Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Buddy god"?

You are promoting an "Easy believism", a "buddy god" or a "teddy bear god". This is the perversion of our ancient Christian doctrines, teachings and traditions. This is blasphemy! Are you saying that we just simply need to 'believe' and everything is hunky-dory?

Have you ever heard this before? If not, you will most likely face this question at least once in your lifetime.

My quick answer to this question would be something like this: well, it's better than promoting an angry, wrathful, sadistic, ready-to-whack, fire-spitting, terrorizing God and scare people away from Him!

I am not sure why people think that believing is so easy. It has never been easy for me. I tried to find the counterfeit for belief through religion for many many years. It took so many years for me to come to a place where I realized that I need to give up all my self-efforts to please God through any other means other than believing in His provision of free righteousness.

Adam & Eve failed to believe. Abraham failed to believe. Moses failed to believe. Israelites failed to believe. So why do we think believing is so easy? It's the hardest thing on the face of the earth, but at the same time it's the simplest thing on the face of the earth! Don't ask me why. It's just the way it is. Humans always find it easy to do and earn than to believe and trust. But that doesn't mean that there is an alternative to believing or should we add some of our works to it.

Do we need BIG faith to believe?

Jesus said, 'faith in the size of a mustard seed' would do wonders. What matters is the sincerity of the heart. Jesus said, 'unless you become like these little children...' It's a ruthless trust (as Brennan Manning calls it). Trusting God without apology. Sometimes, I even get scared of seeing the kind of trust my children put on me. It's a sincere, honest, merciless trust - indicating "no matter what as long as it's my Dad, I am going to jump into his hands."

Do they trust me because I am their 'buddy Dad'? Or do they trust me because they know that I am trustworthy and faithful?

Isn't that knowing what gives us the unbelievable, supernatural ability to trust God for who He is? It comes from an understanding of His love for us. We can't muster up faith. It's the love what produces faith, not the other way around.

Yes, we love Him because He is trustworthy and His love displayed on the cross has proved it. We don't love him because he is a 'buddy god' or 'puppet god' or a provider of 'cheap greasy grace'.

He is the God of the universe, who created everything seen and unseen, including the things which we can't even comprehend with our finite mind, by the word of His mouth. But while being such a powerful God, He sent His one and only son Jesus to die on our behalf so that our true humanity can be restored; and displayed the utmost act of love ever been revealed in the history of the planet earth. So, BELIEVE HIM, He is trustworthy, faithful and His love NEVER fails!


Ike said...

“It is not faith that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ… It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or in the nature of faith, but in the object of faith.”

- B. B. Warfield

RJW said...

WOW!!!! Bino, this is MARVELOUS!!!

Oh, thank you for sharing this...I love the part about your children; my sister and I had just been discussing "child-like" faith and a future post has been rolling around in my mind for a couple of days.

You and Matt are just ABSOLUTELY STUNNING lately.

Love & Grace. :)

Leonard said...

Thanks Bino...
Were getting allot of wind a few hours north of you today.
What part of the Motor do you live and work at ???
reason I ask is because once in a while someone will hire me to pull a load down to that area of the state, and was wondering about the possibility of doing coffee sometime.

Grace always

Joel B. said...

Indeed, marvelous! Talk like this always reminds me of Bill Gillham. I heard him say once that someone accused him of preaching "that easy grace stuff." Gillham's reply was (in my own words) that grace is by no means easy. It goes against the religious preeminence of the flesh.

Yes, faith and grace are so darn simple! But yet they're so hard for us to fully grasp because we're trying to muster it up on our own, when that's NOT the way of faith and grace!

Wow... I can relate to what you're saying about your children putting such trust on you. Sometimes I think I'm so lost in this world... I don't even know what's up or down... LOL... but my kids have such confidence in me! But as worthy or unworthy as I am of their trust, I know that MY Daddy is trustworthy and faithful beyond what I can comprehend!

Anonymous said...

Great post, my friend! I loved what you said here:
"...well, it's better than promoting an angry, wrathful, sadistic, ready-to-whack, fire-spitting, terrorizing God and scare people away from Him!"
"I tried to find the counterfeit for belief through religion for many many years. It took so many years for me to come to a place where I realized that I need to give up all my self-efforts to please God through any other means other than believing in His provision of free righteousness."

This post was simply beautiful, my friend. I loved your illustration of the trust and faith of your children...and your role as their loving parent. Indeed, our Papa IS more loving than we can imagine. We cannot make Him out to be "too nice." Imagine one meeting Father after leaving this Earth, and Papa saying, "You know, son/daughter, You made me out to be 'too loving.'" I don't think so! Does Papa's love include correction and discipline? Absolutely! But again, it's IN LOVE!

~Amy :)

Bino M. said...

Ike - That's a great quote! Faith is only good as it's object.

Jamie - Thank you and waiting for your post on "child-like" faith. When my mind get complicated on things of theology, I go back to the passage where Jesus said, 'unless you become like little children..'. This might sound ironic- it's so easy to get complicated and To me, but it's hard to get uncomplicated.

