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Random thoughts and views of Tim Young

So What is YOUR View of God?

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Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, “What comes into your mind when you think about God?” we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man.  Were we able to know exactly what our most influential religious leaders think of God today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow.

This is what A.W. Tozer wrote in his book The Knowledge of the Holy some years ago, and I think he’s completely correct.   Our conception of God informs our view of religion which in turn governs our thoughts and actions.  If we view God as a cosmic tyrant who actively seeks out our every wrong so that he can punish us, then we are likely to have a very legalistic view of religion, and a very rigid, rule and fear oriented life.  On the other hand, if God is viewed as an overly compassionate cosmic giver who exists only to meet our every need, then we will likely have a religion with little to no focus on our moral condition, and a great emphasis on manipulating God to get what we want.

So just what is the typical churchgoer’s view of God?  Hard for me to say really. I think, first of all, of the health and wealth preachers who paint a picture of God that looks more like a cosmic genie than anything else.  They promise us the world so long as we can enter the magic throne room and rub the magic throne with enough faith to move mountains.  Then there is the God of the emergent church movement who is so vague that he is of no use.  He somehow transcends categories of language and becomes a God who is so unrestrained and indefinable that he floats away on a cloud of nothingness without anyone ever caughting a glimpse of who he really is.  Then, there’s the mainstream view of God by the average churchgoer.  He’s a God who has enough compassion and warm and fuzzies to give everyone seven helpings.  The downside, though, is that he has no power or say in everyday dealings and practical affairs, thus no relevance outside the church building.  He’s only there to make you feel good for the couple of hours you spend at church on Sundays, but once church is over it’s time to leave the feel-good-fest and return to the real world which is no place for the soft delicate God who waits anxiously in the church building for your next visit.

I don’t say any of this to make fun of anyone, Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of misunderstandings concerning God (and no doubt I still do).  It’s just that with so much misinformation out there, it is all the more important that we understand who God is.  Undoubtedly all of us will have incorrect conceptions of God, but the only way to work with the problem is to study who God is, and this should be our life long pursuit.  God ought to be the most important object in our lives.  

 

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Written by Tim

January 28, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Christianity, God

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