Issues and Answers

People Concept Of God - The Origins

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Jerry Connell


Series Code: IAA

Program Code: IAA000211

00:29 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and well come to another
00:31 Issues and Answers. What is your concept
00:34 of God the Father, that's what we gonna
00:36 be talking about today. And I have with us
00:39 Pastor Jerry Connell and Jerry is a pastoral
00:44 psychotherapist and a marriage and family
00:46 therapist joining us again from Lincoln,
00:49 Nebraska. Good to be here. Well I'm so
00:51 glad you're back because we really enjoyed
00:53 your program. The last program we did was
00:55 on marital intimacy and today we're gonna
00:58 be talking about intimacy with the Lord,
01:00 aren't we. But particularly we gonna
01:02 be talking about our emotional
01:04 response to God the Father.
01:08 Now it's a very interesting topic how
01:10 did this, why did you choose this topic.
01:13 Well it kind of grew over the years because
01:18 when I do intakes, when people come and
01:20 to talk to me, they want help with their
01:23 marriage or just if its an individual
01:25 wanting some help or wanting to kind of
01:27 process with some issues, I have a
01:30 intake form that I ask a lot of questions
01:32 about. So I can really get to know them
01:34 but because I'm both a pastor and a
01:36 clinical pastoral counselor, I've got some
01:39 questions that normally don't show up
01:41 in a regular say non Christian counselor's
01:43 office and one of those questions after
01:46 I deal with some of their issues and family
01:49 issues, the background is, tell me about your
01:52 experience with God? And you know it really
01:56 does affect our emotional response to
01:58 God the Father really affects us. I know
02:01 I usually share a scripture, and the
02:03 scripture that I would use for this program
02:06 would be Hebrews 1:3 and let me tell
02:08 you why I grew up believing in Jesus
02:11 Christ, I knew about the Holy Spirit or
02:13 I learned about the Holy Spirit in my 20s
02:16 but I had a terrible picture of God the
02:18 Father. I was very fearful of the Father
02:20 and Hebrews 1:3 helped me overcome that.
02:24 Let me read that to you, it says, He,
02:27 Jesus is the sole expression of the glory
02:30 of God, He is the perfect imprint and very image
02:35 of God's nature. And you know when I learned
02:38 that Jesus and the Father were one and the same,
02:42 then I was able to love the Father because
02:46 I knew he was just as loving and tender as
02:48 Jesus Christ, just as merciful and
02:50 compassionate and it did away with that
02:52 picture that God was just up there ready
02:55 to zap me when I made a mistake. But
02:57 what are some of the way that it affects
02:59 us if we don't have the right image of
03:02 God the Father. Well I think it affects us
03:05 in our spiritual life in many, many ways
03:08 obviously wanting to spend time with God,
03:11 right, or wanting to read the word.,
03:14 or just the whole idea of letting God
03:17 get close to us. That's huge and people get
03:23 a very distorted picture of God, yes,
03:26 and its so distorted that it well sometimes
03:31 people frankly they just walk away from God and
03:34 you know the thing is in scripture the term
03:38 Father is used a couple hundred times,
03:41 very prominent, and especially in the gospel
03:43 of John its probably the most prominent book,
03:45 but I think Jesus you know when the disciple
03:49 said, well you know show us the Father
03:51 and that will be good enough and Jesus said
03:52 well if you've seen me you have seen the
03:54 Father. Jesus, I believe knew that if we got
03:59 that right, that would solve an amazing amount
04:03 of things in our spiritual journey,
04:04 if we can only get right what the Father would
04:08 really like, amen, if you have seen Me you have
04:11 seen the Father. One of my favorite authors
04:15 Dr. Michael Green who for years pastored
04:17 a church in Oxford, he is now at Regent College
04:19 of Vancouver, Canada but he said Jesus sole
04:23 passion was his Father, and to show us,
04:28 that was, yeah and that was the passion because
04:31 you know we're spiritual by nature.
