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Lies That Make God Seem Un Lovable - Religion - Nairaland

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Lies That Make God Seem Un Lovable by losprince(m): 11:09am On Jul 20, 2014
Religious lies repeated for generations make
God seem unlovable and far away. How do we
know that God is not distant or cruel?



The Struggle to Love God
“‘You must love Jehovah your God
with your whole heart and with your
whole soul and with your whole
mind.’ This is the greatest and first
commandment.” —Jesus Christ, 33 C.E.
*
Some people find it difficult to love God. To
them, God seems unfathomable, distant, or
even cruel. Consider the following expressions:
“I prayed to God for help, but at the same
time, I felt that he was far away, almost
unreachable. To me, God was an abstract
entity without feelings.”— Marco, Italy.
“Although I sincerely wanted to serve God,
he seemed so far off. I thought he was a
harsh God who only punishes us. I didn’t
believe that he had tender feelings.”— Rosa,
Guatemala.
“As a child, I believed that God was
searching for our mistakes, ready to punish
us if we deserved it. Later, I saw him as
aloof. God was like a prime minister who
manages the affairs of the people he leads
—but who is not really interested in them.”
—Raymonde, Canada.
What do you think? Is God unlovable?
Christians have raised that question for
centuries. In fact, during the Middle Ages,
most inhabitants of Christendom did not even
pray to Almighty God. Why not? People were
in morbid fear of him. Historian Will Durant
put it this way: “How could a simple sinner
dare to take his prayer to so awful and distant
a throne?”
How did God come to be viewed as “awful and
distant”? What does the Bible really teach
about God? Can learning the truth about God
help you to love him?

Re: Lies That Make God Seem Un Lovable by losprince(m): 11:10am On Jul 20, 2014
The Lie That Made God
Nameless


WHAT MANY BELIEVE
“We have gained no consensus as to whether
we can even speak of ‘the’ name of God, and if
so, what that name might be.”—Professor
David Cunningham, Theological Studies.
THE TRUTH FROM THE BIBLE
God said: “I am Jehovah. That is my
name.” (Isaiah 42:8 ) Jehovah is a Hebrew
name that means “He Causes to Become.”—
Genesis 2:4 , footnote.
Jehovah wants us to use his name. “Call upon
his name,” states the Bible. “Make known
among the peoples his dealings. Make
mention that his name is put on high.”— Isaiah
12:4 .
Jesus used God’s name. In prayer, Jesus told
Jehovah: “I have made your name known to
them [Jesus’ disciples] and will make it
known.” Why did Jesus make the divine name
known to his disciples? He continued: “In
order that the love with which you [God] loved
me may be in them and I in union with them.”
—John 17:26 .
WHY IT MATTERS
“A man who does not know God by name does
not really know him as a person,” wrote
theologian Walter Lowrie, “and he cannot love
him, if he knows him only as an impersonal
force.”
A man named Victor
attended church
weekly, but he did not
feel that he really knew
God. “Then I learned
that God’s name is
Jehovah, and it was
like an official
introduction to him,” he
says. “I felt as though I
had finally met the One about whom I had
heard so much. I came to see him as a real
Person and to develop a friendship with him.”
Jehovah, in turn, draws close to humans who
use his name. Regarding “those thinking upon
his name,” God promises: “I will show
compassion upon them, just as a man shows
compassion upon his son who is serving
him.” (Malachi 3:16, 17 ) God also rewards
those who call upon his name. The Bible says:
“Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah
will be saved.”— Romans 10:13 .

Re: Lies That Make God Seem Un Lovable by losprince(m): 11:10am On Jul 20, 2014
The Lie That Made God
a Mystery


WHAT MANY BELIEVE
The Christian religion “in its three classic
forms of Roman Catholicism, Eastern
Orthodoxy, and Protestantism acknowledges
one God in three Persons: God the Father, God
the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. According to
Christian theology, this acknowledgment is not
a recognition of three gods but that these
three persons are essentially one.”— The New
Encyclopædia Britannica.
THE TRUTH FROM THE BIBLE
Jesus, the Son of God, never claimed to be
equal to or of the same substance as his
Father. Rather, he said: “I am going my way
to the Father, because the Father is greater
than I am.” ( John 14:28 ) He also told one of
his followers: “I am ascending to my Father
and your Father and to my God and your
God.”— John 20:17 .
The holy spirit is not a person. Early
Christians “became filled with holy spirit,” and
Jehovah said: “I shall pour out some of my
spirit upon every sort of flesh.” (Acts
2:1-4, 17 ) The holy spirit is not part of a
Trinity. It is God’s active force.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Trinity, explain Catholic scholars Karl
Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler, “could not be
known without revelation, and even after
revelation cannot become wholly intelligible.”
Can you really love someone who is
impossible to know or understand? The
doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, is a barrier to
knowing and loving God.
Marco, quoted in an earlier article, saw the
Trinity as a barrier. “I thought God was hiding
his identity from me,” he says, “and that just
made him even more distant, mysterious, and
unapproachable.” However, “God is not a God
of confusion.” (1 Corinthians 14:33 , American
Standard Version) He has not hidden his
identity from us. He wants us to know him.
Jesus said: “We worship what we know.”—
John 4:22 .
“When I learned that God is not part of a
Trinity,” says Marco, “I was finally able to
establish a personal relationship with him.” If
we view Jehovah as a distinct Person rather
than a mysterious stranger, it is far easier to
love him. “He that does not love has not come
to know God,” says the Bible, “because God is
love.”— 1 John 4:8 .

