In the comments from the Elusive Balance post I was reminded of something. The belief that God is a God of balance was mentioned. Another very common way that I hear this is the old "God is a God of order" which I believe is a catch-phrase pseudo belief that we now have thanks to the Ezzos and their parenting philosophy masquerading as God's best plan for parents. Not to belittle the beliefs of the commenter, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts about this.
Just a couple weeks ago my small group was discussing some info from a book called Get a Grip, which is all about getting your crazy, out-of-balance life under control. One of the questions was something like, "If God is a God of order, how should we then live our life?" I found myself having to dissent from the proper answer in order to say, "Who says that God is a God of order?"
IS God a God of order? And if God is orderly, is He more orderly than any of His other attributes? Just because God created the world in an orderly way, does this mean that He is orderly, or that He is logical? And, just because we notice an order, is that more important than, say, His amazing creativity and artistic excellence? The universe may have been created in 7 days and in a logical order, but let's not forget the wild imagination that went crazy with passion for beauty, form, function, and humor!
To focus on the idea that God is a God of order is an insult to God. God is SO MUCH BIGGER than order. How dare we try to put God's personality into a box for our own convenience or to try to convince others that our ways are backed up by God's own style. What a bunch of pathetic baloney. (And it's even more pathetic when people all the world over buy into this garbage so easily. Why is it that so few people know how to think critically about things?) God's attributes should not be neatly isolated and boxed up to service our own need for perfect answers.
God is such a passionate being that He describes His love for His children as that of a shepherd with 100 sheep in His care. When He realizes that 1 is missing, He risks the well-being of the remaining 99, all to go on a daring hunt to find His one missing sheep. A shepherd of this time would not only be risking the 99 sheep He already had with Him, but would be risking His own health and safety as He traveled over rocky or dangerous terrain, where wild animals could attack Him. Does this sound like an orderly guy to you? To me, it sounds like someone that is so passionate in His love for the one missing charge that He would risk everything to bring it back to safety.
To me, to say that God is a God of order says that God's behavior is safe, sterile, predictable, and unemotional. This is not the God I know.
God ordered His people to war against pagan tribes and to kill every man, woman, child, and beast and not even to take a single bit of pillage, because He didn't want any of His people taking any sort of benefit or practice from a culture that was against Him. This is the heart of a God that seems passionate, emotional, calculated, and jealous. This God gets dirty and is fierce.
Jesus was the guy who went to the
Jesus' death by crucifixion is an example of the most radical, passionate expression of love and sacrifice that the world will ever know. Jesus was willing to suffer immensely because He didn't want to have to live through eternity without YOU. Balanced? Nope. Extreme? Yes.
Within The Big Picture, I believe God does ultimately come to a balance. But it's a balance that comes from many extremes on either side of the scale. Almost seems like more extremes than not.....
It's time to think about balance differently.