A difficult truth of modern westernized Christianity is that it is largely emotionless. Though it is true that this is not a monolithic reality, by in large, the mainstream church seems to reject the experiential knowledge that comes from knowing God from an observational knowledge. This “God on paper,” is less of a real personality, than he is a description of a real person. This is not the relationship that Paul had imagined for Christians. This type of stoic religion was exactly the opposite of what he had come from in the ranks of the Pharisees. This was also the type of religion that Jesus pushed against as he spoke of love for neighbors or chose to call God his father. Yet, many modern Christians only refer to God as their father in an “on paper” way. For many, love of their neighbor means toleration rather than affection combined with a longing to sacrifice on their behalf. God wants our knowledge of him to be more than that. He wants us to know he is our Father, but to feel comfortable calling him “Abba (Daddy in Hebrew).” Unfortunately, many come to be saved by God, but never realize that he saved us because he loved us in a deeply personal way. They do not allow, or even fathom how personal our salvation was to him, and so they never really access the depth of his love. Even the concept that he is a person with nuance and emotions is often left out of their reading of the text. This is particularly sad for him and sad for us because the same zeal to know God truly, that made them not open to experiencing God, has made it so they will never get to meaningfully know him. This is a sad irony.
Published by Josh McGary
MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary View more posts