

He looked at me for a moment. “We need to talk about certain… misconceptions you have about me.”

“Okay, shoot.”

His eyes were lovely, warm and kind but also a little frightening. “Well, this church you are going to…”

I beamed. “It’s great, isn’t it? So full of worship! It’s growing like you would not believe!”

“Oh, I believe it. But it’s not the worship that interests me. It’s the sermons.”

“What about them?”

“Well, when was the last time your wonderful pastor mentioned sin?”

“Oh, he doesn’t talk about that much. He’s into more useful stuff.  We don’t want people hung up on sin.”

“Isn’t sin kind of the point?”

I tilted my head. “Huh?”

“Without sin, or acknowledging that you’re a sinner, why do you need a Savior?”

“Oh. Good point.”

He sat back in his chair. “Great, now let’s talk about this ‘God is Evolving’ stuff. You know, where you and your friends gloss over the past and try and reassure people that I’m not ‘mean’ anymore.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“By saying that, you’re claiming that I was mean to start out with. But I don’t change. I’m the same now as I was in the Beginning. So either I’m a mean, nasty God, or I’m a nice, loving God. Which one is it?”

“Yeah, well, you have to admit that you were kind of mean… not all the Egyptians spit on Moses or anything.”

“No. But they all were part of a pagan society that rejected me as Sovereign.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Am I or am I not God?”

“You’re God.”

“So does my word stand as law or doesn’t it?”

“Um… it does, I guess.”

“Great. So why do you all keep pretending that I’ve changed?”

“Haven’t you? I mean, you haven’t incinerated any cities lately… didn’t Jesus change all that?”

“No, He didn’t. He stands in the gap between my punishment and your sin, that’s all. And for the record, we’re the same person, so don’t try the ‘Jesus is nice, and God is a meanie’ routine.”

“Aren’t you?”

“What?”

“Kind of mean sometimes? I mean, you’re going to put people in hell! Why would a nice God cause people to burn for all eternity in hell?”

“I didn’t put them there. They did. I give them a choice. They can choose me, or they can choose hell. A few choose me. Most choose hell. Look, this is not a choice between peanut butter or chocolate. I am not playing a game. You’re either on my side or you’re not. There is no middle ground. Either you accept that I am God, and you are obedient to me, or you don’t.”

“But see, that’s what makes you look bad. You’re just not tolerant enough.”

“You’re right. I am intolerant. I want what is best for you, not what you think is best for you. And what is best for you is to stay within the boundaries I have set forth for your life. Since it is such a popular sin in your culture, let’s talk about sex. It feels good and everyone is doing it, but I say don’t do it outside of marriage. Is that mean?”

“Some people might say so.”

“Okay, here’s how I look at it: if you do not have sex outside of marriage, you do not get pregnant. You do not have to choose between aborting your baby and public humiliation. You do not have to be a single mother and struggle financially for the rest of your life. You do not have to be ignored by godly young men seeking a wife. Or, let’s say you don’t get pregnant. You get a sexually transmitted disease, which renders you as undesirable for a future strong marriage. Or you get hurt, physically or emotionally. You get a bad reputation. You start feeling guilty and dirty and don’t think you are worth much of anything. Do you see my point?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“So even though you might say ‘that’s not fair,’ or ‘it’s mean,’ really, I am protecting you from worse things. But when you make excuses for me or sugar-coat me you’re being disrespectful. I am God. You are not. I do not need you to defend my behavior. In doing so, you are claiming that I am not a ‘just’ ruler. To be ‘just’ is not just about mercy or strength, it is also about punishment. In law, there must be mercy and judgment. Either you find me a just God, or you don’t.”

I squirmed. “So… I guess I have a lot wrong, huh?”

“Yes. Remember, if anyone tries to make me into something I am not, if anyone tries to say that I have changed my mind on such things as sin, if anyone claims I am ‘okay’ now with what I wasn’t ‘okay’ with ten thousand years ago… they’re lying. If you want to know me, you have to read my book. It won’t be easy. It might even scare you, but that’s the point.”

“What, scaring me?”

“Yes. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,’ remember? You can be obedient out of love, or because you’re afraid of the consequences… I’ll take either one, but both show wisdom.”

“Okay. Anything else?”

“Like what?”

“I dunno, a road map maybe?”

“You have one. It’s called The Bible.”

“I meant, for my life… what to do with it after I leave this coffee shop?”

“Live for me. Trust me. Call upon me. That’s all you need to know. No go.”

I slung my backpack over my shoulder. “That’s it? That’s all you expect from me?”

“For now, yes, later I may ask more of you. But I want you to think over what I said.”

“I will.”

The door jangled shut behind me.

More about Charity – 

Charity is a twenty-something who spends most of her time writing — for work and for fun. She loves costume dramas, Siamese cats (and every other kind), and obsessing over history. She is currently the editor of Femnista, an online magazine aimed at young women. You can read it and more at www.charitysplace.com.

Art Credit: Pinterest

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s