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OT/NT GOD 

Theme:

The 'angry' Old Testament God and the loving New Testament God are one. 

Summary:

Sin, not Testaments, separate men from a loving, merciful, eternal God 

"One thing that has always bothered me about religion is the contradiction between an angry Old Testament God and a loving New Testament God. How can God kill some people for not obeying, and forgive others?" Rather than seeking God, Eileen seeks to understand God. She rejects any standard of truth beyond her own reasoning and believes that logic eliminates her accountability to God's Word.

Eileen was raised in a single-parent, non-Christian home. Her view of fathers is biased by her mother's characterization of Eileen's father as "a bum who abandoned her when she was pregnant." Her kind grandfather, once a drunkard, had also often embarrassed her mother in front of friends. When Eileen was eight, there was a stepfather who yelled and slapped her mother and the children, and then brought home gifts. Like her mother, Eileen has been divorced twice and has three children by two husbands who abused her and then abandoned the family.

Eileen's image of 'a loving heavenly father' is clearly distorted by her image of earthly fathers, who hurt those they love and then bring them gifts. Unwilling to step beyond her skewed perception of God, Eileen refuses to trust a heavenly "father" who might be like that. She believes her suspicions are confirmed by "joyless church people talk about a loving, merciful God, but live unhappy, worried lives."

Some perceive they have discovered a chinkin the consistency of the "God story" armor. They believe that "an angry Old Testament God" and "a loving New Testament God" prove the Bible and even God are inconsistent and flawed. Thus, they declare, "one cannot be held accountable for those standards." By abolishing God's standard, one declares themselves God, subject only to their logic. Ultimately, most of man's rationale for rejecting Bible truth is similarly motivated.

Such confusion is not of God or the Bible, but the wicked human heart (Jer 17:9). The Bible has not devised God, like a character in an epic novel. It reveals God and the special, loving, faith relationship he desires with every person. God has provided ample evidence of his divine existence and purpose, for all to believe him by faith. Men will never fully understand God (Num 23:19, I Cor 2:11). Still, God's justice and mercy are absolute and God-haters are without excuse or appeal (Rm 1:18-20).

Some speculate that God has changed to accommodate modern man."After all," one study concludes, "ninety-percent of man's knowledge was unknown even fifteen years ago." They ignore God's timeless, unchanging nature (Heb 13:8). A knowledge of men or human fathers, cannot help one understand God. Compared with God, man is like a toddler who believes that covering one's eyes, keeps others (or God) from seeing. Adam and Eve believed they could hide their sin from God with bushes and fig leaves (Gen 3:7-10). People still play 'peek-a-boo' with God, offering religious ritual instead of relationship (Is. 29:13, Mk.7:6). Neither God or mankind, or God's love for each person has changed. Sin, not time or Testaments, has always separated man from a loving, merciful, eternal God (2Cor 6:17-18).

God is the loving father Eileen has always desired, and can have, if she will only accept Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. He seeks, and will only accept, freely given love and relationship, offered in spirit and truth (Jn 4:23-24). God reveals the amazing depth of his love and freedom of relationship, to all who will remove the 'branches, leaves and hands' from their eyes. Like many, Eileen has instead choosen to reject God's love, mercy and forgiveness, and place herself in the path of justice and destruction (Act 13:46, John 3:18). That is neither God's will or choice. (#522)  

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