The love of a Father

I am fortunate to be the father of three beautiful and healthy children.  Looking at them I see innocence, potential, ambition, beauty, love, and a host of other wonderful things.  Experiencing their births made it very clear to me that this world we live in, and all of us in it are all part of a grand design.  That in some definitive way there is a purpose for each and every one of us and that our Creator gave us our own intelligence and a moral compass to guide us.  We just have to listen and act. 

Being a father has encouraged me to work harder and push myself more than I ever would have had I not been their dad.  A real father does all he can to support, love, and protect his kids – at all cost.  We recently watched 2 movies that had fathers that were elevated to a deistical level and I could not help but connect the dots to our Creator.  The 2 movies are Clash of the Titans (with Liam Neeson) and Tron (with Jeff Bridges).  The two of these fathers did not want to sacrifice their sons at the expense of themselves or others.  Zeus tells Persius that he wanted to win but, not at the risk of losing a son and Kevin Flynn (the father) in Tron sacrificed himself to save his son. 

As a father, I can say without a doubt that I would give my own life to save my kids and under no circumstance would I ever consider sacrificing them.  This brings me to my moral and theological conflicts with the current religion of Christianity. 

What kind of father would restrict his own children from the knowledge of good and evil (or ability to reason)?

What kind of father would give up control of his children to an evil and cruel person (satan)?

What kind of father would destroy his entire creation (the Flood)?

What kind of father would select only a few of his children as his chosen children (Jews and the Christian doctrine of Predestination)?

What kind of father promises his children land but, subjects them to 400 years of slavery followed by 40 years of aimless wandering in the desert?

What kind of father tells his children to slaughter every man, woman, and child that you find in the land he promised you?  All the while knowing that these same people being slaughtered are his own children as well…

Fast forward a few centuries and this same father sends another son (to Christians this one is his only son) to be tortured and brutally executed to pay for the sins of the rest of the world? 

Well, not my God.  I know what some of my Christians friends are saying – Jesus was God.  Well, no, he wasn’t God.  He was a man.  If he were God then who did he pray to so often? Who did he fall down on his knees to beg for strength in the Garden of Gethsemane?  Who did he cry out “My God, My God, why hast though forsaken me?” to when he was dying on the cross?  Clearly he was praying to God, or as he so eloquently referred to him – our Father.

Let me tell you a secret, about a father’s love.  A secret that my daddy said was just between us.  Daddy’s don’t just love their children every now and then.  It’s a love without end amen. – George Strait, A Father’s Love.

Now, if by grace we are all saved why would a sacrifice even be necessary?  Our Creator is all-powerful and, if all loving, would he even consider eternal punishment for us at all?  Sure, as a father, I punish my kids when they mess up.  I take away the Xbox or the computer but, I would never punish one for the actions of the other. 

My conflict here is not with Jesus though.  I don’t believe his purpose was to die for me.  I think his message is pretty clear and I have spoken about it in prior posts and I will again speak of it now.  He spoke of love, kindness, charity, empathy, and emphasized the absolute necessity of doing good works. 

Why couldn’t the church just stick to what he taught? 

Why did this dogmatic system of the fear of hell and eternal damnation have to come about? 

It is an insult to the benevolence of the Creator to give the appearance of a bipolar tyrant, who can’t decide whether or not we are to be loved like children or suffer like slaves.  Now before I close this blog, I will use some text from the Bible that I believe perfectly describes our Creator. 

Psalm 19 (NIV)

 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
   night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
   no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
   their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
   like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
   and makes its circuit to the other;
   nothing is deprived of its warmth.

 7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
   refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
   making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
   giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
   giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
   enduring forever.
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
   and all of them are righteous.

 10 They are more precious than gold,
   than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
   than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
   in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
   Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
   may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
   innocent of great transgression.

 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
   be pleasing in your sight,
   LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

© Nelson Rose, The Quest for Light

10 thoughts on “The love of a Father

  1. Good thoughts and discussion. Everyone should be thinking and not following dogma. The idea that “GOD”, knows every hair on each of our heads is pretty silly. I think GOD make the universe and then left us to our own desires. And by the way, he did a pretty good job of it!

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  2. There are certainly quick answers to the issues you raise. Satisfying answers, no! I believe God certainly allows us to make choices and determine our own destiny, from day to day to the eternal.
    More later … work calls!

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  3. All very good thoughts we have to think about, wrestle with, and come to terms with one way or another. I will be honest with you Nelson…I am a father of two beautiful children myself and I love them to death. I would do anything for them and at times I ask myself the same questions you do in this post.

    But going along with your questioning and BUD’s comment…I have to ask What sort of father would do what Bud is suggesting…create or world and put his children in it and then leave us to our own desires. Do you do that with your own kids? Probably not.

    I think I would rather have a father whose judgment and decisions I wonder about and question more so than a father who abandons me and ignores me like agnosticism.

