Alright. I’m not a KJV-onlyist but darn it, the language of that translation does come to mind naturally with the Lord’s Prayer. First though, let’s get to some questions.
First, thanks to the comment about prayer being on that person’s mind. It should be on our minds more often and sadly, if it is, it’s either “I’m not doing it enough” or “I’ll do it later.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I get intimidated when I read books about people who spend hours in prayer. I think many of you might as well. That’s why I write this as one who is not a prayer warrior to others who aren’t.
Second, to the other comment which I appreciate with questions. First, why do we refer to God as Father? The simple answer really is the best one. That’s how he has revealed himself and if he’s revealed himself in that way, then we Christians should address him in that way. When I pray, I do pray to my Father and call him such.
The question did ask if God is genderless. I prefer the term sexless, but the same concept I think would apply. I don’t see God as such though. I see male and female being in his image. Of course, I don’t ascribe physical genitalia to God but more characteristics that are associated with the male and female and for the male, one of them is the position of leadership.
As for matriarchial societies, I really don’t approve of such. Christians should still address God as he has told them to address him regardless of the surrounding culture. Is this bigotry? No. The biblical worldview is one that has repeatedly honored women instead and raised them up. Women are equally in the image of God as much as men are. I could go more in-depth if need be, but that would be for another time. I’d like to get to these lines.
We covered much of who yesterday in saying God is personal and I could point to my blog on “The Who of God” for further reading. The are leaves out something that we often take for granted. God is. If we could wrap our minds around this idea, I wonder how much it would revolutionize the way we think.
I pondered this today as I considered why I think about God more than I did as a child. The answer is he is more in my worldview now than ever before and to knock him out would be to completely change my worldview. It could be the degree to which you ponder and contemplate the nature of God, the greater a nature he has in your worldview. If this is the case, then I will admit I need to see more and more of God for who he is for I do not think about him enough.
It seems so many of the things we say of God become just words and we don’t seem to know how to get the content out of them. We say he is omnipotent, but then we tend to leave it at that and we don’t think about it when a crisis comes. We say he loves us, but then we wonder about that love when the bills start pouring in. The concept we have of God too often is just one that is abstract and not one that is applicational to our lives.
The biblical God is though. People throughout history have been willing to die for the God that they find in the Bible. Are we in a same position? I would hope I would die for my faith if need be, but I am cautious about saying such for I remember a certain apostle in Scripture who said he would do the same and embarrassed himself three times. I would simply pray to God that he give me strength to accept my fate if need be.
God is in Heaven also. The Jews understood this though as not implying that God is spatially bound to any location. 1 Kings 8:27 tells us that not even the highest Heavens can contain God. This would refer to a place where God rules. I do believe there is such a location now, but how it is I could not say. Is it another dimension or something of that sort? Possibly. Of course, it could just be this world and wherever God is in charge.
I often speak about my eschatology where I say that our cosmos is to be re-created and brought to a stage past Eden where whole new physical laws will be in effect to prevent any decay and the presence of God will be fully manifest. In saying such, I point out that God is not relative to Heaven but Heaven is relative to God. Heaven is where God is manifest.
There is meant though to be an air of transcendence about this and as we approach God, we should remember that. The opening verses of Ecclesiastes 5 warn us about our attitude to God. He is the judge ruling over us and we are the subjects. Let’s not enter the throne room thinking we are in charge. We are specifically told to let our words be few. Not in the sense that prayer is a dialogue. I don’t think it is. They are to be few for we are not to babble before the throne but remember the holy one who we approach.
In fact, that is the next line. Why not save that for next time?