MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Who Is Your God?

August 14th, 2007 Viewed 1857 times
This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Who is Your God?

One of the most baffling things to me as I read through the Old Testament account of history is that people could worship things created out of their own hands.  They worship a golden calf.  They worship the bronze serpent.  They created idols out of all kinds of materials.  And we know that people still do this today.

As Christians living in the 21st century we often think that we’ve moved way beyond this kind of philosophy.  We believe that we don’t have trouble with the first and second commandments because we aren’t constructing idols and we do not have any other gods that we are worshipping.

May I suggest that we may be wrong here?  You see, just like when Jesus said that those that commit adultery with a woman in their heart are the same as those that commit physical adultery, I believe that those that construct a god of their own out of what they want to believe about God are also following a lie.

I’d like to take some time here at MInTheGap to explore some of the gods that people people believe are God, and explain both why people believe this, but also why it’s wrong and what harm it could do.

How Big is Your God?

October 21st, 2007 Viewed 1463 times
This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Who is Your God?

Surrender      It’s fascinating to me to think about just how great God is and how much we fall short of understanding what He wants from us. I was reading in A. W. Tozer’s book (The Attributes of God: A Journey into the Father’s Heart (aff)) and I was really struck by a passage tonight that talked about how Christians try to find happiness in the wrong place.

You see, God wants us to find happiness– completeness– in Him alone. We have a shrine in our heart that only He can fill, and yet we try to fill it with other things. Tozer has a passage in his book where he talks about what we tend to do in our everyday Christian life.

Is God Your Grandfather?

October 23rd, 2007 Viewed 1058 times
This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Who is Your God?

generation One of the common ways that God is thought of is that of equating him with your Grandfather.

Grandfathers are great– they take you fishing, they tell you stories, they give you candy, but when the day is done you leave them and their wise advice and head home to do whatever it is that you want. Grandfathers don’t punish. Grandfathers are smart. Grandfathers are fun to be around because they do fun things with you.

Is God Your ATM?

October 28th, 2007 Viewed 1966 times
This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Who is Your God?

ATM There is a whole group of people out there that God is a magical ATM. What I mean by this is that God is someone who loves us and wants to give us good things, we just have to key in the right passcode. You know, punch in a few prayers and fastings and God will give us exactly what we want.

Surprisingly, many prayer meetings end up as nothing more than hoping to hit the right code that will have God act.

This is part of what’s behind the prosperity movement, and those that believe that God is out there wanting us to have an abundant life in the here and now, and all we have to do is figure out how to claim the reward.

Is Your God Santa Claus?

August 28th, 2007 Viewed 1608 times
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Who is Your God?

Santa CandleToday we’re going to look at the first idea that people have of God– that of Santa Claus.  No, I’m not saying that a majority of people worship Santa Claus as God, but what I am saying is that a lot of people expect God to be like jolly old Saint Nick.

Beliefs

  • God exists to make people happy.
  • He sits up in Heaven bearing many gifts that He gives to his good children.
  • He has a list of who is naughty and nice, and only gives gifts to the nice ones.
  • As long as I’m good and do the right things, all will be well with me.
  • He’s a jolly old man, like a Grandpa, and he loves everyone.

Problems

  • God is known more for His holiness and justice than He is for His love. (Isaiah 6)
  • Sometimes those that follow God whole heartedly have died in many different ways (Jim Elliot), or have endured affliction in this life.
  • God sees all things and judges all things– not just what we do, but also what we think. (Matthew 5:27ff)

Conflicts of Faith

The main problem with the belief that God is a type of Santa Claus is that when bad things happen there is no way to reason this against what has happened.

For example, I was reading in a recent Newsweek where a Chaplin in our armed forces was having a struggle with his faith.  Why?  Because he could not understand how the God that he believed in could allow his comrades not to come back, could allow innocent civilians to die, and could allow the atrocities and body counts he was seeing.  You see, his perspective of God was askew.

He saw God as someone who always answers your prayers in the affirmative, who’s out to just do blessings and he missed the fact that God is also a God of justice and holiness that sometimes meets out punishment on the ungodly.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.