“My” god…

People disagree — about everything. And, most of us, for whatever reason, love to argue (though the more sophisticated among us would say they like to “debate”). Once upon a time, I’m told, people would argue within certain parameters. They used logic and reason. They presented facts and evidence to support their point of view and considered the facts and evidence presented against them. I’m not convinced that was ever really the case, but if it was it certainly is not now.

Part of the problem is arguments have a tendency to become emotionally charged, and when they do people will grasp at any argument, however invalid or ridiculous, to defend their point of view. Again, I’m told, there once was a time when such arguments would have been dismissed as… well… invalid and ridiculous. But in today’s culture we have another problem — one that makes people consider once invalid arguments valid.

We live in a relativistic culture. A great many people have come to believe that all points of view have no absolute truth or validity and are, therefore, of equal value. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “Well, that may be true for you but it isn’t true for me.”

People will argue that truth is relative — defined by the individual. This is an invalid and ridiculous argument. Yet, today it is widely accepted as valid and reasonable.

But here’s the thing…

People who profess to be believers in Christ Jesus have been applying this absurd standard to Scripture.

Believers frequently disagree over doctrine. And these disagreements can become emotionally charged. But, despite our disagreements there is one thing we should agree on and it is this: Scripture is the final authority on the matter. Going to God’s Word and seeking the accurate interpretation on the subject should be our goal. However, more and more I hear people end the discussion with the following statement…

“My God isn’t like that.”

It’s been used on all manner of topics.

  • My God is a God of love and wouldn’t send anyone to hell.
  • My God does not pick and choose who is and is not saved.
  • My God doesn’t hate anyone.

The problem with all of these “arguments” is the word “my.”

“My” God.

We’ve come to a point where we actually believe attaching the possessive pronoun “my” to the front of a word gives us the ability to define that word. Sorry, but that is ridiculous. Just try doing that with… oh, I don’t know… gravity.

“My” gravity would never allow me to plummet to my death when I leap from the top of a 30-story building.

All right then, go leap from the top of a 30-story building and see what happens.

You get the point.

Some things are absolute. God is the ultimate absolute. Scripture tells us over and over again that God does not change.

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” — Malachi 3:6

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” — James 1:17

Deuteronomy 32:4 compares God to a rock. Rocks are solid, firm, not easily moved. You get the idea.

We don’t get to define God. He has revealed Himself to us through Scripture, His Son and His Spirit and we need to take Him as He has revealed Himself. If the God we worship does not look like the God of the Bible then guess who is wrong.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the 19th century Baptist preacher, made a very wise observation about people who possess the “my” god brand of arrogance.

He said…

“See how they treat the Bible itself; when they open it, it is not that they may hear what God says in it, but that they may tell God what he ought to have said.”

If we worship “our” God the way we perceive Him to be in our own minds and not according to how He is revealed in Scripture, then we are worshipping an idol just as surely as if we were worshipping a calf made of gold.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

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