I am one of the blessed; I grew up with a wonderful daddy. I have no problem of visualizing God as my loving heavenly Father. My dad was a wonderful role model for our God, the Father in my life. Not everyone in our world is so lucky. Now I am the patriarch of a very large family that reaches out three more generations. Add to that my two latest heart- adopted granddaughters that hang with Melba and I. They join a large number of children and young adults that have lived under our roof and rules. I am sure that it will keep on into our 90s. It is in my genes, and I was blessed enough to marry a woman that joined with me in always having room for one more. To me the word daddy is very special. Now, it has been joined by the softer words, grandpa and grandpapa. In Galatians four, we are told that the Spirit cries â€œAbba Fatherâ€ for us; the closest our English can come to that Aramaic word in â€œdear daddyâ€ or â€œdaddy.â€ This becomes our very personal heart cry to our Jehovah God.
Never before in the history of the United States of America has the popularity polls about individual Christians been so low. The people on the street are equating Bible-believing Christians with terrorists, religious radicals of non-Jehovah religions, and with fringe groups in America like the Kansas Baptist church that is picketing funerals of soldiers and this last week picketed the funerals of the two young ladies shot in Colorado by a mentally disturbed man. Their pickets read that these people died because God hates homosexuals, and America, and these families in particular, are being punished for America not putting to death homosexuals. Christians, the Church nationwide, are being equated with such radicals. We are not the only ones. Yes, there is a great amount of jihad terrorists among the Muslims, but this past week a Muslim man stepped in to raise his hand for being a good human being. Four Jewish boys and girls on a New York subway returned a â€œMerry Christmasâ€ with a cheery, â€œHappy Hanukkah.â€ At once a gang of white supremacist, attacked them physically calling them names and whipping up on them. The Jewish youth were getting beat up. One of the white boys was just last year arrested for attacking blacks. A Muslim man stepped in and evened up the odds and went home with black and blue marks according to Dr. Laura on her Blog. He stated, â€œIt was just the right thing to do.â€ Because of the young punks, radical religionists, terrorists, there is a secular teaching that Christianity is as bad as all other religions, and we are all terrorists. They are teaching that religions are the cause of all the worldâ€™s troubles. Wait-a-minute, letâ€™s take a peek back into world history.
Letâ€™s start close to home here along the continental divide of North America. A thousand years ago it was a time of peace on the intermountain west. Large pueblos were built for thousands of citizens, such as Casa Bonita in Chaco Canyon in North Western New Mexico, add to that Mesa Verde in Southern Colorado, and hundreds of smaller communities such as the Aztec Ruins near Four Corners. Down the Gila and Salt rivers into the Valley of the Sun, the river valleys from modern day Phoenix to Yuma was irrigated cotton farms. These Anasassi or Hohokkams were industrious people that had cotton farms, cotton mills that turned out garments and blankets that were marketed from Alaska to the Andes in South America. To the south these highly developed cultures included the Aztecs and the Mayans. The Mayans learned how to farm on top of the swamps of Central America and Southern Mexico, and transported their beef supplies from the mouth of the Amazon River where water buffalo grazed in and out of the water in the Amazon River delta that has an island larger that Switzerland. Golden plaques in the University of Colombia picture in metal relief, much like we learned to do with copper in grade or high school, the barges that carried the beef alive to the Central American market. These were highly civilized cultures that for a thousand years planned no wars, and built without protection from aggressors and invaders.
These people were highly religious. Their gods were very demanding. They had international or intertribal sports and ball games. The playing courts are still visible today. They played the national tournaments with total effort. The winners became their world champions and the losers were sacrificed to their gods. Human sacrifice was common and necessary to appease the anger of their gods. Regularly from New Mexico to the high valleys of modern Mexico, and the jungles of Guatemala, virgins were stabbed to death on a stone alter, and their warm and pumping heart would be cut from their breast and tossed into the face of a stone god that needed to be appeased. High and successful culture, with economic freedom and plenty did not guarantee a religion of love or grace.
In the Americas, with their over 500 nationalities of Native Americanâ€™s, there were more miles of canals in what is Mexico City today, than in Venus in 1492. At the same time there were more miles of paved road in the Andes than in all Europe. Again, high culture does not guarantee a civil religion. Remember, all savage cultures dwell in the ruins of great civilizations.
Across the Pacific, the highly sexual Asiatic cultures were about the same, except they had developed a high sense of graphic pornography, and cultures of polygamy that had one woman married to many men. Their gods were just as demanding. In the Hindi valley the oldest religion in the world that was designed in the time and area of the tower of Babel, and has 300,000 gods today, controls mankind with an iron hand. Their food supply is constantly eaten away by mice and rats, and it is against the law to sell a mouse or rat trap since those rodents are gods. In India the majority religion believes if you ever make it with good works, you will end up a white cow in Nirvana. In the mean time they work at killing Muslims, and Muslims work at killing them.
The Buddhists sit on the mountain tops contemplating how to live a moral life in a fallen world. If they just abstain from enough, they will be holy.
Across the Atlantic to the east, at the time of Christ the Greek gods, were all at war with each other, and worked at out copulating each other, and sticking each with lightning bolts. It was said, â€œIt is easier to find a god in Athens, than it was to find a man. The alter to an unknown god on the way up the Athenian Hills was a monument to a Jewish prophet from Crete that several hundred years before brought an end to a plague in Greece and prophesied victory over the Persians in the war that stopped the Persian wars against Greece. The prophet would not, in good Jewish fashion, write the name of his God, and He became known as the Unknown God. Paul, knowing his world cultures and history, declared this â€œunknown Godâ€ to the Athenians. I would love to have the whole text of Paulâ€™s sermon and Q&A that day.
