The concept of Christian Atheism might sound like an oxymoron at first, but upon deeper examination, it can provide valuable insights into how people approach their faith. Christian Atheism is the belief in God but living as if God does not exist. Jacob also discusses what we might call "Customized Christianity," which involves picking and choosing the aspects of God's character that appeal to us, leaving behind the parts we don't like.
In our society, customization is prevalent. From the entertainment we consume to the food we eat, we have the luxury of choosing what suits our tastes and preferences. However, when this consumer mentality seeps into our faith, it can lead to a skewed understanding of God and His character. Instead of viewing God in His fullness, we might start creating a version of God that aligns with our personal preferences and beliefs. This kind of approach can hinder us from developing a genuine relationship with God.
One of the key elements in our relationship with God is the balance between love and fear. Loving God is about acknowledging His kindness, mercy, and grace towards us. The fear of God, on the other hand, is not about being terrified of Him but rather having a reverent awe for His power and majesty. This balance helps us to avoid the pitfalls of legalism (strict adherence to the law) and license to sin (misuse of God's grace as an excuse for sinful behavior).
Living with the fear of the Lord can be seen as an inconvenient aspect of Christianity, but it's an essential part of our faith journey. The fear of the Lord, as referenced in Proverbs 9:10, 14:23, and 22:4, can lead to blessings, freedom, and a victorious life. This fear, however, is not about being terrified but about having a reverential respect for God and His commandments.
The beauty of our faith lies in its transformative power. By choosing to obey God and live in reverence of Him, we open ourselves to His blessings and freedom. This freedom, however, is not a license to live as we please but an invitation to live a life surrendered to God.
In conclusion, understanding and living a life fully devoted to Christ requires a delicate balance of love and fear of God. It challenges us to go beyond our comfort zones and embrace the inconveniences that come with following Christ. As we learn to surrender and obey, we find healing and freedom in Jesus, reminding us of the transformative power of our faith.