04:34 We're created an image of God but we have
04:36 a distorted image of God, yes, Jesus believed
04:41 and tried to communicate and tried to help us
04:43 to understand if we only get this right it
04:45 would solve and that's why he wanted to model
04:47 what God the Father was like. So, he could say
04:50 well if you've seen Me you've seen the Father
04:52 because He knew what we believed about
04:55 God really does effect our journey,
04:57 especially our spiritual journey.
04:59 Well and I imagine it affects more than just
05:01 our spiritual journey, it probably affects,
05:03 very much affects our family dynamics.
05:07 Does it not, if you don't trust God the Father
05:09 you're not gonna trust your own Father that
05:12 much or if you got a bad relationship with
05:14 the Father you won't trust God the Father,
05:16 how does this show up in a Christian counselor's
05:18 office. Well it shows up often if people are
05:23 tying to, sometimes work in their marriage and
05:26 they get down to some of the spiritual issues
05:27 in their marriage it'll show up there and so
05:30 we'll need to deal with those kinds of issues.
05:32 And so let me go directly Shelley into some
05:36 of the stories to illustrate, 'cause
05:38 it's best we learn by stories and it's best
05:40 illustrated by stories. Now I just want to say
05:43 before I share some of these stories,
05:44 I have permission to share this, go ahead.
05:46 And when people just open up their life to
05:51 me I feel like Moses at the burning bush when
05:56 God said, Moses take off your shoes because
05:58 the ground you're on is holy ground, this
06:02 is people's journey, this is people's life that
06:04 they're opening up to me and I don't take
06:07 that lightly at all. I mean this is like real
06:09 communally serious stuff that and they've invited
06:12 me into their life at this level, and so
06:15 I hope there's some scared trust but they
06:17 have given me permission so that other
06:19 people can learn and particularly so a parent
06:21 can learn, amen. The influence of their life
06:25 has on their children. There is no part of
06:28 a child's life that the parent's life does not
06:30 affect. There is no part at all, that's true,
06:32 nothing. We're just gonna isolate some spiritual
06:36 dimensions today, okay. Here's one
06:39 of the stories. This young adult was in her
06:42 20s, grew up in a home where dad was,
06:44 he worked for the denomination, he was
06:49 a workaholic, he was gone often all night
06:52 at his job even though it was a day job
06:57 and if there was a problem at home this
07:01 daughter could phone her dad at work,
07:04 he would come home solve the problem then
07:08 he go back to work. There is lesser
07:10 experience with her father, so I said
07:12 well tell me about your experience with God.
07:16 Now listen to this, this is a quote okay,
07:21 "sometimes he's distant, I run to him when I
07:26 can't go anywhere else. When I have a
07:29 problem I pray," yes, tell me your experience
07:34 with God. Sometimes when I have a problem I
07:38 pray, or talk to him. It feels good for a while
07:43 but it doesn't last. Notice the parallels,
07:47 perfectly newed her relationship with
07:50 the father. Here's another one, this young
07:52 adult when this young adult came in to see me
07:56 in her 30s. Grew up in a situation where dad
08:02 was a rageaholic, would just go ballistic,
08:06 literally would hide behind mom when dad
08:09 would just go nuts. And they felt as a
08:15 young adult they can never do anything
08:16 enough. It didn't matter how hard they tried
08:19 to be good it was only until time that dad
08:22 would go ballistic, amen. And then I asked the
08:30 question eventually, well how do you experience
08:34 God. Tell me how you experience God?
08:37 This is what they said, I try to be good
08:40 so he'll like me. I'm very consistent in my
08:46 devotion, in family worship. This is as a
08:50 married young adult, but regardless of how
08:53 hard I try it feels like its only a case of time
08:55 till God will get really angry at me. And
08:59 you know I identify with that. If I mess up
09:01 he'll reject me, I identify because that's
09:05 what I grew up with, sort of, yeah.
