Ok, I believe God is a real person. This is much more complicated than it sounds. I don't believe in the Mystery or the Light, or a Construct, or the 62,527 names of God. I don't believe all roads lead to Heaven or that it doesn't really matter what you believe. That is because I believe He is a real, objective, living person.
Now the reason this is complicated is that it opens Him up to a bunch the same ideosyncratic problems of other people. These include: being misrepresented, being misunderstood, being purposely disrespected, being used, and being accidentally overlooked.
So, like a bunch of other people, God says stuff. The stuff He says is meant to convey, to varying degrees, what He is like and what is on His mind, His likes, dislikes, and closely held values. So, in the same ways we write essays or articles or letters, God has written a book in various genres and styles.
It puts me in mind of the Register of Wills office. We often had a will sitting in front of us with a family on the other side of the counter saying things like, "I know this is not what he really wanted, why can't we just do what we know he wanted?" Our answer was always the same. "We have to do what is in the will." People did not get it sometimes. "Even if that's not what he really wanted?" Our answer again was always the same. "We have to assume he knew what he meant when he wrote the will." We were not allowed to just do what the people wanted to do in disregard of what the person had written for themselves.
You may not believe it, but I do, that God reveals Himself in the Bible. He knew what He was saying when He wrote it. Some people try to reinterpret it, rewrite it for our modern times, disregard parts of it, and try to fit God into their own conceptions in spite of it. Thus, the complications. That means that some people, when it comes to God, are wrong. This is especially true when a person, like God, has gone to great lengths to explain themselves and we just can't see past our own conceptions. Just as much as we can be wrong about the personality of our teacher, our child, our boss, our spouse, we can be wrong about God, because He is not a construct of our imagination, our psychology, our anthropological context. He is a real, objective person.
God knew what He was writing when He put ideas in the Bible: His loving nature, His justice, His holiness, His patience, and His desire for all people to come to Him. And He told us what that means, How we go about it, What is acceptable and what is not, His intentions for eternity, and His plan for the world in the here and now.
Go back to God's Word. Find what He says, even if we don't fully understand why He says it. Try to get to know God in this way, to dispel your misconceptions and renew the wonder of discovery. Get to know the Real God.
Pastor, Norma Mennonite Church.