Which God Do You Worship?


A serious assessment of the God as spoken in the Old Testament and the God announced through Jesus reveals entirely different views of God. I am NOT suggesting we are speaking of different Gods, but yes, the emphasis of God dramatically changes with Jesus.
The God of the Old Testament is a God busy and concerned that people believe in Him, obey Him and when people are in error are punished: sometimes severely.
We see accounts where God destroys vast amounts of people at times, singlehandedly and on other occasions, ordered his Generals to kill every living creature: to include babies, women, and their animals.
Jesus portrays an entirely different God. We are not to fight, but to love. We are to pray, to love our enemy as our self. Jesus teaches a forgiving God, not one filled with wrath.
Apparently, where God’s character is constant, it is also apparent that God’s approach to people changed. Jesus speaks over and over and over about the love God has for us. Jesus teaches forgiveness, hope and above all else: FAITH.
Which God do you worship? Do we appeal to the facets of God as reveal in the Old Testament, or are we lured with Jesus to the New? Clearly, the two testaments do not overlap for Jesus changed our approach to the Almighty. Where the approach of the Old Testament was impossible as demonstrated by the history of God’s people, the approach through Jesus is extremely impossible for it requires even a greater task for obedience.
In the end, I choose God as he is revealed through his Son, the Christ. I choose love over justice, forgiveness over justice and grace as Jesus paid the full price to give us this gift.
Jesus declares a God of the living and one that is forward looking, not of the past, but of the here and now. I choose the reality of Jesus as the Son of the living God.

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3 thoughts on “Which God Do You Worship?

  1. Your post here is entirely logical and supported with biblical evidence. Fair enough. I find no fault with it as such.

    However, your post pits the OT God against the NT God as if they were not the same God. This is something the Bible itself does not do.

    It is possible that the Bible is a foolish book for fools, but that is not a biblical idea either.

    Is there a biblical context in which to frame these things so that they don’t cancel each other out? Is there a way, biblically speaking, that I don’t have to choose between OT God and NT God?

    I trust that there is, but I sense it is a new complexity to consider that will require careful critical analysis. I am certain platitudes and proof texts well not be enough. If I quote Hebrews 13:8 and walk away, I might be able to feel a bit smug about it, but it will not really address the matters you raise. But then I wonder if they should be raised, or if they should, HOW MUCH WEIGHT and WHAT KIND of importance should it have?

    Table that thought just a moment so I can give another example that has similar dynamics.

    I once wrote a blog post called THANK GOD FOR EVOLUTION. It was a snappy title alright, but it also raised important hermeneutical issues. My thesis was that since I was raised in a Pie-in-the-sky Christian faith, the only real use I ever had for the book of Genesis was to refute the Theory of Evolution. And that is the use it gets put to in 99% of the Bible studies I ever attended where it was the text under consideration. And the Bible study then bogged down in efforts to answer EVOLUTION, which, I guess, made us feel good about ourselves as Christians.

    But what was Genesis written for? I mean, before Charles Darwin and a few of his colleagues in the 1700’s and 1800’s came along, what were the Jews of antiquity and the Christians of Medieval times doing with Genesis? When King David went to Bible study and Genesis came up for discussion, what did they talk about? Was it EVOLUTION? OF course not. So what then? And should we be studying it the way they did?

    Thus I thanked God for Evolution because without it, I fear I might not have bothered with it much at all! At least using it to answer Evolution gave me some important exposure!

    Am I suggesting that Genesis should not be used to answer Evolution?

    No. Not exactly. I really cant find much value there, but it surely covers related issues – world origins – and that is important for some discussions in some places at some times. But I also illuminated, in making these observations, that Genesis could and should be read in other light so that other things can be pursued, and that should not be neglected! There are other contexts to set it in! Those contexts surely are more fruitful for faith.

    Now back to my answer to your post, only now informed by this unrelated example:

    Yes, I think there are other contexts in which to look at the OT God. I will not deny a strong prima facie case that the God of OT and of NT seem irreconcilable in the terms you highlight here. But there must be a deeper context that the NT appeals to in various places such as where it says “All Scripture is God Breathed and useful…” Where it calls Jesus a “Son of David” on one page and calls David a “Man after God’s own heart” on another. Such NT observations seem to trust the God of the OT even though it’s main feature (JESUS) offers us the perfect revelation of what God is like John tells us or like Hebrews 1:1-2 implies.

    I have ideas about cracking that nut too, but my response is too long already. I need to quit.

    Thanx for raising the tough questions, though. I think it is good to chew on these things rather than coast along pretending we really care about matters of faith while we really are just decorating our coffee tables with nifty best selling books.

    X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will attempt to answer your answer/response, briefly here and in other posts later. Numerous books such as in Chronicles and Numbers mention books of course, we don’t have. Jesus made a major statement about how the jews killed the prophets, and no, we have no biblical record of it. Paul spoke about it as well, apparently drawing on the words of Jesus in Matthew. Actually, what I purpose is that we as people see a complicated mystery as revealed in the bible. Yet, the OT is replete with judgments and at times, events that are hard to explain. Take the bears that killed the kids for making fun of ‘bald head’ for example.

    Nonetheless, I suggest our view of God has ‘evolved’ changing the most with Jesus. The Jews failed to comprehend the ‘sameness’ with the God Jesus speak of and the revelation that Jesus claimed himself as the son of man and also as the son of God which is not the same thing. I love your response and too, never feel anything I write is written in concrete. I merely attempt to get people to explore the scriptures and NOT rely on mindless doctrine.Thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen your blog a few times before… (thanx for having me), and I kinda figured you were challenging your readers to think.

      Yes. Your post definitely does that! And anyone who takes you serious needs to explore the scriptures and not rely on mindless doctrine (of which our world has plenty).

      I made friends with a guy in school a few years ago who after getting to know me began going to church (not with me, but prompted by the challenges some of our conversations had presented all the same) and then we got a job together at the same place. It afforded us the chance to talk all day long then, and we started reading a book of the Bible every night and returning the next day to discuss it. AND this unfolded in front of other staff (we worked in a factory doing mindless work). And then that seemed to impact the rest of the staff!

      Suddenly the others began realizing that we were finding things in the Bible they were entirely ignorant of, and there was a mix of jealousy turned to excitement when we began inviting others to join.

      Sadly that job ended for us after about a year, but it was ablast. Anyway, your post reminded me of that experience largely because my friend had never actually read Joshua before. When he came in to work the day after, he was stunned at all the blood and killing IN HONOR OF GOD! It actually shook him up. And as you can imagine, it got the whole factory talking and then reading!

      Thanx for the post!

      X

      Liked by 1 person

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