Contrary to popular belief, the relationship between the biblical God and man is not one of loving father/creator to son/creation. Instead, it is more akin to the relationship that existed between a slave and his master. If one were to take the time to analyze the scriptures and its language they would see that this fact is made abundantly clear in the various narratives, psalms, etc. both of the old and new testaments.
In the olden days here in the United States slaves were acquired by either being purchased at auctions or through some sort of trade for goods. In the book of Acts, Paul was speaking to the elders of the church of Ephesus and he uses similar language. ‘'Be on your guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you the guardians, to feed the Church of God which he bought with the blood of his own Son. Acts 20:28(NJB) In the King James version the word “bought” is translated as purchased. The sacrificial act of Christ on Calvary is often referred to as atonement and redemption as in redeem.
Before moving on let’s refer to my trusty Sage dictionary/thesaurus for a definition of those two key words. Atonement is defined as: ‘compensation for a wrong.’ The word redeem has several definitions but I will use the one that I think will best help clarify my position: ‘Exchange or buy back for money; under threat.’ In this case the price of our salvation or atonement was the price of blood. ‘In fact, according to the Law, practically every purification takes place by means of blood; and if there is no shedding of blood, there is no remission.’ Hebrews 9:22 (NJB)
As seen above mankind was bought at the price of blood and not just bought but purified through that sacrifice. Like a slave master, God requires absolute obedience! 'You know well that if you undertake to be somebody's slave and obey him, you are the slave of him you obey: you can be the slave either of sin which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to saving justice. Romans 6:16 (NJB) As you can clearly see, even the bible makes that same parallels as I have chosen to make here between a slave and his master.
Just like a slave here on earth you are to fear and respect your master just like you are commanded to fear the Lord. 'Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.’ Matthew 10:28 (NJB) Obedience and fear are the two key components necessary to keep you in the good graces of your loving father in heaven. Worshiping God is not just praising him and singing songs to him about how wonderful and great you think that he is, but is also done through your obedience of his word and his commandments.
Finally, just like the slave a lack of obedience had with it some dire consequences. Most were whipped to within an inch of their lives, and I’m pretty sure that some slaves may have even been beaten to death for disobedience or some form of rebellion or another. I am sure that in the days when slavery was prominent here in the U.S. that if a slave ever dared to raise his hand to a white man/master or even had some sort of illicit sexual relations with a white woman, the penalty for these actions was death. In the case of God the penalty is eternal torment in hell depending on which churches interpretation of scripture you choose to believe.
This is one of the things I find most disturbing about the Christian belief system. They call their God loving and just but unlike human justice God is not satisfied with taking your physical life or making your life a living hell, he must continue to torment you after death! What sort of justice is this? If God did exist, instead of having my praise, gratitude, and admiration he would get what he has now: my disdain, and disgust! There is nothing loving about this celestial slave master! He is no different than Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao or any other earthly tyrant. It reminds me of the old mob movies where the Dons cronies are said to love their patron, but that my friends isn’t love at all, it’s fear!
In closing, I think that I have made my point here regarding the relationship of God and man. It is not a father son relationship as many believers tend to think. It is that of a master and his slave, in this case; the slave being humanity. 'Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?' Jesus said to him, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Matthew 22:36,37 (NJB) To love the Lord is not really a matter of choice but rather a commandment! Obeying him and keeping his other commandments keeps you in his good graces. Come to think of it, this does remind me of the movie ‘TheGodfather’!