When we think of God, a lot of people instantly think of a super demanding and overbearing cosmic power that is hyper concerned over our thoughts and actions. God stands as judge, ready to deal out wrath and retribution for every little idea and thing do we that doesn’t align with His will for our lives. God is seen as anything but “chill.”
But in today’s podcast, I sit down with my friend John Howey to discuss the idea that, maybe, just maybe, God isn’t nearly as uptight as we think He is about all the hot button issues we find ourselves uptight about. Contrary to what we often think, John Howey says God is actually pretty “chill.” He’s not the stickler for rules and regulations that we make God out to be, but is simply wanting to meet us where we are at, and to show us a better way to truly live.
Indeed, what God is chief concerned about according to John Howey, is whether or not we are being conformed to the image of love. For it is ultimately the ways of walking in love that will lead us to the way of life that God would have us to live, and not we follow all the “technicalities” to absolute perfection.
Please be sure to listen to this podcast above. It’s well over an hour long, but I think you’ll find this discussion well worth it and thought provoking.
Here’s a list of things we discussed at length on the show.
Talking Points From Today’s Podcast
- “Jesus was SO chill about who was included in God’s love. He was the opposite of chill about those who kept marginalized people away from God and excluded them from God’s redemptive work and love: women, kids, the poor, people who didn’t own property, people with lousy jobs, sinners.” ~ Jim Mead / Pastor, and author of Jesus And…
- What do we mean by the idea that God is “chill?” Does that mean God is okay with everything? If not, what actually makes God upset? What is it in God’s personhood that makes God “chill?”
- “God knows all my thoughts!” This idea can be kinda scary and overwhelming for some to think about. How do we process this?
- Are people really going to go to hell and experience eternal conscious torment over mere technicalities?
- “The sabbath was created for man, not man for the sabbath…” ~ Mark 2:27
- Is God trying to get us to follow a super strict code of conduct and be merely adherents to codified laws and commands? Or is God trying to show us another way of life?
- “You’re gonna have to pay for that!”
- Mindless obedience to those in authority? Really? Or is it okay to question those in authority and to fight against abuse?
- When people mess up, are we treating them overly harsh? Could we be more gracious? Instead of treating people as projects that needs to be fixed, what if we simply loved on people where they are at?
- God is interested in us being conformed to the image of Christ, which is ultimately the image of love. For God is love.
- What about certain “legalisms” we often get caught up in Christian circles? Should Christians watch Harry Potter movies? Is it okay to use a non-King James Version of the Bible? Is it okay for women to wear yoga pants?
- How do we respond to controversial hot button topics like those issues raised in the book, “Jesus and John Wayne?” Should female preachers like Beth Moore be involved in ministry, even though the Bible seems to forbid some level of women being involved in ministry? How do we as the church respond to allegations of physical and sexual abuse? What do we do with “bad boys” in the church, like pastor Mark Driscoll, or Bill Gothard? How do we handle the complications of human sexuality, especially in regard to homosexuality, or the “purity culture” that was rampant in Evangelicalism? How does God respond to these issues, and is He “chill” about them?
Special Guest: John Howey (aka Bridge Livwat)
John Howey is a Christian living in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
He is a podcaster, social media influencer, thinker, musician and songwriter who strives to build bridges between the sacred and the secular, the left and the right, and the practical and the abstract. He’s also my brother from another mother and podcasting pen pal. Apart from Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank, he’s my favorite Canadian. John Howey is the chancellor of my heart, the czar of my mind, and something of a cult leader… well… maybe not…maybe… I think
I believe John brings an amazing perspective to the world. He’s always looking to engage in conversations that need to be had.