I like to read both liberal and conservative news sites because both sides present filtered perspectives and the truth often lies somewhere in between. The common buzzword for this is called “spin.” It seems like everyone reporting now days is spinning. What is “spin”? Commonly associated with political public relations, spin can be characterized as “presenting an issue in a perspective most favorable to a given point of view.” It is created by presenting information favorable to one perspective and by omitting or rebutting information from another perspective. One conservative commentator calls his show the “No Spin Zone” but the reality is that he spins just as much as the other side.
It would be difficult to be in the public eye in this day and age of media spinning. Media workers take sound bites or partial quotes, remove them from their context, then spin to make a point. I have seen this many times. When I go back and read the full transcript or hear the person respond to the articles that were spun, their original communication and intention was not represented at all.
What about spiritual spinning? Is it possible? Can we perceive and present “information favorable to one perspective” while “omitting or rebutting information from another perspective.” Can we spin the revelation of God to ourselves or others in a way that mischaracterizes who He is? The Bible contains the revelation God gives about Himself that He wants us to know. He reveals both His likes, His dislikes, and His traits that make up who He is. This is what theologians refer to as His attributes. Some of them we understand a little because they are in us in an incomplete way (called communicable attributes, love, hate, patience, justice etc.), while others are way beyond us (called incommunicable attributes, sovereignty, foreknowledge, omnipresence etc.).
In response to the breakdown and dysfunction of family over the past 50 years (See “Abba Father” or “Abba Grandfather”) God has raised up the powerful message of His loving Fatherhood in the past few decades. There had been a tremendous resurgence of revelation about God’s Fatherhood, His powerful love for us, and His amazing adoption (from slavery to son ship).
Spinning His Attributes
As wonderful and liberating as this is, and continues to be, we must be careful not to spin certain attributes of God, leaving out others. If we diminish or topple any of His attributes it is a domino effect leading to a spinning of God. Psa 50:2… You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.
We tend to do this with God’s great love and mercy. Some view God’s love in a way that eclipses all his other attributes. It is a big mistake to think that God’s love overshadows His holiness. Over and over He reveals Himself in the Bible as Holy. He is the Holy God, and the Spirit is Holy Spirit. Our culture has purged God’s love of anything that we feel uncomfortable with such as holiness and righteousness. We have, in a sense, redefined the love of God apart from His other attributes to neutralize them because they don’t appeal to us.
His Kindness, Hatred, and Severity
Paul makes this point in Romans, in a admonishment to have a healthy fear of God. Rom 11:20-22…they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; (21) for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. (22) Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. Many people like His kindness but have no clue about His severity. Therefore they see God as a kind grandfather who is obligated to love them no matter what they do, or how they live.
Another attribute of God we can bypass in light of His love is His holy hatred. A bumper sticker says “Hate is not a family value.” Unfortunately many Christians attribute that to God and His family. The same God who loves also hates. In a fallen world with an enemy that is opposed to Him, God must hate what is trying to destroy His Kingdom and the object of His love (us). God’s attributes of holiness, purity, righteousness, and justice prompt Him to hate evil, including human attitudes and actions.
Heb 1:9 “YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS
Deu 12:31 “You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods.
Pro 6:16-19 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Psa 7:11 God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
Psa 5:4-6 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. (5) The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. (6) You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
If God’s love was a trump card that nullified all His other attributes, then the horrors of the suffering of Christ would make no sense. God could have just pronounced love and forgiveness, and Jesus could have avoided suffering God’s wrath for us, but God’s justice and wrath had to be satisfied.
The early church in Acts appreciated all the attributes of God. They lived with an incredible comfort of the Holy Spirit and security in God’s love. Yet it was also mixed with a healthy fear of Him. Act 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
We want people to “feel” secure in God’s love, but “feeling good” isn’t as important as “living good” 1Pe 1:15-16 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; (16) because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” We need to be careful that we are not spinning God to a point that He isn’t who He is. The good news often isn’t perceived as very “good” among His church, or the world that desperately needs Him, because we have spun away His other attributes that would cause us to be amazed by His great love.
Enter the text or HTML code here