Re: Lies That Make God Seem Un Lovable by losprince(m): 11:13am On Jul 20, 2014
The Lie That Made God
Cruel


WHAT MANY BELIEVE
“Immediately after death the souls of those
who die in a state of mortal sin descend into
hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell,
‘eternal fire.’” (Catechism of the Catholic
Church) Some religious leaders say that hell is
a state of complete isolation and separation
from God.
THE TRUTH FROM THE BIBLE
“The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.”
( Ezekiel 18:4 ) The dead “are conscious of
nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5 ) If the soul
dies and is unconscious, how could it suffer
“eternal fire” or even the pain of everlasting
separation from God?
In the Bible, the Hebrew and Greek words often
translated “hell” actually refer to the common
grave of mankind. For example, when Job
suffered a painful illness, he prayed: “I wish
you would hide me in my grave [“in hell,”
Douay-Rheims Version ].” ( Job 14:13 , Holy
Bible—Easy-to-Read Version) Job wanted to
rest, not in a place of torment or alienation
from God, but in the grave.
WHY IT MATTERS
Cruelty does not endear us to God; it repels
us. “From infancy I was taught the doctrine of
hellfire,” says Rocío, who lives in Mexico. “I
was so terrified that I could not imagine that
God had any good qualities. I thought that he
was angry and intolerant.”
The Bible’s clear statements about God’s
judgments and the condition of the dead
changed the way Rocío viewed God. “I felt free
—that a big emotional burden had been lifted
off me,” she says. “I began to trust that God
wants the best for us, that he loves us, and
that I can love him. He is like a father who
takes his children by the hand and wants the
best for them.”— Isaiah 41:13 .
Many have striven to be pious out of fear of
hellfire, but God does not want you to serve
him because you are terrified of him. Rather,
Jesus said: “You must love Jehovah your
God.” (Mark 12:29, 30 ) Moreover, when we
realize that God does not act unjustly today,
we can trust his future judgments too. Like
Job’s friend Elihu, we can confidently say:
“Far be it from the true God to act wickedly,
and the Almighty to act unjustly.”— Job 34:10

Re: Lies That Make God Seem Un Lovable by losprince(m): 11:23am On Jul 20, 2014
The Truth Can Set You
Free


One day, in Jerusalem, Jesus was talking
about his Father, Jehovah, and exposing the
false religious leaders of his day. ( John
8:12-30 ) What he stated on that occasion
teaches us how to examine popular beliefs
about God today. Jesus said: “If you remain in
my word, you are really my disciples, and you
will know the truth, and the truth will set you
free.”— John 8:31, 32 .
“Remain in my word.” Here Jesus sets the
standard for evaluating whether religious
teachings are “the truth.” When you hear a
statement about God, ask yourself, ‘Does this
harmonize with Jesus’ words and the rest of
the Holy Scriptures?’ Imitate those who heard
the apostle Paul speak and who were
“carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to
whether these things [the things they were
learning] were so.”— Acts 17:11 .
Marco, Rosa, and Raymonde, all quoted in the
first article of this series, carefully examined
their beliefs by studying the Bible with
Jehovah’s Witnesses. What did they learn?
Marco: “Our Bible teacher used
the Scriptures to answer every
question my wife and I had. Our
love for Jehovah started to grow,
and we also grew closer as
husband and wife!”
Rosa: “At first, I thought that the
Bible was nothing more than a
book of philosophy that attempts
to explain God using human
reasoning. Gradually, however, I
found the Bible’s answers to my
questions. Now, Jehovah is real to
me. He is Someone whom I can
trust.”
Raymonde: “I prayed to God for
help to learn about him. Soon
thereafter, my husband and I
started to study the Bible. Finally,
we learned the truth about
Jehovah! We were overjoyed to
discover the kind of God he is.”
The Bible does far more than simply expose
lies about God; it reveals the truth about his
appealing qualities. It is his inspired Word,
and it helps us to “know the things that have
been kindly given us by God.” ( 1 Corinthians
2:12 ) Why not see for yourself how the Bible
can answer common yet fundamental
questions about God, his purpose, and our
future? Read the answers to some of these
questions under “Bible Teachings > Bible
Questions Answered” at www.jw.org. You can
also request a Bible study on that Web site or
from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are
confident that if you do, you will find God
easier to love than you ever thought possible.

Re: Lies That Make God Seem Un Lovable by losprince(m): 11:32am On Jul 20, 2014

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