It is assumed that if we bring God down to “our level” or demystify him, people will either take him for granted or fail to accord him the reverence he deserves. They may even deign to treat the things that are holy as carnal. Thus, Christianity has evolved into this abstract, irrelevant, and sectarian club.
Perhaps we failed to understand that very few human beings can relate to abstract concepts. And so, a student may read a voluminous textbook prior to an exam because he can readily relate the work required to the desired outcome. It’s clear-cut. But, ask the same student to read his bible cover-to-cover with the same intensity and dedication and he honestly can’t understand why. He’s not being lazy or unserious as some Christians would accuse. His dedication to other pursuits disproves this. His love hasn’t “waxed cold” (when in truth, it was never properly forged, in the first place). He just hasn’t been brought to a place of understanding, where he sees the desired outcome of Christianity in real terms, beyond the snake oil skin merchants of prosperity or deliverance.
I am not advocating that we containerise God so our mortal minds can understand him or that we belittle exalted things. But I ask that we actively reveal those aspects of him that will help people truly relate to him. Jesus called himself friend, brother and son. God revealed himself as healer, deliverer and the one who is ever present. God consistently stoops to conquer. In the same vein, as Christians, we must be willing to address thorny questions and answer people’s queries about Christianity when they ask. We must stop shutting people up, condescending to them or patronising them. A simple “I don’t know” will suffice if in truth we don’t, and we must then point them in the direction of someone who does know.
We mustn’t seek to have the last word in every discussion about our Father. Like Socrates, we must be willing to dissect issues, whittling them to their core essence. We must shake off every facade of piety and refrain from keeping up appearances of strength when we are most frail. Instead, we should acknowledge that we are saved by the kind grace of God.
I cannot claim to be God’s personal best friend or to comprehensively love him (for if the measure of love is obedience, then I fall short). But, I’m trying to get to know him; to build a personal, elemental relationship with him and to live for his purposes. That journey began with many questions and will grow through a desire to know and be known.
And so, I dare to call him by what i personally know about him; what has been revealed to me. I call him God, the Intelligent.
(Follow me @subomiplumptre or join the conversation at #MakingGodFamous,#ShoSpeaks)