I’ve rejected that god too.

rejected godMost of the time, when I talk to someone about the god that they have rejected, it turns out that I’ve rejected that god too.  You know, the god of fear and closed-mindedness.  The god of rejection and shame.  The god that supports oppression, injustice, and bullying.  The god that calls people to violence.  The god that uses religion and ritual as a way to pacify the masses, or line the pockets of the powerful.  The god that demands right choices lest I be punished with eternal torment.  I’ve rejected that god too.   Unfortunately, there are many people that have only been told about that god, and so they have walked away.  I want to tell you about the God that I worship.

The God I worship loves me.  God loves me for all my failures, imperfections, and bad choices.  God loves me just as I am, and is working with me to grow into what I could be.   God has picked me up, dusted me off, and reminded me that I am not junk. I am God’s.  God uses my weakness for strength, and has replaced my shame with grace.

The God I worship wants me to love my neighbor as myself.  God wants me to work for justice and act with kindness.  God wants me to be vulnerable to others, not because God wants me to be weak, but because it is impossible to love without first being vulnerable.

The God I worship wants me to love God with all my heart, mind, and strength.  God wants me to expand my mind.  God wants me to challenge, for it is in challenging that we may grow.  God wants me to look to the stars and wonder, explore, and dream about what is possible.  God wants me to know not just the words of the Bible, but to know the heart of the Word.  God wants my whole self, not just my Sunday self.

Today I saw my daughter enter a room.  My heart leaped.  I put my arms out and hoped beyond hope that she would see me and come.  I wanted to see her smile.  I wanted to make her laugh.  I wanted to embrace and make her know that she was loved.  That is how God looks at each of us, and even that is insufficient to describe God’s love.

This is the God I have found.  Perhaps I should say more accurately, this is the God that has found me.  This is the God for which I live and breathe.  This is the God to whom I testify.  This is the God whom I fail time and again, but who is willing to stick with me. This is the God of good news, the God of grace, mercy, and justice.  I don’t blame or fault anyone for walking away from god.  Odds are, I’ve walked away from that god too.  All I can do is show you, tell you, demonstrate to you, and live out the love that is in me.

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20 responses to “I’ve rejected that god too.

  1. Beautifully said! I have rejected that god myself….My God is love.

  2. “This is the God I have found.”

    I’ve rejected that god too.

    Or rather, don’t believe that god exists. Assuming those statements amount to the same thing.

  3. Leonard Sweet once said that God is the ultimate dumpster diver, reaching into the trash can, pulling us out, and saying, “Hey, I can USE that!”

  4. shrinkingknitter1951

    It seems we have the same God … and for that I’m eternally grateful.

  5. Willie, that’s funny. I’ve never read Sweet (though I’ve been told that I should), and I once used the show American Pickers as a metaphor for God in a sermon, and I was thinking about that when I wrote this blog.

  6. NotaScientist – I’m not one either, but I love learning about it. I’ll have to check out your blog. As for your comment, I think that is why I was using god and God. I think the other god exists, but only in perceptions and misconceptions. It is not the One True God. Worshiping that god is just another form of idolatry.

  7. Shrinkingknitter – Amen.

  8. Toni – Thanks, and Amen!

  9. Okay.

    I was just saying, whatever god you happen to be talking about…Capitalized or not…that’s one of the many gods I don’t believe in.

    And if someone ever asks me what god I don’t believe them, I turn it around on them, because it isn’t for me to define what god is, any more than it is for me to define what bigfoot is. You tell me what you believe, and I’ll tell you whether I share that belief or not, and why.

  10. I agree, all I can do is tell you what I believe, and if you share that belief fine, if not, that’s fine too. I’m not into convincing anyone that they are wrong or right. I just proclaim the truth as I have experienced it.

  11. Ben Moushon

    Reblogged this on Thinking & Driving.

  12. Patti M

    I appreciate this message, especially the analogy about your love for your daughter and God’s love for us. When I received my first diagnosis of breast cancer (left side) in 1994 my husband left and I became a single parent. I was pretty freaked out and so very worried about what would happen to my daughters, if I was to die. I finally felt peace during one of my private, praying & crying and stressing sessions. All of a sudden, I realized that as much as I love my girls, my Heavenly Fathers loves them even more. At that instant I knew that one way or another, my girls would be okay. I honestly think the Holy Spirit whacked me upside the head with that “aha moment,” because I was so deep in fear of leaving them behind. I’m sure it was a love tap! Hah!
    5 years later, I had a second primary diagnosis of breast cancer on the right side. Undergoing a second mastectomy and chemo, my faith and trust in God helped me through. Now, after 12 years, I have a tumor on my kidney and my oldest daughter is going to have my first grandchild any day. I am doing my best to hold on to the the faith in who my Heavenly Father truly is, to get through the upcoming surgery. It makes me sad for people who don’t have faith, for people who don’t know the God I believe in. His love is what sees me through. I don’t know how people without confidence in that God can get through the dark nights and scary curcumstances! What do they have to hold on to for confidence and comfort? Nothing that’s true!
    Keep on writing and sharing! You are a blessing to many. Thanks! Patti

  13. Patti M

    Ok, so much for my proofreading skills! That should be singular. Heavenly Father, not Fathers. Hopefully it didn’t distract from my point! Thanks again.