09:08 There's another one, this person was in her early
09:14 40s when she and her husband came to talk
09:20 to me and they drove some distance to come.
09:27 And this person grew up with just lots of chaos,
09:33 emotional abuse, sexual abuse by her mother.
09:43 And I asked the question tell me how's your
09:47 experience God? What's your experience with
09:49 God like? Well I've a hard time trusting God
09:56 where feeling accepted by him much like
10:00 I have a hard time trusting my mom and
10:03 feeling accepted by her. Now that's interesting
10:07 because you would think that it was more of
10:11 how she related to her father that would affect
10:14 God the Father but even the mother's
10:16 relationship this was her picture of parental
10:19 authority. Father was out of the picture.
10:24 That's interesting. So you see the parentified
10:28 image of God, right. Let me give you another one.
10:34 Its amazing when some, because I have people
10:37 come into me of a wide spectrum of professions,
10:43 doctors to lawyers to pastors, nurses to
10:47 people working in the technological world to
10:53 construction, you name it, okay. But this
10:56 person was a mid-level management person, okay,
11:02 very professional. But came into me because
11:07 he had a hard time, was having a hard time
11:10 feeling he said. And couldn't bond, feel like
11:14 couldn't bond with his wife and his children
11:16 in his early 40s, how painful. And so in the
11:21 process I began to ask him, you know the
11:26 questions about his growing up years and
11:30 this is among the things he said, he grew up in
11:35 a home where dad was very distant, harsh,
11:39 judgmental, emotionally distant, very
11:46 unnurturing. And so I said tell me about your
11:53 experience with God. This is what he said,
11:59 he's far away, judgmental, stern, not a
12:07 person I would go running to pretty much
12:11 like my dad. Exactly like my dad someone I would
12:15 run from. Oh mercy, how sad, did you see Shelley
12:22 the influence we have as parents on our children.
12:26 Did you see why Jesus would say if we've seen
12:30 him we've seen the Father because Jesus wanted
12:33 us to at least understand this to get it right,
12:35 because of the influence that I mean imagine
12:39 running from God instead of running to him
12:42 because God to him was so much like his father.
12:47 Well in, as I said at the beginning of the
12:49 program I can imagine because its hitting
12:52 a little close to home and thank God that
12:54 he brought me out of that and taught me
12:56 that Jerry don't you have some positive stories
12:59 about how people's relationships with their
13:03 parents have influenced their image of God.
13:05 Yeah, yeah, I want to get to those, I've one
13:08 more young adult 25 years old. The father
13:17 abandoned the family, he moved some hours away.
13:25 Very occasionally the father would visit, the
13:30 father was into drugs, alcohol, mom worked long
13:34 hours wasn't around much. So the kids were
13:40 on their own, lot of growing up. You know
13:43 it's pretty overwhelming for kids they have
13:46 to raise themselves, even though their mom's
13:51 working hard to try and provide for the family,
13:54 for the children. But if they don't have someone
13:58 to turn to for nurture, to care for them and so
14:04 I ask them eventually in the journey together
14:07 with me the question, how do you experience
14:12 God? What's God like? How do you experience God?
14:19 "I feel like he's not around a lot, sometimes
14:25 he's there. I wish I felt like He was there
14:29 more, I wish I felt like he cared about me
14:32 especially when I'm overwhelmed, I
14:36 would love to feel Him closer." Bless her
14:39 heart. The exact, now here's the sad thing
14:45 Shelley, with most of the examples these
14:52 are people who are very active in church
14:53 teaching Sabbath schools, some of them. Oh!