    I would rather have a father who takes the time to reveal himself to me. Just some thoughts.

    As far as pastors calling you a heretic and whatever else…they need to spend more time thinking about Jesus. I love the religious police with their spiritual batons. I find your blog intriguing.

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    • Thanks Jeremy for dropping in. I am somewhat skeptical (I know, shocking huh) on how interventional our Creator is. I’d like to think he speaks to our conscious and guides us and maybe through providence assists or intervenes. Whether that is the case of not, no one really knows for sure. I am pretty certain there weren’t any voices coming from the clouds though.

      As a father that unconditionally loves his children, are we emulating our Creator? Is there anything more divine then unconditional love?

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  4. Let me preface my comment by saying two things: “If you disbelieve me when I talk to you about things on earth, how are you to believe if I should talk to you about the things of heaven.” (Jesus speaking in John 3:12)
    His disciples asked him what this parable meant, and he said, ‘It has been granted to you to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but the others have only parables, so that they may look but see nothing, hear but understand nothing.’ (Luke 8: 9-10)
    The journey of mankind here on this earth is one in which he is finding his way back to God. What is earth—“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” That’s right, we’re all walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Man by himself, by his own might, by his own strength cannot retrace the journey back to the Father. It was for this reason, that the Father (not willing that any of his sheep should be lost) sent his only begotten son to retrace the way for us. This was not an easy journey. (It’s also not one that I can write in one comment). However I will attempt to give a brief outline of our journey from Egypt to Jerusalem.
    Let me also say that your unbelief in a devil or satan, does not negate the fact that he does exist. However, it robs you of the knowledge of mystery of God.
    Please know this, the spiritual world is the pattern, and whatever happens in the spirit world will eventually be manifested in the earth world (realm). So Egypt does not mean the literal country, nor does Zion. Israel is you and me. Spiritually speaking, Egypt means darkness.
    When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. (Hosea 11:1)
    This is why the children of Israel were in slavery in Egypt for 400 years (They were in darkness, perhaps feeling unloved and neglected by their Heavenly Father) until Moses (a type and shadow of christ) lead them out of slavery, into the wilderness. They were in the wilderness for 40 years. The wilderness experience is also very important. It is a time of testing (refining). Even though they were freed from slavery, and now had a closer relationship with God, it clearly took them a long time to be refined, as they made an 11 day journey into one of 14,609 days instead. This is not the end of the journey though as you well know.
    In any event I’ll quit here. “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. “ (Luke 11:9)
    The blood of Jesus Christ is an integral part of our salvation, be it for our spirit, soul, or body. One has to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the captain of our salvation. That he has overcome death and is the resurrection and life. Jesus is the only one who made the journey successfully from Egypt to New Jerusalem. The reason God sent his Son to die for us: Remember during the time of the Law, the high priest had to make sacrifices, first for his own sins and then for those of the people. Priests are mortals, they eventually die. The sacrifice of goats and calves would never make us perfect before God Almighty. So Jesus had to be that sacrifice.
    Remember, this earthly sanctuary was just a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary. Jesus is a high priest forever. Amen. “Thou art a priest forever in the succession of Melchizedek.” He was fit for our condition – devout, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, raised high above the heavens. The tent of Jesus’ priesthood is a greater and more perfect one than the earthly sanctuary. It is not made by human hands. He had no need to offer daily sacrifices, as the high priests did. So he entered the sanctuary once and for all, where he offered himself without blemish (sin) to God, a spiritual and eternal sacrifice: and his blood will cleanse our conscience form the deadness of our former ways and fit us for the service of the living God. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18).
    And so his crucifixion brought about the forgiveness of all our sins: past, present and future sins. Yes!! All the sins you have not even committed yet are forgiven by God already. Good News isn’t it. So we walk in forgiveness not carrying around the perpetual consciousness of sin. This is evil in the eyes of the Lord. Because when he sees you, he sees his Son. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
    11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
    Did you read that, God Almighty says : Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
    This is the blessing for all who believe that For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    Again, it’s a choice; God doesn’t force anyone to believe or to receive his free gift. If you accept, you believe and say thank you Father for the gift of salvation. Amen. If you don’t, you’ll seek other ways to salvation. But there is only One way to God the father. He’s given us that way. That was why it was necessary for him to sacrifice his only Son. The choice is yours if you believe or not.

