God without Jesus

I think I have taken a wrong turning.

I have been thinking of Jesus as “the perfect human”, as the expression of humantity. With my focus on following Jesus, God became “everything else”. (a la Spinoza perhaps, but …) In practice “everything else” was the trials and tribulations that suffering humanity (i.e., me) is made to suffer. With this set up, I am not thinking of God as loving — all the “love” is in Jesus.

But:

– That is not very nice. I have set God against me, and my only role is, like Jesus, to suffer.

– The Scriptures — the Psalms, Prophets I have read like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea — do talk about God as loving. The relationship between God and humanity presented by the Prophets is definitely a stormy, loving relationship, passionate on both sides it seems.

– The Christian bloggers I read too describe a loving God. Their experience is clearly of a loving God, and it’s an experience that rings true — just not an experience I give myself.

So, I feel like I have taken a wrong turning somewhere.

Reading Faitheist recently I was thinking about humanism — both secular and religious — and about conceptions of the human.

Walking home from work one night, along the top of the hill, still light, it hits me that there are aspects of humanity that are not included (or at least not foregrounded) in (my conception of) Jesus. The aspects of humanity missing from “Jesus” could perhaps be found in “God”.

Or in other words, just as I have built myself a “God without Jesus”, I have also built a “Jesus without God”.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve always struggled with my perception of God, the Father, as well. I am grappling with it more than ever lately it seems. I feel as if Jesus continues to nudge me closer to the Father, even though I have felt more times than not that God is “intimidating” and “stoic.” I never really had a good relationship with my earthly father. I know that much of my hesitancy and inability to understand the love of the Father is because of not feeling totally loved by my earthly father. How can I understand something that I did not fully experience? It is a leap of faith, I suppose, that I need to take to recognize the heavenly Father’s love for me.

    So I’ve been trying to envision more of what God felt as the Father giving His Son to die for those who continued to sin and reject Him. I personally think that it would be easier to die myself than to let my sons die in front of me–even if for a good purpose. That reminds me that God’s love is nothing short of Christ’s love.

    I am continuing to pray for you, my friend. I have noticed a dropping off from engagement. But know that I am hopeful that you sense God’s love and mercy all around you and are continuing to read God’s word to get to know Him better! Merry Christmas!

    Reply

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