Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Cultural Study: God as "Father". Difference between Judeo-Christian God & other gods
One Greek word-splagchinizomi- compassion, to be moved in the bowels.
Context: Luke 15:11-32
In this culture, if a son would have said to his father, "You are dead to me. Give me my share of the inheritance and I am outta here." the father would have written his son off as dead. He would have held both hands out against his son.
HOWEVER, the father in this story can be none other that the Father. In fact, this is the only description that we can put onto God, as a father-figure. His fatherhood is, unlike others, splagchinizo- he is moved with compassion, moved in the bowels when he sees someone come to Him. No matter how brutal the offender was, God will NOT resist a repentant person. There is no sin that God is not willing to forgive. If a person comes to Him, through His door, the Father will gladly receive Him.
So in your studies of other gods; Islam's Allah, many Hindi gods, many tribal gods, remember that the God of the Judeo-Christian faith is the God who is moved in the bowels. Not only compassionate in practice, but also in heart. And even desiring, from His heart, that men come to Him. In fact, He does EVERYTHING to draw people to Him except make them believe.
Example- Allah Raman- Allah is compassionate. He is compassionate toward the faithful & the unfaithful, inasmuch as he is said to provide for both. One of the main teachings of Islam is to be compassionate to animals & people. Many Muslims do a great job of being kind. However, their god (Allah) also teaches to kill unfaithful "wherever you find them".
Whereas, the God of the Bible (the Lord), teaches to have compassion ALWAYS & never to kill people who are unfaithful or infidels. We are to love, even those who would destroy us, where the Muslim god teaches that we are allowed to retaliate & even to go a step further & go after people who mistreat us, once again killing them wherever you may find them.
The perfect example of this is Jesus, while hanging on the cross, prayed FOR the people who were unjustly killing him. He asked God to forgive them because of their ignorance.