God's values are not the values of the world.
The world values: victory, fame, money, possessions, physical beauty, beautiful things, pleasure, intoxication, sex.....
We are fed these values constantly by the mass media.
Even our education reflects these values.
These are the things we are taught to aspire to.
The world loves power and success and achieves it through violence and fear.
But God says what we do to the least matters.
The world cheers the winners and ridicules losers.
At first we expect God to be like the world,
i.e. to reward and punish: to win; to use violence and force
- the God of power and might who conquers.
These are worldly values.
The Book of Revelation with its violence and its hell reflects the values of the world not the values of God.
"'The Father judges no one.'" John 5:22a (NRSV)
"The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish." 1 Peter 3:9 (NRSV)
We should take heed of the powerless, the losers, the nobodies, the sick, the disabled, the poor.....
Celebrity culture is the way of the world.
To aspire to it is to be of the world.
The world hates God.
It hates: idealism, welfare, equality, meekness, generosity, humility, truthfulness, losing.....
God comes last.
He doesn't win.
There are no sides.
It is the world that killed Jesus
- the powers and authorities of the world.
- Jesus said he was the Son of God and he criticized the religious authorities; they accused him of blasphemy and killed him.
But he did not fight them.
He said nothing to them.
He allowed them to bruise him and kill him.
And he forgave them.
God did not stop them because He does not use force and they would not listen.
But there was a Pentecost afterwards whereby Jesus' message was spread through all the world. It was only later that the message was changed according to inferior understanding. That is why the Bible is full of contradictions - because people interpreted things according to their own understanding.
We live in darkness in the world.
Through Jesus we begin to see.
Through prayer we come to know God.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)