Taking God At His Word

bibleA number of years ago, a group of professing Christians started talking about “re-imaging Jesus.” Having done that, the discussion has now moved to how this new model of Jesus is the imaging of God. One thing seems to surface from people identifying as Christian while spurning the long-held tenants of the faith–they believe “that whatever ‘God’ is,” he, she, or it is peace and love.

Why they’ve settled on these attributes, of course, is a reflection of what they believe to be most valuable. Therefore, despite the fact that God self-identifies as jealous, a Consuming Fire, Judge, even vengeful, such ideas are shoved aside as a construct of humans who wanted to wield power, or some such explanation.

Honestly, I find it shocking that people want to identify with a God they find so repugnant they have to remake Him into their own fanciful version of what they believe a god should be. In the same way that Joel Osteen and other health-and-wealth preachers see God as the Great Santa giving bountiful bling, these emergers/progressives/angry reactionaries see God as the dispenser of peace and harmony and oneness and community.

Never mind that at least one person in this group admits where he’s at: “It seems to me that we still haven’t found what we’re looking for.” Rather he feels “the ache of longing for connection, for communion.” He directs this desire toward his family, toward old and new friends, even toward strangers and ultimately toward enemies. But he never identifies this longing for connection to be the fault of a broken relationship with God.

If God had not spoken, if His Son had not come to disclose the Father to us, I could understand this persistence in making God to be whatever we imagine him. People have been doing that since shortly after the Fall, so why should our generation be different?

Because we have a written record that tells us what God has said about Himself.

Imagine the CEO of a large corporation hiring you, then giving you this caution: “Punctuality is important to me. I am punctual and I expect my employees to be punctual. No exceptions.”

Instead of making plans to be on time the next morning, however, this new employee thinks, “It’s all well and good that the boss says he values punctuality, but I don’t think it’s important at all. What matters is that you get your work done, no matter when you start or when you finish. Why would I want to live under the tyranny of the clock? Consequently, I’ll think of my boss as indifferent to punctuality and all about completed assignments. That way it won’t matter when I go in to work.”

As it turns out, the CEO did care about completed assignments, but He also cared about punctuality. Guess what happened to the employee who had decided to re-image his boss according to his own standards.

Sadly, those who try to give God a make-over will be sorely disappointed. They’re saying now, they can’t really know God, certainly not the way he explains himself in the Bible. At the day of judgment, God will respond in like kind: I never knew you.

If only people everywhere would take God at His word!

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Published in: on October 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm  Comments Off on Taking God At His Word  
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