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In 2006, a sociologist at Baylor University released a study done by the Gallup organization that identified four views people had of God.

31.4 percent believe in an "Authoritarian God," a God who is angry at humanity’s sins.

23 percent believe in a "Benevolent God" who is forgiving and accepting of anyone who repents.

16 percent believe in a "Critical God" who has a judgment-eye on the world, but he’s not gong to intervene, either to punish or comfort.

24.4 percent believe in a "Distant God" who is more of a "cosmic force that launched the world then left it spinning on its own."

We need to understand that God’s love is unconditional. Jesus accepts us just as we are.

William Barkley tells the story of a young boy who is seated by his dad in worship and attempting to stay awake. As he is nodding off, out of the corner of his eye he sees his father abruptly raise his arm. He braced himself thinking his father was going to hit him. To his pleasant surprise, his father put his arm around him, drew him close and looked down and winked at him. The boy said, "I say my father in a different light that day and went to sleep in his arms."

(From a sermon by Ray Ellis (, "Is Perfect Loved Possible?" 1/12/2009)

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