When you read that, what came into your mind? When you think about God, what do you think about? It’s good and nice you believe in God, but which one?
Is it anything like a grandpa god? Out of the numerous view people hold about what God is like, this one seems to top the list.
“Let me introduce you to god. (Note the lowercase g.)
You might want to lower your voice a little before we go in. He might be sleeping now. He’s old, you know, and doesn’t much understand or like this ‘newfangled’ modern world. His golden days—the ones he talks about when you really get him going—were a long time ago, before most of us were even born. That was back when people cared what he thought about things, and considered him pretty important to their lives.
Of course all that’s changed now, though, and god—poor fellow—just never adjusted very well. Life’s moved on and passed him by. Now, he spends most of his time just hanging in the garden out back. I go there sometimes to see him, and there we tarry, walking and talking softly and tenderly among the roses. . . .
Anyway, a lot of people still like him, it seems—or at least he manages to keep his poll numbers pretty high. And you’d be surprised how many people even drop by to visit and ask for things every once in a while. But of course that’s alright with him. He’s here to help.
Thank goodness, all the crankiness you read about sometimes in his old books—you know, having the earth swallow people up, raining fire down on cities, that sort of thing—all that seems to have faded in his old age. Now he’s just a good-natured, low-maintenance friend who’s really easy to talk to—especially since he almost never talks back, and when he does, it’s usually to tell me through some slightly weird “sign” that what I want to do regardless is alright by him. That really is the best kind of friend, isn’t it?
You know the best thing about him, though? He doesn’t judge me. Ever, for anything. Oh sure, I know that deep down he wishes I’d be better—more loving, less selfish, and all that—but he’s realistic. He knows I’m human and nobody’s perfect. And I’m totally sure he’s fine with that. Besides, forgiving people is his job. It’s what he does. After all, he’s love, right? And I like to think of love as “never judging, only forgiving.” That’s the god I know. And I wouldn’t have him any other way.
Alright, hold on a second. . . . Okay, we can go in now. And don’t worry, we don’t have to stay long. Really. He’s grateful for any time he can get.”
Do you worship the grandpa god? The god of smiles, hugs, and Hallmark cards? May we all shed off unworthy views of God, as the one above, and come to God’s Word to learn of who God actually is. He is not silent. He is not pathetic.
Greg Gilbert, What is the Gospel? (Wheaton, 2010), pages 37-38. This is an easy to read book about the Gospel that gives a great introduction to the gospel and the God of the gospel, I highly recommend it. Also, check out this book, or this one, or this study for newer Christians.