Have you ever heard someone exclaim indignantly or self-assuredly, “My God would never send anyone to hell….”?   This person’s god usually is the kind of god that would NOT do whatever he/she finds troubling.

But we are not invited to pick and choose or craft a god that fits our personality or meets our needs or conforms to our worldview.

This tendency is akin to someone saying, “I don’t like triangles that have pointy ends.  From now on I will only accept triangles with soft, rounded ends.”

Well then, Mister, what you have is no longer a triangle.

I know this example is silly, but that is what we do with God when we edit out distasteful aspects like his wrath (how primitive!), or his prohibitions against certain sexual behaviors (how antiquated!), or his command to leave off worrying (how unrealistic!).

If we chop off the unpleasant bits of God, He is no longer God.  For by definition, God is ALL the attributes mentioned in the Bible.  If we remove even one of his attributes, then it is no longer God we have.  Sure we can arbitrarily remove the crust from a pizza and still pretend and call it a pizza.  But it’s not a pizza despite our saying otherwise.  At this point, it’s just a glob of sauce.  You may call it pizza.  But then you are using language in an irrational manner.

So be honest, say that you are having a difficult time reconciling God’s justice with his love, or his promise of real joy with the presence of evil.  But don’t go changing the ontological nature of God.   We are called to love the Biblical God with all our mind, heart and strength.  We don’t get to invent the god of our own choosing.

PS:  just as a prayerful exercise, here is a start to some of the many attributes of God.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but represents an organized way I employ to praise Him.  I’m sure you can add to each letter.  What you cannot do is take any of these away and still have God.

I praise God that He is:

A -abundantly able   B – before all time  C – caring/ chooses me  D -dependable                           E– eternal  F – faithful  G – giver of all good gifts  H – holy   I – immutable  J – just     K – kind  L – loving and lovely  M – merciful  N – never late  O– omnipotent/omniscient  P – powerful Q-quiets me with His presence R-righteous  S – saves me/ supplies me/ succors me  T-Truth  U – understands me/ is underneath me   V-victorious  W – wise    X – (e)xceedingly glorious  Y– yearns for me  Z – zealous for my love