I can go to every god in every culture; there are no gods that ask you to call him or her â€œdaddyâ€ or â€œmamma.â€ Here in Galatians, where the forerunners of the Kurds lived as barbarians, they were known for cutting off the top of the skull of war victims and cleaning out the brains, making a soup bowl. They were ruthless in war and in domestic savagery. Here Paul preached, and here he found the Jewish/Greek home of Lois and Eunice. It was here that he recruited young Timothy to become his mentee, preparing him to become a leader in the next generation of great evangelists in the church.
The Romans considered assignment to Galatia as hazard duty. Not much has changed; this week, Turkish soldiers have invaded Iraqâ€™s northern mountain country against the wishes of American forces, to round up renegade Kurds that are killing and destroying Turkish homes near the border. Our generals are not happy, but readily admit we were not containing the problem. It was to these people that Paul wrote in the book of Galatians, â€œYou are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahamâ€™s seed, and heirs according to the promiseâ€ (Galatians 3:26-29). A few verses later he speaks of God sending the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit calls out, â€˜Abba Father.â€™â€ Stating that we were no longer slaves, and in another place, â€œno longer barbarians,â€ We are now sons, family, and heirs with Jesus Christ to the riches of God the Father.
The Aramaic word â€˜abba fatherâ€™ can best be translated, â€œdaddyâ€™ or â€œdear daddy.â€™ It is a term of closeness and endearment. When one of my girls, be they 6 months or fifty crawls up into my lap, and cuddle under my neck with tears running down their cheek and onto my chest, and they call out daddy or papa, they have me. Isaiah saw God high and lifted up on a throne with seraph singing â€œholy, holy, holyâ€, with smoke, fire and earthquakes. He fell in fear before the vision of what I believe was the preincarnate Jesus. For Moses, the mountains trembled, and smoke and fire erupted when God spoke or was near by. The first words out of Godâ€™s special angels that came to represent God to man was â€œfear not.â€ The God of the Old Testament was a fearful thing, and the beginning of wisdom, â€œWas the fear of the Lord.â€
After Calvary, the open tomb, and the day of Pentecost came the Apostle Paul that had a handle on grace. The whole concept of God changed; Yes, it was a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God (refer to Hebrews 10). But that fear was for those that did not have a personal relationship with Him. For the born again, that walk in constant prayer with their elder brother, Jesus Christ, and are under the wing of Jehovah God the Father, we have no fear. He is a loving God, and full of grace and mercy.
We can, at anytime, in our prayers crawl up into his lap, lean our head on his shoulder, and cuddle with him and cry out with tears of pain or joy, â€œDaddy.â€ He will respond as a loving God that knows not only our name, He knows our heart, and has the hairs on our head numbered. No daddy could ever be more loving and caring.
Somehow we fundamentalist, conservative, orthodox, Bible-believing evangelical Christians have forgotten that. We think to be like him we must be condemning, angry, hateful toward sinners that have made mistakes in the sex arena. People that have allowed their love affair with drugs, dope, alcohol, power, and relationships to get out of hand, they must be our enemies; we are sure they are the enemies of God. We forget that the grace-giving God of today instructed us to love our enemies to be like him. We seek direction in how to deal with problems that have been around since the beginning of time, and we think folks with tattoos, nose rings, bad habits of sexual behavior are our enemies and we must be harsh on them.
We fail to know the Jesus that was teaching early one morning in the temple when the legalists came dragging in a girl, according to them, â€œTaken in the act of adultery,â€ seeking to trap him. These legalists must have been the forerunners of that Baptist church in Kansas that wants to stone all homosexuals and injure others because of their sexual deviation. The legalists cried out, â€œThe law said to stone her; what do you say Jesus?â€ Jesus knew the law, he wrote it, and he knew their heart. He did not even ask the logical question, â€œIf taken in the act of adultery, where is the dude?â€ The last time I read the book on the â€œbirds and the beesâ€ it took two to tangle. He simply stooped down, and did something that is not recorded anywhere else in the Bible; he wrote in the dust on the street. He sure had their attention; remember the stated purpose of their confrontation was to trick Jesus in doing something that was against the law. Indeed, the Old Testament law said to stone her. The ones throwing the stones must be the witnesses. It is my opinion that what Jesus wrote was names, dates, and places where these legalists had committed adultery or fornication. After he indicted each one, he spoke, â€œLet him that is without sin, cast the first stone.â€ These men were standing there reading their biography of adultery, and Jesus is challenging them, â€œWhichever one of you has not dipped into adultery, go ahead and cast the first stone.â€ One by one, they dropped their stones and rapidly disappeared in to the temple crowd. I can see Jesus wiping out the names and dates, then turning to the lady he said, â€œWhere are your accusers?â€ She responded, â€œThere are none.â€ Jesus then responded since he was not a witness, â€œNeither do I, go and sin no more.â€ Check it all out in John eight-one following.
Hosea learned agape love and bought Gomer back and took her to his home to be wife once again. Daddy wants us to crawl up into his lap and find joy and comfort, but most of all to introduce him to those overloaded with sin, and show an accusing world how real Christians deal with bad situations and people. We introduce them to Daddy, and he hugs them into the kingdom.