Changing Church Narrative Part 1: Who is God and How to we Change Hurtful Narratives?
Updated: Apr 30, 2022
Hello everyone! This is the first blog of 2022 and I still can't believe I am writing the year 2022. What better way to start the new year than with a much needed series. I am going to warn you now, this may upset people and sting a bit. Although that is never my goal in my writing, I feel that truth-telling is more important. If there is ever a time for truth, it is now. The Church has to change the narrative and get back to the Gospel of Jesus, not the false gospel of cultural construct or said political party. You can find my blog series on America's False Gospels in last year's writings if you dare. This year I will be organizing all of my blogs on www.elizabethbillingsley.com/blog to make it easier for people to find subject matter so look for that in the coming months.
Now to the matter at hand.
Who is God?
This is a loaded question to many for sure. I'm going to take a few minutes, with my own wordsand the Word (Bible), which will speak for itself as well as reference itself over and over, to tell you Who He is – my hope is this will help to correct any fake news or error you have been exposed to outside of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus. I implore you to read the scripture references to back up my claims. I make no claim without scripture to back it.
God is Creator. (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, Psalm 33:6, Hebrews 11:3 John 1:1-3).
God is our Father and yes he has attributes of a mother too - (2 Corinthians 6:18 and Psalm
103:13, Hosea 11:3-4, Deuteronomy 32:11, Matthew 23:37, and Luke 13:34, Isaiah 42:14,
49:15-16 and 66:13).
God is Good (Exodus 34:6 Mark 10:18, Matthew 7:11, Psalm 119:68).
God is Love (1 John 4:16, 1 John 4:8).
God is Kind (Titus 3:4-6, Psalm 69:16, Ephesian 2:4-7) .
God is Just (Psalm 99:4, Deuteronomy 10:18, Psalm 140:12).
God is Truth (John 1:14, John 1:17b, John 8:32).
God is Righteous (Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 48:10b, Psalm 145:17, Jeremiah 9:24).
God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-6).
God and his Son (Jesus) are One person (John 10:30, John 17:21, John 1:18).
If you have seen Jesus, you have seen God (John 1:18 John 1:1, John 1:14, John 14:9).
God sent Jesus into the world, not to condemn this world (John 12:47), but to save the world and draw humans to Himself (John 3:16-17, John 12:32).
Jesus died for you that you may be free of pain, evil and bondage (John 3:16, Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 5:15 and 21, Titus 2:11a, Ephesians 2:8-9)
This ladies and gentlemen is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the true nature of God. No need to write pages and pages about it, the Word speaks for itself and the Word is God and has always been with God (John 1:1-3). Test the Word and see for yourself! Do not simply take my word for anything.
So if God is all these things and Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, why are so many people telling us a different narrative in the Church? The reasons are as many as they are complex – power, greed, deception, control, abuse, misunderstanding, and the big one, unbelief; the list goes on. I won't get into the reasons here. What I will do is admonish and exhort the Church to better understand these truths. For my part, in both writing and speech, I will speak out when the Church is teaching something other than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and demonstrating anything other than the true nature of God. If the Church does not clearly understand these truths, those who don't now Jesus will not understand them. Our culture is already tired of a Church lacking in kindness, grace, love, and truth. I write this as a warning, particularly to the American Church. If the Church does not correct course and stick to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (and only that truth) instead of the false truth of a political culture or cultural construct, our culture in America will continue to find the Church irrelevant and ill-suited for refuge for those dealing with their hurt, shame, rejection, and just life in general. This ladies and gentlemen is not what Jesus envisioned when he founded his Church. He envisioned His Church as a refuge for those in need, the hurting, the oppressed, and a body that would demonstrate His love, grace, truth, and kindness to a hurting world.
Changing Our Narrative
We must change our narrative in the Church in two ways! People's lives are at stake as is their freedom both inside and outside the church! First and foremost, return to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ! It is our only hope! We must tell those both inside and outside the Church that God is not a political being. He is neither a Donkey nor an Elephant. We must call our political leaders to repentance where repentance is needed, on both sides of the isle! The Church must give up this foolish lust for political power, it is a path to destruction! We must tell Christian and non-Christian alike that God is not the author of evil. He does not bring to us evil things, or pain, or death. He is not out to “teach people a lesson because of who they are or what they do.” He does not kill, steal or destroy cities, communities, or persons– that is the work of the Evil One.
Do not the above scriptures contradict these very narratives that in some way, shape or form the Church as been peddling for far too long? Wake up Church from your deception and let thescales from your eyes!
Lastly, we must tell Christian and non-Christian alike that we live in a broken world. Christianity does not equal zero trouble nor a bed of roses – despite what they may have heard to the contrary. We will have have trials, troubles, tribulations and temptations – some of those things will be of our own making and some because of the evil of others. We will have hurt that needs medicine and hurt that needs counseling and therapy. No where in the Bible does Jesus condemn these things available to us. Christians, stop telling people who need mental health help to “have faith, pray and read their Bible” because you don't know what else to say – this is a piece of the healing – it is not the whole pie. Be a friend, pray with them and for them, support and walk with them in their healing journey, and ask Jesus what to say so you don't speak on levels of empty platitude. Empty platitudes don't heal hurting people. King Jesus and mental health support heal hurting people. We must emphasize that we will all make mistakes, big and small, and have to deal with taking responsibility and consequences. We must be willing to help people back up when they make mistakes and walk with them in their repentance and healing. The preoccupation with escaping consequences in the Church and outside the Church by those in authority, particularly by lead pastors and politicians, is both infantile and asinine. God will not be mocked. We are all accountable and no one escapes that fact!
So what's the good news you ask in all of this for the Church and our culture? It goes back to the basics of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ already described at the start of this blog, that is our good news! Jesus' love has already won! His love covers a multitude of wrong and He has over come this broken world (John 16:33 and 1 Peter 4:8)! Yes, we must do the work of healing and there is a time and process for the healing of pain – we must not neglect our part. And because of His grace and love, we have access to healing! There is nothing and no one better than Jesus! I want everyone to know from my personal experience that you can bet on that and there will be a return on your investment! The Gospel of Jesus Christ has done a work of freedom in me! It is our hope of the world! Think on these things.
Much love and peace to all of you! More to come!
Changing the narrative,