I was hanging out with a teen the other day and we had some time to kill before going to my house for Girls Monday. I've been keeping some books in my car for her and so we took this opportunity to read some. I was quickly trying to read the five chapters of my bible study book that I was supposed to have finished by that night, and she picked up the book "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Millar. We sat in Starbucks reading while sipping some hot holiday drinks. Every once in a while she would giggle and read to me something that she found amusing or profound. At one of these times she read to me a passage that talked about how we edit bible stories to make them G rated. We teach the story of Noah's arc in sunday school classes to kindergarteners because it's a story with animals. We have murals on the walls of our nurseries of a boat with giraffe's heads sticking out the top. What if we painted the rest of the story? The bloated floating bodies of all the people who died in the flood? That's an R rated story if I've ever heard one! This teen and I talked about how we edit bible stories so they don't mean what God intended for them to mean. Then we get an image of what God is like that isn't true.
The truth is that we try to change what God looks like to make Him seem more appealing, but we shouldn't. Because that fake God we make up isn't as appealing as we think he is. People who are honest don't want a soft gooey god, they want a strong disciplining challenging God they can trust. Let me rephrase that. I don't want a giant soft bunny with Santa Clause traits for a god. I want a God that I can follow into battle with full confidence.
This teen told the story of Noah's arc this way "It's like God sat down at his galactic computer, selected the world and hit Delete. Then a little box popped up that said "Are you sure you want to Delete this file?" and he hit "Yes".