    What kind of father would restrict his own children from the knowledge of good and evil (or ability to reason)?
    The father did not restrict his children. He gave them a choice. He told them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest they die. So they knew the consequences of not eating from it = life, and the consequences of eating from it = death. So there was no restriction.
    If you tell your children, do not touch the hot stove, lest you burn yourself, and they still go ahead and do it. What will be the consequence of them touching the stove? = burnt fingers right.
    What kind of father would give up control of his children to an evil and cruel person (satan)?
    The father did not give up control of his children. How did he give up control?
    What kind of father would destroy his entire creation (the Flood)?
    He did not destroy his entire creation. There were 8 people that survived the flood. The ark was sitting there waiting for the people for over 100 years. They chose (that word again) not to enter. Once the doors were shut they could no longer enter.
    A more important point was the type of people inhabiting the earth during that time. 200 Watchers (angels/sons of heaven) who saw the elegant and beautiful daughters of men and decided they wanted to marry them and have children. They taught the children of men sorcery, divination, astrology, incantations etc.
    What kind of father would select only a few of his children as his chosen children (Jews and the Christian doctrine of Predestination)?
    Answered above.

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    • Thank you for the reply Ancients.

      Let me begin by saying that I feel everyone is entitled to believe (or not believe) as they wish. I must stress that before passing your beliefs off as the “divine truth” you need to use a little more reason then dogma.

      My disbelief in hell or satan does not prove they don’t exist. This is true but, your belief in them does not mean they exist either. There is absolutely no proof of either, nor did either even come into being until the new testament.

      If you are using allegorical terms to describe coming out of Eygpt then how can you interpret the story of the Garden of Eden as being anything other than allegory? And if it is allegory then the “fall of man” is not a true but, allegorical fall. (This supposed “fall” is only believed by Christians).

      Your excerpts from John and the Letter to the Hebrews are not “God’s words”. Those are the words of men and the epistles are nothing more then commentary. I will repeat my original position on the Bible – it is the work of men, not God. The contradictions and inconsistiencies within it are proof of that.

      We are responsible for our own actions. Our Creator does not have to send a man on a suicide mission in order to spare the rest of mankind from himself. To believe that regardless of what you do, you are saved by faith and grace alone is an abandonment of responsibility for one’s own actions.

      The example you used about telling my kids not to touch the stove is ridiculous. First of all, I would never select one of them to be my favorite (or chosen) child and if I were to do something so detestable, I would not then subject my favorite child to be bullied and oppressed on purpose. It was God himself who hardened Pharoah’s heart (according to the Bible). So the Isrealites suffered because God wanted them to so he could show his love by leading them to the promised land which has seen nothing but, repeated bloodshed since they arrived? How loving!

      According to the christian doctrine we are all “full of sin and fall short of the glory of God” the “devil” clearly is the one in control. I have a bit more positive view of mankind then that. God gives us air to breath regardless of whether we are good or bad. That to me shows the love of a Father. Not a human sacrifice.

      The people chose not to go into the Ark after it sat there for 100 years? 100 years??? Where exactly is that written? And what about the little children and nursing infants?? Did they not matter to God? Were they supposed to walk (or crawl) from all “corners of this [round] earth” to Mesopotami to be saved? If this story were anything other than an aleegory to value our children and the years we are given on this earth then it means God is guilty of Global Genocide.

      Angels came down from heaven and slept with women. Really?

      I don’t mean to offend but, I have no interest in the fabulous dogmas invented by men of the Bronze Age. I believe the Bible contains wisdom but, like a steak it requires you to cut away some of the fat so that you can consume the meat. Getting close to our Creator does not require the Bible and it does not require sacrifice. All that is required is an observation of the Creation itself and the application of reason and rational thought.

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  5. This post brought up so many good questions that I will need to take time to think about. thanks for that.

    the one that popped out the most to me is the one concerning who Jesus is.

    “He spoke of love, kindness, charity, empathy, and emphasized the absolute necessity of doing good works.”

    I completely agree with that. However, in reading the gospels i see Jesus himself claim so much more than that.

    Mark 14:60-62 is one such example.

    in others he forgives sins..and only God forgives sins. he claims to be the way, the truth, and the life and no one gets to the father except through him.

    what are your thoughts? sorry. i didn’t reference all those instances…

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    • That is one of the few instances in the Bible where the author is saying Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. Which he was but, so am I and you are a daughter. The rest of the sentence is probably not something he said and was added later. I think it is important to note that no one really knows who wrote any of these books and that there are no originals or complete manuscripts anywhere. There was so much debate and clear signs of tampering and editing that it is difficult to know what the true words were. There was no cannon for the New Testament unti 350 years after the events took place and even it wasn’t like a Bible was easy to find. It wasn’t until after the release of the King James Bible on May 2, 1611 (yep, 600 years ago) that the Bible began to be readily available. It was then that people began to question things the way I do now. Luckily, I am not being burned at the stake or hung for it (at least not yet). People wonder why the Bible was so unopposed until the time of the Enlightenment – well, it’s because no one had one.

      As far as the forgiveness of sins – I agree that is something only God can do. I will admit that some of the writings about Jesus are tough for me to deal with. Part of me wants to believe that he existed and was a man of high moral character but, then some of what is written about him requires to much belief in the unreasonable that I wonder if he ever existed at all.

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