God Isn’t Safe – But He’s Good

We’ve turned God’s mercy into niceness. We’ve turned God’s wrath into tyranny. We’ve made God in our image. You see the Biblical God is dangerous, but He’s good. He shakes me from my complacency. He’s more than a god who helps me win my golf game or helps me get a great parking place at the mall. God cannot be reduced to that! He is about making you whole and holy, confronting your sin, knocking you down, standing you back up again, calling your name, and winning your heart so that you will align with His broad purposes for our world. “Course He isn’t safe.” said one of C.S. Lewis’s characters in Narnia.

But it’s the only God that would be worth dying for. God doesn’t tap the window pain with his cane and says to those who flaunt His Tender Boundaries: “Go away. Shoo! You’re getting close to the edge” and sometimes they back away from the edge and sometimes they don’t.

That kind of a god is of little help in a world that is cruel and evil and where bad things happen to those who don’t deserve it – where wives are stolen, people we love are murdered, our most prized possessions destroyed, our true God is belittled, our loved ones die in accidents, and families are falling apart. I need Somebody who can do more than just “Shoo” away his enemies and principalities and powers of darkness, and merely have them come back once His attention is turned in another direction. I need Someone who has the power to ultimately and finally deal with evil. “Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king I tell you.” The beavers in Narnia have it right.

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7 Comments

Filed under Atheism, God, Idolatry, Justice

7 responses to “God Isn’t Safe – But He’s Good

  1. The characters in Narnia have a lot of things right.

    I often point out that American Christianity isn’t exactly the same as Christianity. We are so spoiled with so much in our culture, that it has affect our church and our theology. Even those of us not in the Wealth and Prosperity movement tend to think of God as a genie in a bottle that grants wishes and makes our lives easier. Being a Christian “protects” us from certain things. American Christians built the Crystal Cathedral and bought the Compaq Center from the Houston Rockets, while half a world away thousands of children die everyday that just need clean drinking water. Our view of God is distorted by our society that says everything must be safe, politically correct, and accepting of everything.

  2. Well said Clark.

    I too have serious issues with multi-million dollar church expansions, while some of those same churches are located in cities with the highest poverty and hunger rates. Hello! What are we thinking?

    It gets back to our distorted view of God. The way that so many Christians portray God cheapens who He is. God wants us to be happy all the time.

    The reality of things is that God asks us to do some hard things some time, like forgive someone who really hurt us; or love someone who damaged our reputation; or serve people who could care less; or love a spouse who has cheated on us; or refuse to be bitter about a divorce. God asks us to do some hard things sometimes.

    Of course, He isn’t safe, but He’s good.

  3. What about people who never hear the Gospel? When they go to hell is this “good, but not safe?” Not giving them a chance isn’t the kind of thing explained by God taking sin and wickedness seriously.

  4. Who said they go to hell?

  5. Fair enough. I supposed you took the usual evangelical view, but it looks like I was wrong. In that case, there isn’t a problem here.

  6. scaryreasoner

    Is God good because God says so? Or is goodness independent of any gods? Either answer screws Christianity.

  7. Your argument is an old one.

    The euthyphro dilemma is a false alternative argument.

    God is not a tyrant. Good is not a distinct reality.

    Christian Theism marries the concepts. God is good.

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