14:55 My goodness, oh, that's tragic, yeah, that's
15:00 tragic, yeah. Imagine teaching Sabbath school
15:07 but in your personal life you don't even trust
15:09 God, won't let him close to you. It all stays
15:11 up here its all cognate, you keep all of your
15:13 information cognate. But we as in the therapeutic
15:16 world we know long ago that people often will
15:20 over development the cognate domain even
15:22 in their religious life so they won't have to
15:24 deal with the stuff in him. And put it in
15:26 layman's terms it's head knowledge instead
15:29 of heart's knowledge, yeah, we don't have that
15:30 experience you may know the scriptures
15:33 but you don't have that personal experience
15:35 with God. Let me tell you a story that happened
15:39 several years ago that just as I was beginning
15:43 to see this picture come together from the
15:45 clinical study, my second daughter Cara who's now
15:52 26, she was 18 at the time so 8 years ago
15:57 she was applying for a job at Glacier View
16:01 Ranch in Colorado, they worked their for the
16:03 summer and so she was at home sitting at the
16:08 dinning table filling out the application.
16:09 I said sweetie, after you fill it, do you want
16:11 daddy to check it over and make sure its also
16:13 done right and then I can mail it from
16:15 the office for you and she said sure dad.
16:17 So she filled it out, left it on the counter
16:19 in the kitchen, I stuck it in my briefcase it
16:22 stayed there for a few days and finally
16:24 I thought oh man I really need to mail
16:25 this thing and I read it over to check it
16:27 and Shelley that knocked me over. Now
16:32 she knew nothing about this God image
16:34 theory stuff just a teenager, enjoying being
16:37 a teenager. I xeroxed it and I had it for a whole
16:43 year before even told her I xeroxed it but I
16:45 was asked to go to a seminar about helping
16:48 people understand God's grace and I said to her,
16:52 Cara I didn't tell you this but a year ago I
16:54 xeroxed your application because of something
16:57 you put in there and I used this, you suggest
17:01 that, that had to please her. Here it is,
17:06 in so much as you're applying for a summer
17:08 position at Glacier View Ranch please share
17:10 your thoughts in the following areas.
17:12 The first one, God, He's so loving that He let
17:18 his Son die in the cross. I picture God like my
17:22 dad, how precious, he's loving, caring,
17:28 forgiving, merciful, he's interested in me,
17:32 in my life and what I do. Do you see
17:38 the incredible responsibility as
17:41 parents, amen, that we have on our shoulders,
17:45 amen. It's just to me it was an overwhelming
17:51 thought, that I can color my children's picture
17:56 in relationship with God by my relationship
17:58 with them, amen, its beautiful. It's my
18:04 oldest daughter, she was for, one year went
18:09 to public school grew up in church school
18:10 but in grade 11, my wife was working on her
18:13 graduate degree at the local university
18:15 in Nebraska, in Lincoln and I was working.
18:18 I'd started I bid into my doctoral program,
18:20 she went to public school for one year because
18:23 we couldn't keep all the kids in church school
18:25 she said just for that one year daddy and
18:27 so she joined a group called Young Life
18:30 I think is, it's an evangelic organization
18:33 that their sole purpose is to teach the high
18:35 school students, the Christian high school
18:37 students how to do relationally evangelism
18:40 with the non-Christian high school students
18:42 and bring them to Christ and so she belonged
18:45 to that and in a couple of weeks they brought
18:46 her, took her into the leadership and had
18:48 meetings with different peoples homes, we
18:50 hosted at our house too and she came home one
18:52 of those one night Shelley and she said,
18:55 I asked her how it went, she said fine dad,
18:57 I said what you do? She said well you know
18:59 we had our Bible study tonight, and lets,
19:01 what was the topic tonight? She said it was
19:03 on the judgment and our concept of God to
19:06 be a God. And I said so what happened,
19:09 she said well we went around in a circle and
19:11 finally I was last and they looked at me and
19:13 they said Andrea what do you believe about
19:16 the judgment and your concepts of God and
19:18 I said so what do you say. She said well I
19:20 explained it dad the best I could and then she
19:23 said this to me, because most of the people in
19:26 this young life they're evangelicals. She
19:30 said dad where do these Christians of other
19:32 denominations get their view of God from?
