What if the way we decided to approach God started with the idea not that we are evil sinners deserving of death, but instead that God is a god of great concern. What if we have been looking at this all wrong? The religion I grew up with almost always began with the Romans Road. If you don’t immediately recognize that you are a sinner in need of salvation, you are not a part of the Christian faith. But why do we have to start there? Our pastor. Today was giving this lesson I’ve heard a thousand times about the Romans Road and getting people saved. But God doesn’t begin there. God begins with making us and that we are good. Let’s keep in our mind that God has great concern for us, not wanting power and in this concern God wants us to stay innocent of the knowledge that things aren’t as incredibly beautiful as we see them to be in the garden. God therefore instructs us not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil just I as instruct my children not watch horror movies or gruesome documentaries. Some things you can’t unsee. Never forget that the Bible is written from people’s perspective and shame entered their perception. Maybe it wasn’t just their nakedness that made them ashamed. Maybe it wasn’t God who banished them, but they who banished themselves.
What if God didn’t give us the Ten Commandments to rule us (God needs no help) or to give a path toward righteousness (unattainable as it may be), but instead to save us from pain? There is pain in cheating on a spouse, there is pain in wanting what you can’t have, there is pain in extinguishing human life. What if God wasn’t Lording over us, but simply trying to shelter us? What if God has only ever been deeply concerned for us. So concerned that while we try to damn ourselves to an unreachable standard God offers a part of Godself, God’s child, as a sacrifice and says to us: I have paid and the only way out of the self-loathing loop you’re stuck in is to accept that it is done. What if we just make this tiny shift from seeing God as a demanding but somewhat gracious forgiven, to God as a loving, ever-caring being simply trying to save us from ourselves? It’s radical and it’s not. It’s the difference between selectivity and availability. Between demanding and pleading.