A Relationship to God
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The subject of this chapter is the second element of coming into the presence of God. When individuals come into the presence of God they enter a positive relationship to God or renew an existing positive relationship to God. As there can be negative primary relationships to persons, defined by for instance hate or disdain, so there can be negative relationships to God, defined by for instance rejection or defiance. Several of these negative relationships to God are discussed. Various positive religious relationships to God are possible in theistic traditions. In a theistic tradition such as Christianity, it is observed, a positive relationship to God may be defined by faith (trust), obedience, fear (awe and reverence), or by more than one of these religious responses to God. In this chapter a question is asked, analogous to the one asked in Chapter 4: If believers appreciate the religious necessity of not treating God as a means, will they then be aware of their positive primary relationship to God? The answer here too, it is argued, is: no, not necessarily.