19:35 She says they're such legalists, she say my
19:37 view of God is so relational. That's
19:40 precious, but you know while at night when I
19:43 would pray with the kids as they were growing
19:44 up before they went to bed I would either hold
19:47 them in my arms or just hold their hand,
19:49 I'd kneel beside their bed and hold them in
19:51 my arms or hold their hand, occasionally
19:53 I would say something like this in the prayer
19:55 not again every night I don't wanted to
19:57 redundant but I'd say this, I'd say Lord Jesus
20:00 I want to thank you for the privilege being
20:02 Andrew's daddy or Cara's daddy David,
20:04 Jerry, whoever. Well thank you for the
20:06 privilege you've given me to be their dad
20:08 and to watch them grow up and to enjoy new
20:11 experiences and become all that you've
20:13 created them to be and then I would say this,
20:15 and I'd say Lord, I love this child so deeply and
20:22 if I can love this child so deeply you must be
20:25 absolutely wild about them, oh how precious.
20:28 So, what kind of picture of God do they
20:31 grow up with? Amen, amen.
20:33 Let me tell you a couple of other stories
20:35 the people have given me. Well here's one that
20:40 is very religious family, very, very religious
20:44 family okay. But dad was gone, he worked hard,
20:48 there were several kids in the family, it was
20:51 a large family, several kids to feed. Mom though
20:54 was the boss, she was very structured, okay,
20:57 I mean to feed a whole bunch of kids,
20:58 I mean like I think it was like 8 or 10 kids.
21:00 And so she, as he said, ran a tight shift,
21:04 right, okay but she also tried to be close
21:07 to each child. And when I said to him, what is
21:11 God like as you experience God.
21:12 He said, He's a commander, no He's a
21:15 supreme commander and He's a personal friend.
21:19 Do you see the parallel? Yeah, how precious,
21:22 isn't that amazing? Here's, go ahead,
21:25 you know I was just gonna say we're getting down
21:27 to where we just have a few minutes left and
21:30 there are people in our audience who have
21:34 a perverted, distorted picture of God, as a
21:38 clinical psychologist what do you do to heal
21:41 that wound? How do you bring them from that
21:44 place where, I mean what do you do? Yeah,
21:49 you know its interesting as a pastor, yes,
21:52 and as a counselor as a pastor I got all this sort
21:54 of God stuff all over me, yes. So even coming in
21:57 and experience the heart of a Christian man
22:00 and who's present emotionally present
22:05 there, who cares very much about them,
22:08 who is very interested in them, listens
22:12 to their pain, listens to their journey, it's
22:15 amazing. What the research shows on that
22:17 too is a man can give to another man a changed
22:23 picture of God. Men can also do that for their
22:27 daughters, men can do that for women. So women
22:33 who come in and talk to me I have to deal with
22:35 it sometimes with them too. But here's a guy
22:37 whose only agenda is to help them heal.
22:42 No other agenda in the process. And so when
22:45 they experience a safe male to be around,
22:47 as someone who can listen to their heart.
22:50 Eventually it doesn't happen overnight,
22:52 its not a quick fix, but eventually it begins
22:55 to change. But what about the person who's out
23:00 there who can't run to Jerry Connell and they
23:05 may not know a Jerry Connell in their life.
