My heart says no. To be accepted, I must perform. But my performance is never enough. I’m not enough and neither is the god I imagine. Instead of a loving and generous Father, I envisage a slave-master: tight-fisted and ineffectual.
Why does it matter who I think God is? Because what I believe about Him, determines whether or not we have a relationship. It’s one thing to have a loving Father. It’s another to be disciplined into submission.
At Sunday school we learn that God is Big. This is true – but if He’s just Big or omnipotent or truthful, then He’s a collection of attributes and not personal. An enormous police-man, threatening and far away.
Don’t get me wrong. As an evangelistic strategy, this seems to work. People can be scared into God’s kingdom. But what are we saved for? Works of grudging service? Safety-first religion? Moralism? Pretence? I might be scared of this God, but I won’t ever love Him. In fact, I might hate him instead. He sees me and He knows me – but it’s a threat, not a promise. Christianity becomes one more demand in a life that’s already buckling.
For a brilliant talk on meeting and loving the real God – listen to Mike Reeves, here.