Friday, September 10, 2010


"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear?" - Malachi

Ummm, I've been neglecting writing for the past couple of weeks because I'm up to something: namely, hating God. My parents instilled in me that hate is a strong term, and I wouldn't normally admit it's the way I feel about God, but my actions betray me.

I could go on about how I haven't read my Bible in a couple of weeks and how I've neglected spiritual disciplines and how I'm basically not getting this whole Christian thing right. But there's something going on in me that's deeper, or more deep-seated in the fibers of who I am. There's a deep seated restlessness within me that has me running towards anything and everything but my heavenly father.

Now before you give me a call or lay hands on your computer (I know most of you who read this wouldn't do that anyway) I felt freed to write this morning as I read a Puritan prayer in The Valley of Vision (a book my parents gave me that I highly recommend for it's honesty). In it the Puritan "saint" prays that God would rescue him from his habitual hatred towards God. So I figured if a Puritan can admit to hating God, so can I.

Why do I hate God? What makes me want to distance myself from my Father and basically has me "whoring" after everything else I can get my hands on? For me, there's a deep-seated restlessness in what I perceive as God's plan for my life. I mean who isn't restless when we know that God's plan will include suffering, pain, persecution, and ultimately death to ourselves?

As a friend of mine once said, "We wriggle under the thumb of God." I agree, and I don't just wriggle, I also kick, bite and claw (for you nail-biters out there, this is a good reason to not bite your nails). I fight hard because I don't believe that God's plan for me lies in his loving presence and his reality.

I wonder, if I was to break down my perspective on reality into percentages, what percent my recognition of God actually being real (not to mention loving, holy and immenent) would be? My guess it would be pretty slim. I'm no financiere (I don't even know how to spell it) but my guess is it's not the kind of percent of interest I'd take for a savings account.

So is there biblical warrant for this state I find myself in? Or should I simply pray a prayer of repentance, ask for the Holy Spirit and be healed with a quick slap to the forhead?

I do think there is biblical warrant for accepting that I am a "God-hater." Of course the reality is that I love my Father as well. But how am I to reconcile the two? I'm finding that I simply can't. Like the prodigal son, there's nothing I can do but run home.

But do you ever get tired of this sanctification mumbo-jumbo. Running away, running back, running away, running back... (And the truth is we don't really run back do we, it's more like being dragged). I know I get tired of it. Malachi echoes my sentiment, "But you say, 'What a weariness this is,' and you snort at it.'" And here's where I think I've stumbled into a lie that makes my hatred for God grow: I believe that my sanctification depends on me.

Just like the Jews in Malachi, I'm doing my duty with a dead heart. Why? Because I consistently doubt the three-fold reality of God, my state and his cross (a friend brought this to light yesterday). I don't see any of them for what they are: To me God is a being who is distant and demanding, I'm really not such a bad guy - or at least with a little work I'll get it together, and the cross, well the cross is something that happened a long long time ago.

But the truth is that God's righteousness is all this good stuff way beyond the best I can imagine. My sin is more horrificly deep than I would ever dare admit on a blog - even "hating God" doesn't really cut it. And the cross? In the cross we see everything: God's righteousness revealed in an individual who took a bunch of ragamuffin, God-hating, grumbling, hopelessly blind and broken individuals and championed their freedom by taking their place.

My "God-hate" was nailed to the cross at a real point in real time by a real God. God in Jesus became my hatred and was annihilated because of it.

In light of this, why am I caught up in trying to be a good Christian? This is the way I think: if I can only believe this reality, I will truly repent and fall into the hands of my lover-God (hear how this reflects my unbelief?). Then I'll be filled with the Holy Spirit without needing the charismatic slap on the forehead.

The truth is, whether I believe it or not, God went through hell for me. So my faith rests not in the strength of my belief but in what's really real (thank you Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace). God's resurrected life now lives in me and he will work in me his perfect righteousness because this is HIS promise, not mine. And God keeps his promises to God-haters.

No comments: