God Lite

We may wish for a God of love without law, but we would not want what our wishes would give.
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Sometime ago I was speaking at a conference for singles in Texas. In the evening there was a discussion session in which the question of sexual ethics came up. Asked to share what I believed the Bible taught on the subject, I said it was my understanding that the Bible taught fidelity within marriage or abstinence outside it.

When I finished, a man challenged what I had said. He said he did not believe in a God who would impose those kinds of limitations, or even penalties, on the experience of sex. He then proceeded to tell me and the group what kind of God he did believe in—a God of love and not law, as he called it. He succeeded in putting into words something many people want to believe, although not many will be as brave as he was to say it in public.

My Kind Of God

If I were sitting in a seance and listening to witches talk of calling up spirits from the dead, it would not matter to me very much what kind of spirits they thought they might get, but it would matter a great deal what kind of spirits actually showed up.

I feel similarly about statements that begin, “The kind of God I believe in …” How often have we heard people say that, or said it ourselves? It is a funny thing to say when you think about it.

If God exists, then presumably God can make his desires known; if God does not exist, then there are, of course, no rules in the universe. But either way, it does not make much difference what kind of God we might like to believe in. For God—at least the God of the Bible—is not a product of the human mind, nor does our opinion of God change God’s nature. Nevertheless, people like the man in Texas keep talking as though it did. “The kind of God I believe in …” ...

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