Our belief system about God directly correlates to how we see ourselves and the world. So, if you believe God is wrathful and vengeful, one can only imagine how those beliefs affect your soul.
Therefore, it is not that far of a leap to imagine how a belief system about God based on books like Joshua and the conquest of the Promised Land can create a militant view of God and your role in the world. Warrior motifs, acts of violence, and disregard for the well-being of others are just the warmup to that theological worldview.
I mean, biblically and theologically speaking, you can read the Bible and conclude that God is wrathful, vengeful, full of hatred towards humans, and ready to destroy us at the drop of the hat if it was not for the sacrifice of Jesus. But, at the same time, you can also read the Bible and see God as generous, loving, provisionary, and hopeful of our ability to rise above human’s capacity for hatred, violence, inequity, and injustice by following in the way of Jesus.
So cognitively and emotionally speaking, why do some people subscribe to one understanding of God over the other? This was one of the questions we pondered with licensed therapist Krispin Mayfield.
Mayfield is the author of a new book, “Attached to God: A Practical Guide to Deeper Spiritual Experience.”
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the Associate Executive Coordinator of CBF North Carolina. He’s also served as CBF’s Church Start Specialist, the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton, and the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge. Follow on Twitter @haleandy.