23:07 Let's say that there is someone there who maybe
23:11 doesn't even trust their pastor or doesn't
23:13 be close to their pastor or maybe the pastor
23:15 is not really a people person, yeah, what
23:18 do they do? How, what can they do to start
23:23 on that path of healing? Well, there is a good;
23:26 there is a number of good books out here
23:28 that they can read on people where people
23:32 get their concepts of God. Its in a lot of
23:33 consoling books by Christian councilors
23:35 deal with those kinds of issues, that's one
23:39 place. Another one is to find someone in the
23:42 church who is, who does have a real heart
23:45 for God. You have to ask someone who
23:46 got a little heart for God. Has to be someone
23:48 who has a personal relationship with God,
23:50 a personal relationship with God, a heart to
23:52 heart and just talk to them, right, and just
23:54 say this is, this is what I'm feeling, this is
23:58 what I'm experiencing but I know this isn't
24:00 what it's all about. Would you walk with me
24:03 for a while. That's good. Would you journey
24:05 with me? That's good. You know in families the
24:09 relationships are so important and we want to
24:13 encourage families that are watching today how,
24:16 what else can you say to people who are watching
24:19 that will help them pass on a legacy of love
24:23 to their children from the Father through them
24:26 to the children. Well again I always come back
24:28 to telling people how important they are,
24:32 I mean you have to realize as parents how
24:36 important you are or it might be the
24:39 grandparents. In my case it was my grandmother
24:41 who raised me and you know what God end
24:43 up for me looking so much like my grandmother,
24:45 who absolutely thought the world of me,
24:48 who'd do anything for me. And my picture
24:51 of God is actually very much like her but its
24:55 for parents when you realize again how
24:59 valuable you are, how important you're life
25:01 is then you can begin to make the changes
25:05 and you want to as a Christian I'm thinking
25:07 as a Christian want to know this, you want
25:09 to do it differently, amen. You can't do it
25:12 the same once you know this, that would be,
25:14 that would be irresponsible. So then
25:16 you start the journey this is not a quick
25:18 thing, you start reading about how to be a good
25:20 dad, moms, how to be a good mom. How
25:23 to model a heart of God that to your
25:26 children and that's what it got to go, amen.
25:31 You know I can share from personal
25:33 experience that as I said I had a very,
25:35 I grew up in a extremely dysfunctional
25:38 home and I had a very dysfunctional,
25:41 distorted idea of who God the Father was
25:45 but I've learned in studying the Bible
25:48 when I, when the Lord opened His heart
25:51 of love to me then what I learned is that
25:53 God has my eternal benefit in mind.
25:55 Everything he's working out for my good for
25:58 eternity and it was something that
26:01 I just want to encourage each one who's watching
26:04 today that do as Pastor Jerry Connell
26:07 has said, reach out to someone at your
26:09 church that you know has something more than
26:12 "religion," a personal relationship with
26:15 the Lord. Ask them to help you on that
26:17 walk, to learn how to pray and to trust in
26:20 God, to trust in His word and to know the heart
26:23 of the Father. And if you are just pray and
26:25 ask the Lord as I do often, Lord, teach
26:29 me your love, teach me about your love.
26:31 Show me the father, and you know someone
26:34 out there has heard that you're worthless.
26:35 So you've had a parent that has told you
26:37 that, but I'm gonna tell you something
26:39 Jesus Christ, God sent him, Romans 5:8
26:43 says to die for you while you were yet a sinner
26:47 and you're worth nothing less than the price that
26:50 he paid for you with the precious blood of his
26:54 son. And it's something, I'm so glad that you
26:57 came here today Jerry to, thank you,
26:59 to encourage parents if they're making
27:02 a mistake and they're not showing that,
27:03 I believe you've given parents an idea of how
27:07 they need to change and make sure that they're
27:09 passing on that love to their children.
27:13 And for those who may have grown up without
27:16 that father image, you've given them some ideas
27:18 where to look. And I've to say I believe
27:21 that your children are very blessed to
27:22 have you as a father, oh thank you.
27:24 Well I just want to thank you once again,
27:27 the time went by so quickly but thank you so
27:29 much, you're welcome. And for those of you at
27:31 home I pray that the grace of our Lord Jesus
27:34 Christ and the love of the Father will become
27:37 so real to you and that you will experience
27:40 the joy of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
27:43 God is always with us, he never leaves us or
27:47 forsakes us. So call on him and get to know
27:50 God the Father. Thank you for joining us today.


Revised 2014-12-17