god of the bullies

I have more experience with bullying than I wish I had. I grew up with a bully. I was bullied at school. I found safety in joining the bullies as well. I suffered from and contributed to the sickness of the world.

  • In elementary school I defend a kid getting bullied for his afro. In high school I'm making jokes using racist epithets.
  • In junior high school a bully sits next to me on the bus ride home and punches me hard in the leg over and over again. When I get home I get into full contact fights with my younger brother.
  • I sing songs of love to Jesus, then post on Facebook the most obnoxious verse about God I read that morning.

I need to explain that last one a little more.
Those commands to kill every man, woman and child? I'd make that my status for the day, but not ironically. A verse that portrayed God in an ugly way, I posted. Why? I wanted my friends to see how mighty my God was. How he could do whatever he wants. Including being a bully.

In the 1990's I started attending a Vineyard church which emphasized the father heart of God. This was an incredibly healing time for me. But then that emphasis went away. One of the topics that remained, not in the forefront, but there, is that God killed Jesus, which is kind of the father heart of God you don't want since that God is an abusive bully.

Then I started learning that Jesus, who is very likable, is the exact representation of God. I was freed from trying to reconcile nice Jesus in the New Testament from bully God in the Old Testament. I learned that Jesus selectively quoted the OT, so did his disciples. Those bully verses from the Old Testament, since they don't agree with the gospels, are incorrect/false/uninspired/wrong.

God is love. Jesus is God. Jesus is love.

God is not a bully. I will not worship the god of the bullies. I will worship the God who is love as revealed in the flesh of Jesus.

Good Friday comes soon, the annual recollection of Jesus getting killed by religion, government, and the military. He stood up to those people in power, the bullies, he scared them, and the bullies killed him. He forgave those bullies. He loves the bullies. He even saves the bullies. People like me. He is God of the bullies, but not by being the bully god.

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