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by Tony Creech on Friday, October 31, 2008

>The problem with saying almost anything about God, is that God won’t fit properly into almost anything that can ever be said.
what i mean is, you say God is ‘merciful’, and the guy to your left says “but he is also just“, because to SAY that he is merciful somehow cutts him down to only that trait, and whenever you hear someone saying that, you automatcally start thinking “yeah, but”.
people who say “yeah, but” to everything are annoying as hell.
i know, i’ve been one of them, and i know them.
you start to say “God has been showing me that he is like ‘this’, and they say “but he’s also like that

maybe this happens because God is not like us, he is ultimate.

if someone says “bob is nice” i’m not dumb enough to think that bob is ALWAYS nice, but that merely in general, bob is nice.
Since God is an eternal being, and since i’m kinda locked into agreement with the way the ancient greeks talked about God, i tend to picture him having immutatble qualities, like never lying.
so if he is something, its not ‘in general’, its ‘eternal.’

try to slip past a pastor that God is love, but only ‘in general’.
“in general God is a loving guy”

because whatever trait you tack onto God must extend into eternity and a trait he can’t have one second or another, its really hard to talk about him being only one thing.
if someone in a group is learning that God is ‘calling us to obedience’, someone else is learning the God ‘accepts them the way they are, and calling them to hear that he simply loves them’

so, when you say God is wrathful, your friend will say “but he’s also happy with us”

and we all grow weary of giving preludes to all our comments on God saying “listen, i know that God is wrathful and just, and that he asks us to follow Jesus and that he loves a contrite heart, but he has been showing me that he smiles at me today, even though i feel like a horrible sinner”

what a mouthful, when you just want to say that God is happy.

maybe i’m wrong, since we do react funny when someone says “mike is nice” and in our minds we are thinking of how much a jerk mike can be and we toss out “but he can also be a jerk”
but maybe that’ different.

maybe we should see God as a changing person when it comes to certain qualities.
maybe it’d be better to say “God is patient, but don’t piss him off”
or to say that “God loves us, in general” and leave open the implication that sometimes it changes.
it becomes hard to hold the two truths taught in the ancient scriptures that
1. God hates sinners (read the Psalms) and
2. God loves sinners.

can we just say “sometimes God loves sinners and sometimes he hates them”?

its seems wrong to go there.

we want a simple rule- “God loves sinners always” end of story.

if only the Bible and God both would just stop doing their own thing and just follow the simple rules we’d like to impose on them.

i think maybe its not as simple as “sometimes” with God, but that he has this eternal qualities that show up in or world in ways we can only read but as changing, or fickle.

I think this blog goes into the category of things i’ll read lately and realize i didn’t communicate it properly , or that i’m like “no no, thats all wrong” about.
thats what happens when you think about something, then right about it later. you end up writing when you’re NOT thinking and how can that ever be good?

Tony Creech
anthony thomas creech is Founder of Citadel Magazine. He's a marketing executive, filmmaker, screenwriter, columnist, and university lecturer on film, audio, media, and faith. You can find him at thecreechleague.com
4 Comments
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  • Isaac Gross
    Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 5:38 am

    >This is good stuff. I do the same thing. I hate having to preface everything, but then I force others to do the same.

    He is like an eel, just when you think you have him, he slips away.

    Thanks.

  • lanagummeson
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    >When the word says two things that seemingly contradict one another – I call that ‘parallel truths’ that thought they seem to – never intersect or negate the other and are both true in the same time and space. I can’t wrap my head around it anymore than that.

    I’m just human.

    did you know that already about me?

  • ruthi
    Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    >ah tony creech. i miss coffee and talks… and random tangents. and long rants about mormonism. reading writing is nice, talking in person is better. alas, it’ll suffice.

  • Blaine
    Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 2:04 am

    >Wow. Thanks Tony, It feels so good to just let God be God, and we can just listen and believe.

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