“Which God? There is but one true God!”
How can a statement be both completely true and totally wrong at the same time? What do you do when philosophy and religion collide with rational thought?
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
I read a Facebook post months (or more) ago by a minister/author I truly enjoy learning from, but the post in question caught me off guard. He talked about putting to death a false deity that we’ve believed in, and replacing it with a truer version – one closer to the Real Thing.
There is one God. This is true, but we have about seven million different interpretations of who/what because we all perceive God differently. Throughout the ages man has insisted on putting God in a box – sometimes different boxes in the form of polytheism (multiple gods).
In the words of the minister I was talking about earlier, I have put to death many false gods – which is to say that I have killed the untrue (less true?) versions of what I (had previously) believed God to be like. As I have matured and come to know God in a more clear way, as my theology evolved, as I have come to have a clearer revelation of who/what God is, I took the lesser off the throne (in my mind) and replaced it with a greater One.
I have heard it said that the God of Christianity is the same God as the one of Judaism, and even the same as Islam. This infuriates my Evangelical brethren! They argue, “They’re not the same! They couldn’t be more different!” But if there is but one God, how could they be right?
If there is but one God, wouldn’t the plethora of gods that a Pagan worships simply be a misconception of that one true God? That’s what Paul tried to convey to the great thinkers of Athens! There is one God – you just can’t see that right now. The traditions and teachings you grew up with were not completely accurate. However, Paul had a much different approach than what we see from (so called) Christians on TV – your turn or burn “evangelism” has not gone unnoticed… It’s also not the biblical approach.
We have to quit demanding people see things our way without listening to them. If we can’t listen (really listen, not just let them talk while we’re preparing our rebuttal), why on earth should they listen to us? There’s no reason that we can’t be reasonable! Listen, just as Paul did. Look around, just as Paul did. Study the culture, just as Paul did. Then you will know how to speak into someone’s life, again, just as Paul did.
There is one God, but we all see Him a little differently. If we can’t find that common ground with others, how are we to expand the Kingdom? Running people off for their sins or wrong belief system doesn’t bring them closer to Jesus. The only people Jesus ran off were the ones who thought they already had it all figured out and refused to listen to a point of view that was different from what they had heard all their lives – but the sinners flocked to Him! (And He was good with that.)
So, I’ll go back to what I was saying earlier… If your version of God doesn’t look exactly like Jesus, you gotta put that god to death and put the proper King in His Place.
We all need to get along, even if we don’t agree. I know my use of the coexist logo as a ‘featured image’ will immediately cause a lot of people to bristle, but I’m finally to a place where I don’t care. (Those people likely didn’t make it this far into the post to even read this.) We love all, because Jesus died for all. We love because He loved us. We have no right to impede someone’s journey with God by being hateful and misrepresenting Him!
Everyone of us is on a spiritual journey, and every journey is as unique as the person traveling it.
Which God do you follow? For me, it’s not the same one followed a month ago – he was dethroned by a more gracious Father. Sometimes it’s as simple as seeing a flaw in the logic of what I was believing, sometimes it’s a divine impression on my heart. I can’t stop growing in my knowledge of who He is. As soon as I think I have it all figured out, I cease to find mystery in who He is and become prideful in what I think I know.
I read books, meditate on scriptures, talk to God, listen to spiritual mentors, and seek Him above all else… Nothing puts to death what you thought you knew quicker than humility – if you don’t find it, it will find you.