My history is long and complex my father is Catholic, my mother is Baptist/ Methodist, I went to a non denom Christian Church as a kid, I atend a Wesleyan University, and am now going to a Church of God church. So I pretty much have my bases covered when I want to chose my docteran (whicj I still haven't solidified). So what do have solidified? God, the creator of the universe, made man in his spiritual imiage. Christ, is the son of God who was concieved by the Holy Spirit in a virgin, died on a cross, and rose again after 3 days. He did this to forgive the world of its sin and to fulfill oldtestement law. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God who convicts us, concieved Christ in Mary, fills us when we ask for Christ's forgivenss. The Father (God), The Son (Christ), The Holy Spirit all for the Trinity where they all are one, but individual (not something that I wholy understand yet). The Bible is the unfalable word of God given to man through divine revelation. Salvation, This is the excepting of Christ's forgivenss and alowing the filling of the holy spirit. Nothing man can do can ever earn salvatioon it is given only through faith and grace. I think that covers it. I m not sure about man made issues (eternal salvation, total sanctifiacation and divine election).
Okay now that I used all that time Im going to throw my two cents in. (hope y'all don't mind)
John 9:3 says "Niether this man nor his parents sinned" said jesus "but this happened so that the work of God may be displayed in his life." (NIV) This has been the verse that I have held on to as a battle cry for my life. When I get through with college I plan to work with sexually abused kids. Later after I get my MSW and become a LCSW I plan to begin work with pedophies and sexualy compulsive people. During this time I would like to begin programs for male rape victims (prison population, childhood survivors, etc.). If things had not happened the way they had I would not have choosen the road I am on. In fact if I kept on what I wanted I would have been an astronaut or a dog... But anyway. With out sounding prideful or too sure of myself I think I will make a difference somewhere. So did God cause what happened? No, God is Love and Good and would not do anything evil. But He had to step back because he promised free will and WILL not break that. That is the best that I have come up with. Is it the best answer? Probably not. But honestly I trying to understand God meathods is like me knowing only a grain of sand and trying to understand the universe.
When you talk about your problem being with Christians, I understand. Sometimes we do things that aren't exactly enscync with God, but remember we are imperfect. NEVER can christians claim that we are, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" NIV Romans (3:12)
I guess the reason I am writing this is cause something that J said caught me by the balls. "God's manifested power on Earth was usually in the form of judgement." I am so sorry that you feel this way. To me God is Love. Part of this is judgment yeah, but God does practice Tough Love. But some examples I can think of off the top of my head are of his love. When God created us he did it with Love, When he blessed Abraham with Issiac, When he called Noah, when He saved Danial, When he confronted (comforted) Job, When He came is Elijah in the still small voice, When he saved the King Obidiah, and the ultimate one is when he sent Christ. Again I belive that God is Love. And as Haddaway once asked What is Love. Love is patient Love kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Lpove does not delight in evil, but rejoyces in Truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persivers." I corinthains 13:4-7.
I guess that is my point. I am sorry I kept going, but it is something that I AM PASSIONATE about. I
I hope this helps someone someway
Peace be with you
This above all: to thine own self be true,And it must follow, as the night the day,Thou canst not then be false to any man.