Sunday, 05 April 2015 05:11

Why ""? Part 1 Featured

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Why put together a website titled Because I and countless others have suffered immensely from incorrectly thinking “If there is a God, he certainly can’t be good, He doesn’t seem to be for me, and I don’t really want to be around him because I don’t think he likes me. And if he doesn’t like me, what does he think about those people who are really bad?” 

Oh, I believed there was a god from my earliest memories. And when questioned, I would have said he’s good. But my experience didn’t seem to bear that out. If – as I had been taught – he was flat out against certain groups of people and certain individuals – and if he wasn’t all that pleased with me…he couldn’t really be good…could he?

At Sunday school, when I was a child, I was taught that God liked some people, but he hated others and did horrific things to them…both in this life and in the life after. I was taught that even though there were some people he did like, if they didn’t do every little thing he wanted just right, they were in trouble too.  In short, I learned that God was CONDITIONALLY for me. I was told how good he was because I didn’t deserve for him to be for me at all, and just the fact that he was even CONDITIONALLY for me meant that he was somehow really GOOD. I could never reconcile that…but I eventually became very good at reciting trite, party-line phrases that supposedly justified his fickleness. By the time I’d been a pastor several years, I became a master (so I thought) at defending an un-defendable position.

My friends and I came to the conclusion that those who didn’t want to have anything to do with god or the church, just didn’t want to believe the truth about god. We had a lot of time, energy, money & emotional capital invested in the church, and we didn’t want to admit that we might be wrong. After all, none of the other people at church were  questioning whether or not god was really good…or talking about wondering if he was really for us. 

Those weren’t wasted years by any means. I did have a relationship with God. I did hear from Him. My life did change in many ways for the better.  He helped many other people in many ways through the ministries I was involved in. But there was always this “elephant in the room.”

Even at best, I believed that God did love me, but because I and others had broken His arbitrary rules, He was angry beyond belief, full of wrath, and SOMEBODY had to pay. So…because of His love for me, instead He poured out His wrath on His own innocent Son and tortured Him in my place. But it didn’t count unless I sincerely believed, was genuinely remorseful, admitted all my sins, confessed them often, and said and did certain things.  There were CONDITIONS to his love.

Of course, I knew most people hadn’t done those things…at least not sincerely…so even though God poured out all His wrath on Jesus, He somehow replenished that in a big way and had plenty more and those other people were still gonna get it.  I was grateful for my being ok…but it still didn’t pass the smell test.  Jesus…I liked, loved, and was very grateful for. But, God the Father…truth be told, I really didn’t want to be around Him.  

I lived under that cloud for decades.

Then…I started learning The Truth, and Jesus set me free. I learned that much of what I had been taught and believed about God…was a lie. I learned God was for me…and you…and everyone, after all! I learned that God does love me…UNCONDITIONALLY – WITH…OUT…CONDITIONS!!!

That’s the reason behind – so you and others can be set free as well!

Jesus said “You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” Jesus is The Truth…and He’s for you…and He wants to set you free! I hope you’ll join me in learning about the freedom He has already provided for you because He loves you and is for you, and His love is UNCONDITIONAL!!!

To be continued   ~ Paul Gray

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