Poem – It Wasn’t God, It Was Me

When I was a kid, I used to burn ants with a magnifying glass.  Actually, it was my glasses, but the effect was the same.  Later, as a teenager, I would shoot sparrows out of the tree next to the church with my friend Jeff and his pellet gun.  It was fun to me and it seemed like a reasonable thing to do at the time.  At some point, I developed a little more compassion for animals and other creatures; but, at the time, it seemed like my right as a superior being to do what I wanted with the inferiors.

It is important in life to grow in our understanding of things.  It’s hard to imagine that I knew everything about life, the world, and especially my faith at age 7.  Over the years, I have questioned my understanding of life, politics, ethics and even my spiritual beliefs.  In all areas, I have found this process not to be dangerous, but helpful.  I always grow and grow up when I ask good questions.

In many cases, even the early writers of the Bible were limited in their understanding.  Assuming they had a pure understanding of the revelation of God would seem to be a little misguided.    This picture would not be completely painted until Jesus finsished His mission and inaugurated the New Kingdom.  And even 2000 years later, we can still grow in our understanding.

About two years ago, I began to ask questions again.  I believe it led to some necessary and beneficial growth.  I started by stating, “I have a suspicion that I may be wrong about everything.”  As I said, this may sound risky to most people, but I find it to be absolutely necessary for growth.  We cannot just rely on what we inherited.  Some times we have to go back further–some times we have to ask more questions.

This poem is the best way I could find to express some of my most recent discoveries.

 

I once thought God had an anger problem

So intense that he just had to kill

There must be a sacrifice–a price to pay

It is really just part of the deal.

 

The Bible even said we should sacrifice things

That must be the way that it goes

Until Jesus said it differently–“mercy, not sacrifice”

Now we can be in the know

 

It doesn’t make sense any more,

That couldn’t be how God would be.

I discovered what I thought was God,

Wasn’t God at all, but actually me

 

I once thought the Bible had to be perfect

We call it the Word after all

Since the book’s about God—God cannot fail

It’s really just part of the call.

 

But although it is “useful” and “Inspired” by God

It’s still just a record of what people said

They were growing in faith-learning ‘bout God

He wasn’t completely in their head.

 

It doesn’t make sense any more,

That couldn’t be what God would say.

I discovered what I thought was of God,

Wasn’t God at all, but what men would relay.

 

I once thought God liked us more

The powerful must always be right

Except for our history–the slav’ry and all

God’s favor is not by of our might.

 

Jesus never seemed to play favorites

He didn’t ascribe to one tribe

It’s the Kingdom of God–not nations of men

God’s fondness is not for one side.

 

It doesn’t make sense any more,

That couldn’t be how God would be.

I discovered what I thought was God,

Wasn’t God at all, but actually me

 

I once thought God hated certain people

Especially the ones in the news

He must despise them–I know it’s His plan

It’s because of the bad things that they choose.

 

Jesus brought all of us together

We seem to want to divide

We want to takes sides–it makes us feel good

It’s part of the great divide.

 

It doesn’t make sense any more,

This cannot be part of His plan

I discovered what I thought was God,

Wasn’t God at all, just the thoughts of a man

 

I once thought God liked to torture people

That also must be part of His plan

It’s his temper again–that cannot be quenched

We’re all at the whim of His hand

 

I realized a most unusual thought

A thought that I couldn’t quite shake

I don’t punish forever–the ones that I love

Why would God in these actions partake.

 

It doesn’t make sense any more,

That couldn’t be how God would be.

I discovered what I thought was God,

Wasn’t God at all, but actually me

 

Assuming that writers of the Old Testament were perfect in their understanding may give us some temporary assurance and certainty; but it doesn’t necessarily lead us closer to the truth.  The full image of what God is like is seen in Jesus Christ.  The Scriptures are important as they point us to what is revealed in Jesus.  We can’t ever elevate the Bible over Jesus.  When we are confused, we don’t just settle for easy answers and excuses.  We first go back to Jesus and we keep asking QUESTIONS!

Blessings,

Karl


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