Very interesting interview with Bono, lead singer of the band U2, regarding Jesus Christ from a couple of years ago. He says many things with which I agree and some that I do not.
My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don’t let my religious world get too complicated. I just kind of go: Well, I think I know what God is. God is love, and as much as I respond [sighs] in allowing myself to be transformed by that love and acting in that love, that’s my religion. Where things get complicated for me, is when I try to live this love. Now that’s not so easy.
Agreed. Trying to live up to the perfect love that Jesus had for mankind and what he tasked us to do is indeed very difficult.
His next bit is very interesting.
But the way we would see it, those of us who are trying to figure out our Christian conundrum, is that the God of the Old Testament is like the journey from stern father to friend. When you’re a child, you need clear directions and some strict rules. But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.
Also agree. God is different in the OT than the NT and that's because of Jesus Christ. It's pretty simple when you think about it. Right before this, though, he says this:
There’s nothing hippie about my picture of Christ. The Gospels paint a picture of a very demanding, sometimes divisive love, but love it is.
Christ may have not been the hippie his artistic portrayals make him out to be but he was a man of peace. I don't think that God's love is all that demanding, at least from the standpoint from Him as an authority figure. After all, it is your choice to believe. For me, having faith is the easy part, I guess.