I can see how you might be confused with so many good-hearted people sending you such contradicting opinions about God.
Sometimes it’s hard for Christians to be strong in their convictions, because so many of the Bible’s truths are hard to share without offending someone else’s culture. Culture, however is man’s creation and flexible, while the truths of God are eternal.
American culture today, is based on values like equality, acceptance of diversity, and everyone’s equal right to happiness. These are values we should be proud of to some extent, because they eliminate much of the hate and injustice we can see in other countries across the world.
But they are also values that often make it very hard for Christians to be firm in the truths they have learned from the Bible. The Bible tells us that there is One True God. It says that all men are sinners by nature, and that no man can ever be good enough for God, by his own good deeds.
These are hard truths, especially to say to a person of another religion, and especially in a culture that honors diversity, and everyone’s right to their own beliefs. But just because they violate our cultural values, and just because they are hard to say sometimes, doesn’t make them any less true.
Try to imagine the original Earth. The first creation, beautiful and perfect, with cool green hills, trees, clean perfect air and water, beautiful. God set everything up here with all the right conditions to place on it his greatest creation of all, made in his own image: mankind. He gave us everything we could ever need, and even things we didn’t, like flowers. Just for their own beauty. The first man and woman on Earth, had everything they could ever want for provided for them, and lived in a perfect, untainted world.
Instead of praising their Creator, who had given them, not only existence, but everything they could ever want, man tainted the world with sin. They violated the beauty God had made. We leveled his beautiful hills, to pour down asphalt and tar, for roadways. We polluted the air with our technology, and the water with our waste. We poisoned our own hearts, the creation made to mirror God’s perfection, with our sins.
How can we ever expect to repay God for all the sin we destroyed his vision with? Is there any amount of good deeds we could do to repay him for all our destruction? The weirdest part is, after all the wrong we’ve done him, God still loves mankind anyway. Loves us more than our hearts are capable of love. Enough to send his own child, another perfect creation down to the ruined earth. He KNEW that we would destroy his beautiful son too; that we would cover him in our own sin, and kill him. And He sent Him anyway. It’s insane how much He loves us. It’s just crazy.
Other religions, would encourage you to do good deeds, in hopes of reaching a godly level of sorts, but Christianity acknowledges the sins of mankind, and the overwhelming mercy of God. I refuse to pretend that humans don’t owe God a HUGE debt for all the wrong we’ve done. Personally, I KNOW humans could never repay God for all our damage, and I’m so glad that we can find his forgiveness, through Jesus.
It’s so hard for me to write to one of my favorite people and say, ‘yes, I DO think you and me and everyone else are sinners.’ But, when I remember all the wrong we’ve done God, and all the love He’s given us in return, I know in my heart, that just because it’s hard to say, doesn’t make it any less true.
I feel like I’ve only addressed one issue here, but write me back, and we can talk about it some more. I love you Regina! And so does God. It’s just crazy how much.