10 The Lord proclaims: When Babylon’s seventy years are up, I will come and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. 12 When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. 14 I will be present for you, declares the Lord, and I will end your captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have scattered you, and I will bring you home after your long exile, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:10-14, CEB
How can you believe in God at a time like this?
The past few days I’ve been writing in response to a Facebook post I saw from a person who left the faith because he found God too angry. If you haven’t read the prior 2 days, do that first!
Confirmation bias. Have you heard this term before? Confirmation bias is what happens when I want to believe something so badly that I’ll only pay attention to evidence that supports that belief. Not too long ago, Brittany told me microwaves are harmful and shouldn’t be in homes. She told me all the evidence supports this. I began researching. I found that, yes, some evidence supports this…for microwaves that are about 30-40 years old. But almost none of the evidence supports this for the modern microwave. Despite all the research I sent her, she still doesn’t believe me. Confirmation bias, people!
If you read the Old Testament and only see God’s anger, that’s confirmation bias. It’s true that God doesn’t like it when his people don’t accurately reflect on his character. God wants the world to be able to accurately know what kind of God he is- and they can’t do that if the people don’t live out God’s character. And, I’ll say it again, the passages detailing God’s anger are a fraction of those that speak to his more dominant qualities, those of grace, mercy, forgiveness, love.
Have you ever been angry? Does that mean you have an anger management problem? I know some of you do, but for most people being angry is a momentary thing and not a way of life. You can be angry without having an anger problem. I’ve seen my dad get angry a few times (literally, a few). When he gets angry, he really gets angry. But it’s very, very rare. When my dad is angry, he has a perfectly good reason to be. It is not arbitrary, unjust, unfair, irrational, or unexplainable. I have no reason to think God is any different based on my reading of the Bible.