Wednesday, March 11, 2015

God vs. the god of Our Own Creation

The secular humanist or selective secular humanist worldview (meaning one that does allow for some religious consideration) never lets us get past our self because it is a worldview from which we have set ourselves on the throne. We are the measuring stick, the god of authority, the final conclusion on everything, even ourselves.

Even if we purport to be religious, it is a religion we have chosen for ourselves by ourselves (or adopted as a course from our parents or family heritage). Even if we believe in God, it is a god that aligns with our worldview. It is a god made in our image. It is a god who, because we cannot or do not want to comprehend certain absolutes, has no absolutes except the ones we set for him or her (in our own economy, god can be male or female or be comprised of any number of created, self-imposed qualities).

But it follows then, that if this god of our imagination is unique in our creation of him, then he is unique in everyone else’s creation of him. One person’s god differs from every other person’s god. Their god may be an angel, or an aura, or every living thing in nature. But if that is true, and we build our lives around this self-made spirituality, how do we trust it when it looks nothing like the next person’s? How do we have faith in something that another person would find no faith in? How do all these concoctions of God actually serve reality if the concoction itself is a contrivance, a figment of our imagination, a really beautiful but empty fairy tale?

I know of a man who calls the Bible and account of Jesus “wishful thinking.” Yet he does not call all other peoples’ take on god “wishful thinking" (nor does he call atheism, the belief that removes any final accountability to God, "wishful thinking"). 

I know of people who trust the translations of the great works of philosophy and literature, but discount the translation of Scripture. They trust the translation and historicity of Plato’s writings yet snub the verified historicity of Scripture.

I know people who reject the supernatural in the Bible, yet believe a full moon or a babbling brook speaks to them (full disclosure: I used to be one of them!).

I find it ironic that many secular humanists refuse God due to His supernaturalness, which they deem fiction, but yet they have no qualms about creating a fiction of their own, even the atheistic fiction that there is no God.

I used to be a person who snickered at and mocked born again believers, calling them “Bible Thumpers” and “Holy Rollers.” 

I chose instead to put my faith in rote ritual: baby-baptisms, confirmation, catechism, the Apostles Creed. Christmas was a time to worship the tradition of the advent wreath and somberly light the purple, pink and white advent candles, loyally following the liturgical reading for each Sunday and pondering the themes of each candle: joy, peace and love, depending on the particular advent curriculum one adopts (there are variations). Even there, how can I place my faith in a tradition when another’s tradition looks entirely different? (mine was tradition without God or Jesus Christ. The ritual was the thing of adulation and power).

All that tradition only to scoff at and think myself superior to those who simply believed in the died and risen Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and as the only way to God!

If God is not who He says He is, then He is nothing. 

We can fool ourselves into believing in our own capabilities to conjure up God, but what is our formulation of Him based on? What foundation, grounding, and proof do we have for our own take on God? (the same foundation, grounding and proof skeptics say they require in order to believe in Jesus Christ, yet never take the time to investigate). 

So instead of an informed, sincere, open-minded, humble exploration of Jesus Christ, secular-humanists accept unquestioningly their own self-informed, prideful, close-minded, self-righteous invention of a spirituality. And when that never really works for them, they tweak an aspect of their god here and add something there, all of their lives, as they try to find the God they evade by never giving the One True Triune God of the Bible a chance.

copyright Barb Harwood

     “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.’
     Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:24-31

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