Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is long... stay with me.

...from Donald Miller

"The very scary thing about religion, to me, is that people actually believe God is who they think He is. By that I mean they have him all figured out, mapped out, and as my pastor, Rick, says, "dissected and put into jars on a shelf." You've got a bunch of Catholics in Rome who think one way about God, and a bunch of Baptists in Texas who think another, and that isn't even the beginning. It goes on and on and on like this, and it makes me wonder if God created us in His image or if we created Him in ours.

And it isn't just religion, either. I met a guy not long ago who was very conservative and had opinions all over him, and he was saying why God agreed with his political ideas and why that made his political ideas right. The whole time he was talking to me I was thinking about those guys in Africa, and I was feeling like this guy with the opinions was presenting a kind of Jesus who didn't even exist. His Jesus was just an invention of his imagination, someone who more or less justified his position concerning a lot of different political opinions. Sitting there listening to him made me feel tired. People like that should have an island.

But I suppose I can't blame him because, in my life, God is always changing the way I think of Him. I am not saying God Himself is changing, or that my theology is open and I blur the lines on truth; I am only saying I think I know who He is, then I figure out I don't know very much at all.

For instance, and as I have said, a lot of people believe God responds to formulas, but He doesn't. So that is one example of how our idea of God is always becoming a bit more accurate. And that's one of the things you notice about Jesus in the Gospels, that He is always going around saying, You have heard it said such and such, but I tell you some other thing. If you happened to be a person who thought they knew everything about God, Jesus would have been completely annoying."

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