This morning, I was reading Chief of the Least’s explanation of arguing with fools, and it suddenly occurred to me that he brings up good points about the seemingly contradictory passages in the bible about arguing with a fool. Very pertinent after my recent discourses with Ark.
Bryan has never written one thing that I’ve disagreed with yet…and I’ve climbed all through his site, so I listen to him with a little less of a guard these days because it is obvious he hears from the same God I serve. And so, I thought about whether or not I should have answered Ark at all, knowing that God hasn’t really geared me up to have super intellectual, historically-based debates about the bible, Christianity, etc.
But that also lead me to think about why God has so many names. Bryan, not all that long ago, posted And He Shall Be Called… naming a few of the names for Jesus. I used to wonder why so many different names, and the answer that I came up with is because different people are drawn initially to God because they are looking for something specific in His nature that speaks to them from Him personally.
I think sometimes God is portrayed as the God of Love until our heads melt, while The Creator of All Things gets lost in poetry. The God who uphold All Things, or the God of Justice, isn’t as appealing to most people for whatever reasons. But that wasn’t so much the case with me.
When I started to eye God pretty carefully, it wasn’t so much the God of Love I was looking for. I was looking for the God of Vengeance, the God that was angry, a God with power, and one to be feared. In other words, I was looking for a God that was all that I was not. I would never have responded to a God that was ONLY loving, meek, merciful, kind…Those traits I came to learn and appreciate about Him later, but they weren’t on the top of the list for what I was looking for.
It is my opinion that by always trying to “love” people into the kingdom of God, or refusing to engage a debate with people because we want to “turn the other cheek“, we lose some of our opportunities to introduce them to a God that has other traits besides love, and thus might still be the answer to what specific other people are looking for. I don’t mean to be hateful, rude, insulting…You can give an answer without being personal, although I struggle with being sarcastic when it comes to my own anger. Hence, when I start getting really angry, I have to leave the conversation. But there are those who can answer these types of conversations without the personal anger interfering, and every once in a while, I’m kind of pleased that they introduce God of Justice, God of War, an angry God or a God to be Feared. Some of us were seeing if God was really all that powerful before we were going to through our lot in with Him.
Of course, as with my conversation with Ark, there becomes a point in these debates where it is all redundant and silly, and as you can see, I bowed out. I had used all my arguments, got into odd areas, and then I knew the Swine and Pearls moment had arrived. But I think Bryan makes a really good point that
‘So there are times you should answer a fool and there are times you shouldn’t. It depends on the nature of the fool.’
But I’d like to point out that I too, was a fool at one time, and someone not introducing me to the Lord of Vengeance, or just rolling over and tossing out a “I’ll be praying for you!” would have done absolutely nothing to steer me into the direction I needed to head to find my God.
God is a much bigger deity than just the God of Love. He has war-like properties and jealousies as well, and I don’t know that it would be honest to try to just love everyone into the Kingdom. Some people, like me, need to know some of the other traits of God, first, because that is what is so lacking in our own selves and lives..
Just my own two cents!!