by J. Gerald Harris

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The Person of God (4 of 18)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
I Peter 1:17-20

Holiness Requires (3 of 18) Dr. J. Gerald Harris I Peter 1:13-16

There are many word pictures of God, both in the Old and New Testaments. In our text for this evening Peter portrays Him as a father, a judge, and as a redeemer. That is how verse 17 begins: "And if you call on the Father...." Those same words can be translated, "since you call God your Father" or "because you have the right to call God your Father."

It is shocking for some people to learn that not everyone has the right to call God his Father. There are impostors today who call God their Father. They do this because they subscribe to the erroneous idea that God is the universal Father of man and therefore all men are brothers. God is the creator of all, but not the Father of all.

By the way, with all the talk about abusive fathers and deadbeat dads, fathers nowadays -- including the heavenly Father -- don't get much respect. Evangelicals are obsessed with His Son, charismatics are in love with the Spirit, Catholics find their model of Christian perfection in Mary, and a good number of mainline Protestants, in their desire for inclusiveness, are busy purging hymnals and prayer books of any mention of God as Father.

Although Christians and Jews still address prayers to God the Father, that will soon change if feminist theologians prevail. Already students at many divinity schools have to watch their metaphors, and some are instructed to pray, "Our mother which art in heaven."

And the United Methodist Church Hymnal Revision Committee decided that they were going to change many of the hymns in order to deal with God's "feminine" nature. And they have based their entire feminist theology on a passage in Deuteronomy 32 that compares God to a mother eagle who stirs up her nest and scatters her young abroad. But I'm saying that there is no real justification anywhere in the Bible for referring to God as your heavenly mother ...

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