Yesterday’s Bizarro is actually pretty serious. Sometimes people have formulated an image of God – more often from words than from stone – in order to scare people into respecting rules. But it ends up controlling communities in ways that not only go beyond that original intent, but become quite toxic. There is implicit recognition of this, on one level, in the text that was the focus in the sermon in my church last Sunday. “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.”
Perfect love can cast out fear. But it probably takes a new image of God to cast out an older, clearly problematic, image of God.