Leonard - Hey, that's great if we can meet next time when you come to this side. I live in a city called Sterling Heights and work in 'Southfield'. Both are immediate suburbs of Detroit, not so far away from Down Town. When you get a chance next time to come to this side, pls. let me know. My email is

We have considered Traverse City for vacation in the past but never made it. I haven't been to Mackinaw Island even (still living in Michigan!!!), may be next summer... :)

Joel - Ya, I agree, grace is by no means easy. If it was so easy, why so many people find it hard?

Book of Hebrews says, 'Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest'

If it was so easy, why would he tell us to make EVERY effort?

Like you, I too sometimes think that I am so lost in this world...then, immediately I remind myself of the hope I have in Jesus. I mean unless we have an anchor for our hope, the hope is no hope at all. Who else other than Jesus, who is unchangeable is worthy of putting our confidence in? I even wonder how people live in this world without Jesus? Everything is changing, getting worse, becoming unstable day after day... I am so glad that I have Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever!

Amy - Thank you!

Leonard said...

Hi Bino, got it and added to address book, will send a test message soon.

Joel B. said...

Yep, Bino, great stuff! It all comes back to a life of faith, not sight and not law. Sight and law are the inclinations of the flesh, but faith is the work of God's grace in us.

Hey... I've been to Mackinaw/Mackinac Island! Way back when I was a young boy and my family lived in St. Louis, we took lots of vacations to Michigan. One time we went to the island and I was intrigued by all the bicycles and no cars. It was the first time I'd ever seen a tandem bicycle. Does anyone know... is it still a motor-free island?

Leonard said...

I think they allow snowmobiles in the winter, and that they have a fire engine and an ambulance.

Matthew Daelon said...

I feel like just saying to the people who say 'buddy God' or 'greasy grace' and stuff like that to let them alone. They are blind guides. If they want it to be about their performance, God will judge them by their performance.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that Bino, it has been a blessing. The pastor at the church we used to attend caught me at the market we shop at, I was just standing there waiting for bread flour from the baker when he said my name and "POW" he was right there, freaked me right out. He is a nice man, and I know he loves God, but they are so legalistic. He told me that I must not believe in hell if I believe in eternal security. I told him that I do believe a hell, of sorts, exists then he told me I must not believe in accountability for wrong doing. When I tried to express that I did not think that I had never really heard the true gospel message, that is grace through faith, and he turned it around and said, "maybe you never wanted to hear it". Maybe I didn't, but it wasn't because I didn't want to but rather because I was to scared to because of the fear teaching. It was a very frustrating conversation that made him pretty agitated and me pretty depressed. I love what you said, "We can't muster up faith. It's the love what produces faith, not the other way around." That is something that I am really really trying to find, the love that is, the fear has to be put away so the love can rule. It is happening, but people in our lives (my wife and mine) have made it a hard take-over, but you wonderful believers here are bringing a great and wonderful arm of support and love we are much grateful for.
Thanks again.

Bino M. said...

Matthew - Thanks! You made it even stronger!

Ron - It has been my experience that it's extremely difficult to 'convince' someone of the message of grace. They probably have to walk in the valley of legalism for a while, get burned out and come to a honest realization that the legalistic life isn't working for them. It's all about being honest to ourselves. I have mugged up so many Bible verses including the fruits of the Spirit etc but in reality I had none of those fruits in my life, but I tried ot fake it for some time. Some people live like that probably till the end of their life. But if we are ready to take a honest look at our Christian life, and genuinely seek God for what is missing, we will ultimately find rest (grace).

Thanks for sharing, so much of your stories are very similar to mine as well. Much grace and peace to you!

Walking Church said...

My answer to the person asking:

"Ask Him yourself how much of a friend, lover, beloved He really is"

I found Him to be like no other. He is the absolute definition of love. He has done it all: provided me in the past, present and is my assured future.

Bino M. said...

WC - Amen!

getting there said...

If I can just clarify..

My son knows he can ask his father for anything but my son talks to his friends differently to how he speaks to his dad..

I believe there should always be a level of reverence for God. He is our father who loves us but there should be a healthy balance. God is more than a friend, He is my father and therefor how I speak to him, how I see him has a different outlook. If I just see him as my friend this will not work..

I see him as holy.. maybe I am a bit reformed in this but this is just how I feel...

Bino M. said...

getting there - Thanks for expressing your honest thoughts! I appreciate that. I was trying to bring a perspective of seeing God from an angle of love rather than seeing him from a fear perspective. It wasn't to reduce God's characteristics such as holiness or sovereignty. I don't know how to put this into words, but to me understanding of His love always brings more reverence towards him. His holiness is not stopping me from approaching him in confidence because he has made me holy as well through the work Jesus did on the cross. So since I stand on Christ's righteousness, I can snuggle into his lap as His child, His bride, His friend, His sheep.

getting there said...

Thanks Bino, I understand where you are coming from, I do see Him carrying me a heck of a lot. I see Him drying my tears.. I see that side completely.