Wednesday, November 01, 2006

DIY GOD

Yesterday, at our Bible study at Oostburg Pizza Ranch, one of the ladies said that she had been talking to someone who sincerely believed that God is a God of love only…not a God of judgment. Nothing that my friend could tell this person seemed to sway her belief in who she thinks God is.
Many people today seem to be like this women, fashioning their concept of God upon what they “think He should be like”, a “Do It Yourself” God, rather than on what He says He is in His own words. They look to experience or emotions or, perhaps, just wishful thinking, and they see a god of indifference, a god of wrath and anger, or a soft and fuzzy god of love. But they do not see the God of the Bible because they do not listen to what He has said there about Himself.
Various accounts in the Bible reveal different facets of God’s character—some of which seem paradoxical—but God is really a sum of those seeming contradictions. Because He is holy and perfect, there is no tolerance for man’s impurity. Because He is righteous and just, He demands man’s absolute obedience to His commands. Because He is merciful and compassionate, He chose to serve man’s death sentence for disobedience (sin) Himself, so that His perfect justice could be satisfied, and man could live under the covering of His perfection.
All through the ages, men have attempted to fashion gods to their own standards. The Greeks and Romans and those who followed in their cultural footsteps pictured a pantheon of deities as sort of superheroes, larger than life, but with the same inherent failings of character that they experienced themselves. The Egyptians and those who worshiped the natural world assigned magical qualities to their gods of the heavens, the rivers, the animals. Some venerated wise men, teachers, and political and spiritual leaders, in spite of their human failings, and lifted them up as gods, worshiping them in both life and death.
Today, we live in an age of widespread religious tolerance and intolerance.
People seem ready to tolerate the elevation of both man and nature to objects of worship, yet they refuse to recognize God, their Creator, as He has represented Himself in His Word, the Bible. They are not willing to tolerate all of the attributes of God…only those that agree with their philosophy of who God should be.
But wishful thinking does not change the facts. DIY--Do it Yourself--is fine for home improvements, but it is a dangerous thing when we tinker with God.
God is not what I wish Him to be. He just Is what He Is.

4 comments:

I Corinthians 13 said...

Ahhhh, I enjoyed this post, Kathy. So true! I've been frustrated with that same kind of thinking, esp. the permissive, only loving idea people have. It's prevalent today, too, as we have trouble understanding consequences despite God's compassion. I count myself so blessed that I am regularly chastised and humbled by Him, and, of course, for his unfailing Love. Thanks for that reminder. :)

Melanie

Elder's Wife said...

Thank you for the encouraging words, Melanie!
Kathy

mike rucker said...

here's a question for you, ms kat: to whom will God show grace and mercy once eternity begins - ie, once Christians are in heaven and unbelievers in your version of hell? will these eternal attributes of His character be muted for all eternity?

mike rucker
man of a thousand questions... :)

Elder's Wife said...

Mike-
It seems to me that you have allowed doubt to build some pretty high walls in your understanding of God and of His character. If you really want honest answers (and I expect that you do), you might benefit by doing something I did 35 years ago when I first began to read the Bible (still unsaved, though).
I began to read straight through each book, just as I would a novel or letter. When I came across anything that I didn’t understand, or questioned for some reason, I put a red mark next to that verse or passage. I didn’t try to figure it out, but just waited to see if it would become clear later. In the years since I came to trust Christ as my Savior, I have read through the entire Bible a number of times, and was surprised to find that most of the “questionable” passages were really answered by later ones. And each time I’ve read through those sections, fewer and fewer questions remained.
I don’t have all the answers today. And that’s ok with me.
As far as God’s attributes are concerned, His Word says that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And He is a paradox—two seemingly irreconcilable facts that are both true. He is, after all, the God who became sin for us and sacrificed Himself to meet His own perfect standard of righteousness for us.