Posted by: everynation | March 14, 2009

Deconstructing a Simple Idea: “God Loves Me”

walter-walkerby Walter Walker

Christians who only talk about their faith with other like-minded Christians gradually adopt language that is loaded with deep meaning. But if those concepts are not unpacked and examined every now and then, you eventually forget what you are talking about.

For example, it would not be uncommon to hear a Christian casually say to another Christian, “Of course, we believe in the incarnation.”

What do you mean by “Of course?” Was it that easy?

Dr. Gordon Fee, professor of something or another at Regent University, while talking about the birth of Christ, said (in effect), “If you have never struggled with the idea of incarnation, it is probably because you’ve never been made aware of the difficulties that idea presents. And if you’d never worked though the difficulties associated with the incarnation, you are very unlikely to appreciate the absolute wonder of it.”

When faith is unchallenged or unexamined, it eventually becomes superficial in our minds and less meaningful in our hearts. That’s why one of the easiest places to backslide is in an exclusively Christian community, and why faith often becomes more meaningful and alive when confronted with doubt.

Recently, I was listening to a sermon on a simple topic: “God loves us.” Frankly, I was a little bored with the sermon, and so I started jotting down some thoughts, deconstructing a simple and common concept: that God loves me.

First of all, you have to believe there is a god. Harder, I think to disprove than to prove.

Secondly, the opposite of love is not hate; it is apathy or the absence of emotion. It is one thing to believe that God is intelligent. Intelligent design requires an intelligent designer. But it’s something else altogether to believe a god that big and that powerful knows and cares at all about what is going with human beings. i.e. , that God is personal and emotional

Thirdly, you have to believe not only that God cares about humans but that god is capable of being attentive to, knowledgeable of, and caring for about each one of 7 billion people simultaneously.

Then fourthly, there’s that most uncomfortable part about a perfectly holy god and our sin.

You can easily deconstruct the structure of this concept even further.

Eventually, I thought, “Good Lord! This not at all a simple thing!” In fact, no one is going logically work their way though the obstacles in order to find themselves believing that there is a god, that this God loves; that God loves people; that God love them individually, that God loves them personally despite of their sin; that God so loved that He gave His only son…. That is a big hill of faith to climb. However, that is precisely what people come to know without doubt by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Like the old hymn, “The wonder of it all, the wonder of it all; just to think that God loves me!”

Walter Walker is the Director of Communications and Donor Relations of Youth Life Learning Center and is the author of   Walter’s Blog.

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