With that being said, I think our perception of God (if it is akin to thinking he is pissed off at you) needs to change.
I am a follower of Christ of the Judeo-Christian tradition. I have faith in God and what he did by way of Jesus, and I also have faith in what he did back then and what he is doing now, I also have faith in the good things people are doing in God’s name (whether they’re aware they’re doing it or not).
I did not grow up in a family where God was presented in a “Fire and Brimstone” fashion, I didn’t see movies like Thief in the Night to scare the hell out of me and the heaven into me. But to some extent I felt like the God I was taught when I was young was an angry God, that he was out to “get” me and I should [morally] straighten up and not do certain things; watch “bad movies”, listen to “non Christian” music, etc.
Reading the Bible and praying were big components of my young spiritual journey, but I think at times I did it because of the persistent “shoulds”; I should to read the Bible, I should take time to pray…legalistic much? I think so…
I’ve come to realize that serving a god that makes you feel guilty isn’t a good god let alone one that can ever be satisfied because you’ll always be doing something to please said god; do something because you offended god, do something because even though you haven’t offended god you must have done something to be in the mess you’re in now… That is an unending process, that kind of god can’t get no satisfaction (which is why I stopped worshiping Keith and Mick).
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a questioner than I ever have been. I have faith in who God is, but I also have doubts and I have questions. Maybe I won’t ever get all my questions answered on this side of eternity and maybe it will take sometime on the other, but to be honest I am okay with that. 🙂
One thing I enjoy reading over and over are the accounts of who is Jesus by way of the Gospels; different perspectives, including and excluding things, but ultimately Jesus’ love for humanity and be among us instead of cloistering himself away from us.
I’m going to be reading the Bible in its entirety soon with my bro Mark, and we’re already putting some rules on our reading:
1) We’re going to read it all including the boring parts
2) We’re going to have many versions available, to peruse what other versions have to say but also to drop one version and grab another as we see fit
3) We’re going to write down our questions and in one sense truly question what we read.
I’m excited about the last part, as I am a questioner and I think God and the Bible should be questioned, after all I am not the original audience nor am I reading it in the original language, I’m more of an outsider than an insider as to what the Bible has to say. There is something to the Bible, and I think it is about story as well as God’s, it is also wrapped up in who Jesus is and what he did… But since I haven’t read it from cover to cover in a long time, I have a feeling my perception of its contents has changed from back when I believed in a God that was out to get me.
He’s not out to get me or you or the rest of humanity, he has unending love and grace for all of us.