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Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Designer God

               A Designer God

Women love designer clothes, men like well-tailored good fitting suits, and many people apparently seek a designer God.  Just like telling the tailor to “take a little off here” and “add a little here,” we want God to be of our design.  After all, we know what’s right and wrong and we don’t need God to tell us what’s right and wrong.

That has been the error of man (and woman) from the beginning of time—we seek to be gods and goddesses.  We are not content to have a loving God who gave His own Son up for our sins, we want to be, and we demand to be God!  It’s silly, but we all do it.  We want to make the rules, not God.  We want to be on top, not God.  We want to decide for ourselves, not God.

Why are there so many religions in the world?  Quite simply, man seeks to be God, to define God.  He wants to choose what’s right and what’s wrong, and to decide how to get to heaven, or even if there is a heaven.

So we reject God.  But we do it in a subtle way.  Someone may ask me what I think about some moral issue such as lying, or jealousy or hatred or murder or adultery or the like.  Who am I to say what is right or wrong?  Am I God?  It doesn’t matter what I think about abortion or adultery or lying or hatred.  It just doesn’t matter.  Whether I think something is good or bad is not relevant.  What God says is the only thing that matters.

The other evening Kathi and I watched a show on television that certainly promoted a designer God.  A man had a sex transplant, abandoned his wife and son, and is now a pastor with Bible in hand “preaching” to his flock a politically correct message of right and wrong according his own notions.  Like giving directions to a tailor, he has decided that his Bible should have “a little taken out here” and “a little added in here.”

God is God.  Who are we to sit in judgment of the great “I am”?  Are we all-powerful?  God is.  Do we fill the universe?  God does.  Can we listen to and answer prayers from all around the globe at one time?  God can.  Are we perfect?  God is.

You can’t have it both ways.  Either there is a God or there is no God.  And by His very definition, God does not conform to human standards.  He is above nature.  His dimensions and power and authority are not defined by man.  He is God.

There are no designer Gods.  There are false gods and then there is God. 

Jesus wasn’t just a good teacher.  If you believe that, then you also must believe that Jesus was a liar.  After all, He proclaimed himself as God. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20).  You can’t have all authority in heaven and earth and be an ordinary human.

How could Jesus be born of a virgin?  Ridiculous!  How could Jesus walk on water?  Preposterous!  How could Jesus turn water into wine?  Impossible!  How could Jesus live a perfect life?  Absurd!

Yes, all this is ridiculous, preposterous, impossible and absurd if you are a simple human.  It could only be true if Jesus is God.

The Bible is given to us as a special privilege.  Through the Bible we hear directly from God.  We are blessed to know exactly what God says and thinks and what He wants us to do.  How do we get to heaven?  God tells us in a straightforward, unequivocal way in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Is there any other way to get to heaven?  Not so, according to Jesus.  Listen to what He says in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

If you want to believe in another god or no god, that’s your choice.  But please, let’s not distort what the Bible says.  His words and teachings are clear.  You have a right to reject the Bible as false, but when you pick and choose and turn God into a designer God who meets your preconceptions and has your values, he is no longer the God of the Bible.

Undoubtedly God’s teachings are hard teachings.  That’s exactly what His hand-picked disciples said in John 6:60.  We don’t want to believe God.  We want a designer God.  One who thinks the way we do.  But it doesn’t work that way.  That, indeed, is a hard teaching, but one that is meant for our good.

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