Now that all the business is over, and much needed rest has taken place, perhaps it’s time to get back to blogging about the super conference we had in Richland, WA on May 4th, 2013. The morning started off with a shocker! I had never heard Baxter Kruger speak before (although I had read his book The Shack Revisited), but I tell you…I wasn’t expecting what Baxter stirred up…that Baxter, he’s something!
Baxter’s got a way with describing the Trinity that makes your mouth fall open. In fact, if you are one of the many people who have placed an angry God high on a lonely throne then you might want to have Baxter Kruger come visit your city. First Baxter spoke about why we build this angry solitary God: because we carry shame and anger (and we lack mercy), so we build a God in our (disturbed) image. Then Baxter explained how we place a loving and kind Jesus in front of this angry God in an attempt to calm him down–so He doesn’t smite us. When we do this, we inadvertently create a division in the Trinity–a good cop/bad cop kind of thing. The bad cop is there to scare us into being good and the good cop is there to make us feel loved. The problem is, if you continue with this line of thinking…well, you will always be worried that the bad cop might just get His Holy hands on you and smite you.
But, as Baxter told us, or rather showed us…there is another way to view God. Perhaps God isn’t as angry as we all make him out to be? Perhaps we are still all acting like Adam and Eve acted, in the Garden of Eden, when after they ate the fruit the Lord God appeared and they hid–thinking God might smite them. But God didn’t exactly smite them–He asked for an explanation. And boy did He get one! Baxter’s idea is that perhaps God created humankind with the idea that He loves us and would continue to love us…no matter how much we disappointed Him. Perhaps God’s heart constantly calls to us as a whole family-unit calling out to a member of their own family. Baxter showed us the love and unity of the family of God using three simple chairs…
Baxter’s three chairs were turned toward each other. In other words, they were not in a hierarchy of status, with an angry, serious Father on top and his every so submissive family below. Baxter showed us a family unit in relationship with each other–in submission to each other. In the end, Baxter asked us which God we believed in. Was it the angry God who wanted to smite us? Or was it the family of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) who work together to save and love and help… and yes…even discipline us (notice how I said “discipline” and not “smite.”)
I remember a while back. I was getting ready to move from Canada to the US. The Holy Spirit had told me through a dream that she wanted me in the USA…but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why. My husband and I agreed to move even though it seemed like an absolutely crazy plan. But, I knew my scriptures and so this verse (below) came to me…
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Is 55:8–9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
And so I felt nervous and yet elated about moving. However, a friend soon stopped by to visit me and see me off. After asking me what I thought about moving to the good ol’ US of A, I blurted, “Well, I think God’s crazy, but I’m going!”
My friend immediately frowned and said something like, “Watch it, you’ll get hit by lightening…and don’t think that I’m kidding.”
I could only assume that my friend was suggesting that I had blasphemed God and now the mean God (the one who sits on the throne waiting for me to screw up) was about to invoke the Old Testament law and my life was now in danger. Well, in response I just smiled (one of those knowing smiles) and politely said, “Thanks for stopping bye.”
The truth is, my friend didn’t know what kind of relationship I have with my family…Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He didn’t know that God once called me (in a dream) His “Suki” meaning “beloved one.” Can you imagine God striking me with lightening and killing me–His beloved one–because I said, “God’s plan seemed crazy to me.” This little anecdote reminds me of a similar story in the Bible, one that reminds us that God has a lot more mercy than we humans do. Sometimes it’s just us humans who want to smite people…and we truly hope that the angry God will agree with us…
On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for [Jesus]; but they did not receive [Jesus], because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But [Jesus] turned and rebuked them.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Lk 9:52–55). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
The truth is, I don’t walk around fearful (in dread) of my Father. I do however walk around in awe of Him, in love with Him and aware of Him, wanting to listen to Him. I am in “relationship” with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. My chair is turned toward Them and Their chairs are turned toward me…their little Suki. This is the way I want things to stay, and working at keeping MY chair constantly turned toward Them is the work of the relationship.
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