  14. Thank you for this beautiful post! It’s a variation on something I’ve preached many times, but you put it so much better!

    I thought it was interesting, the discussion above about God vs. god, and whether either is real. It’s my personal belief that we all believe in at least one god, we all worship something. If it’s not God, then it might be reason, or science or the self. I even know people who I’m pretty sure worship professional sports. Human beings seem to never tire of finding new gods. It seems to be that in our search for God we often find lots of substitutes that don’t demand as much from us as God. “god” will always be for me that which we ascribe ultimate truth to, and we worship our gods in many ways that have to do with how we let that ultimate truth inform our lives. I’m very blessed to worship God, who has all the attribues you mention in this post. Mostly, I’m blessed to worship a God who, unlike most gods, is bigger and better than me, leads me to focus on others rather than myself, and calls the very best from me.

    Thank you again!

  15. Richard D

    Toni S. you took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you

  16. Raji the Green Witch

    The God you speak of is the God of the Pagans, the Witches, the Hindus the god of ALL of us. We ALL seek the one who accepts us for who we are and not what others WANT us to be. The god YOU speak of does not crave worship and honor but, rather seeks unconditional love for THAt is what that god so willingly gives to each and every single thing that exists and ever DId exist and ever WILL exist. the God you speak of is NOT the God of the Bible for that book limits it and restricts it to only ONE tiny segment of humans. The God you speak of is the god of ALL and has NO hatred nor judgment at all for that God KNOWS that it is we, ourselves, who serve as the judge of our own lives. We condemn ourselves or reward ourselves and the God you speak of, is there to tell us to NOT be so harsh with ourselves and to actually LOVE ourselves and leanr from our mistakes and our weaknesses. this God knows that we make our OWN Heaven or Hell by how we look at ourselves and does not judge us at all but merely loves and accepts us.

  17. Dennis H

    Just one more god to go and you’ll be free of all imaginary friends. The same way you reject Zeus, do so with all others.

  18. Thank you FP for putting into words what I knew in my heart. You are a blessing to everyone that reads your blog. …even those that don’t yet realize they have been blessed.

  19. Paul

    I am on the verge of rejecting God completely. It’s not something that happened overnight, it took a long time coming. Five years, in fact. Well probably more like ten, though it has been the last five that really put the tin hat on it. There’s lots of reasons why people ultimately reject God: the state of the world, theodicy, the Bible, etc. For me, my faith was incinerated in the furnace of severe depression and mental anxiety. I just realized God wasn’t in control at all. I feel completely alone and very frightened at times. I cry every single day (privately, of course). The words ‘God loves you’ are just words to me. Meaningless words that I see no evidence of whatsoever. That’s why I realized I can no longer put my faith in God or his ministers. Instead, I’ll put my faith in the medical profession in the hope it can help me, because it really is the last throw of the dice. God has done nothing to help, despite my prayers

    I, on the other hand, have done plenty to help God and his church. I have been a church organist for over twenty years. I did recitals for free in God’s churches (both Catholic and Anglican). Despite breaking my hip and having kidney failure which resulted in five years on dialysis, I remained a church organist, though large gaps in my attendance started to appear. In 2012, I eventually gained a transplant and for a while I stupidly believed I was over the worse and could start to enjoy life. But in August 2013 I began to have strange experiences. I initially thought they were spiritual experiences, but now I realize it was a full blown mental breakdown I was going through. It was horrible at times, and I went through it all completely alone. Even my parents turned on me. It was at this time that I realized God doesn’t exist, that it was silly to believe that he did. In the last few weeks, as my suffering plumbed new depths I hadn’t experienced before, the organ at church broke down and has still not been repaired ( it’s a pipe organ). It has become the catalyst for a complete rejection of everything I formerly believed in, and I have resolved to make a clean break now. On Monday I see the doctor. I intend to tell him everything. It will be very hard, upsetting and dispiriting to admit I am a weak man who can no longer cope with life, but it might get better results than praying to a God who clearly doesn’t exist.

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