RE: The ‘Old Testament God’

Dear God,

I know this is strange, but I think it might be a good idea. It’s a way to get me to talk to you a bit more, and to think a bit more about you, and the things you’ve said. Of course, publishing letters to you online is a weird thing to do, and it kind of involves laying my heart and soul out for everyone to see… but I think I should do it anyway. I think it’s what you want.

I know people will think this is weird. People think believing in you is weird, nowadays. I know people like to pretend they’re all very tolerant and accepting, but I’ve been mocked more for being a Christian than some of my gay friends have been mocked for being gay.

Obviously, being mocked for either of those things is ridiculous. Being mocked for anything at all is ridiculous, really.

But for following and believing in a peaceful, loving God, and wanting to share the joy we get from that? I just don’t understand it. I really don’t.

Although, saying you’re peaceful is not necessarily true. I know that a big problem a lot of people have with the Christian faith is the bits of the Bible in which you aren’t peaceful, in which you don’t seem to be all-loving and merciful. The bits where you destroyed nations and kingdoms, where people died at your hands. The bits where you ‘trampled the nations’ (Habakkuk 3:12) and came to ‘make the land a desolation’ (Isaiah 13:9). The bits where you ‘send forth Your burning anger’ on us humans.

I don’t deny these things. I don’t deny that the Bible is full of your anger, your power, and your might. The Old Testament is a tribute to these things. To the way in which you deal with those who disobey and disrespect you. I have friends who specify if they’re swearing on the name of ‘the Old Testament God, the one who throws fireballs at people’ or ‘the nice, New Testament God’.

But The Old Testament is also a tribute to the way in which you protect and nurture those who follow you, who obey you, and who love you. Those who are for You, those who are for God – no harm comes to them. It is only ever where people go against your word and teaching that you act in anger, and it is always after warning, always when the situation is at the worst it could be – it’s never on a whim that you act violently, it’s when it’s truly necessary – and even then, there is always a chance given.

 

People know of the story of the flood – of the time you pushed reset on the earth, and sent floodwaters that killed everyone but Noah and his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law.

And this is seen as an act of aggression, violence, anger, and injustice.

And yet what was the state of earth? The state of earth was that Noah, and Noah alone was righteous. The rest of the world, the rest of the human race? ‘Everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil’ (Genesis 6:5). Consistently, and totally evil. Every single thing that every single person thought was evil –  was murderous, or violent, or inhumane, or otherwise despicable, and against the goodness and joy that you, God, wished for us.

Yes, sending a flood to destroy humanity as it was known was drastic. Yes, it was an act that was violent.

But it was also an act of love, and of service. You knew that these people were living so entirely in anger and selfishness and violence that there was no goodness left in their hearts. They were consistently and totally evil.

By wiping out the people that were so corrupted by evil, you gave humanity a chance. Left to themselves, these people would have wound up destroying their entire race anyway.

But you gave humanity a fresh start.  A new chance, without evil, to build a nation and society and a people of goodness and of God.

 

The act was of violence. The act caused the deaths of thousands (probably, we don’t quite know). But it was act that freed humanity. That gave everyone after a chance, a hope. Living in a society in which every thought is totally evil is not something you wished for your children that were to come, and it is not something I would wish on anyone, either.

So, for all the damage that it did – thank you, God. For the acts of violence that pinprick our history and yours, and that I know you would never commit unless they were ultimately for good.

And yet, people do have issue with you and your actions – because we do not all have morals that align. But God, I believe you are real, and perfect, and wise, and loving, and that you would never act against humanity – because even though we may fail to see your reasoning, I have no doubt that it is flawless.

 

As always, with love,

From,

Mima

One thought on “RE: The ‘Old Testament God’

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