6/27/15 George about 30
We live in a culture that celebrates the invention of our own definitions of God, ourselves, and our relationships with God and one another. But to take on the role of inventing these definitions is idolatry, putting ourselves in a role that only God Himself can fill. How can we presume to redefine what God has already defined? I’m reminded of this not just by the actions of the Supreme Court in redefining marriage yesterday, but by a witnessing conversation I had with a man named George at a McDonalds that same day.
At the beginning of our conversation, George stated that he didn’t believe in life after death and had his own ideas about God, that “it” is like an impersonal force that controls the world from a distance. As we talked George said he has been fascinated by the study of world religions and likes to pick and choose ideas he likes from each of them and has formed his own religious views from them. I compared this to the idol worship that the second of the Ten Commandments warns us against, that we shall not make or worship anything but God Himself. I told George that at the time of the Ten Commandments people often made idols in the form of statues that they would worship, but really anytime we depend on ourselves to form our image of God rather than relying on God’s definition of Himself in Scripture we are also committing idolatry. The Bible begins with five words – “In the beginning, God created…” and in those few words God already establishes that He is the Creator and we are part of His creation, and that He is the creator and definer of all that exists. I went on to help George rebuild his concept of God and his relationship with God based on scripture rather than his own imagination, which wasn’t too hard to do since George grew up with a church background. But it’s so easy to let our culture or our imaginations, or even the Supreme Court define God for us rather than to let God define Himself through scripture.
Let’s stop playing God and remind ourselves and one another that only through God’s revelation of Himself and not through our own wishful thinking can we come to a true knowledge of God. Marriage was defined by God in Genesis 2 – “…a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” and these same words were reaffirmed by both Jesus and Paul several times in the New Testament, such as in Matthew 8. Are we on the wrong side of history? Don’t be so short sighted! Our culture, our nation, and yes, the Supreme Court will come and go, “but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
PS – George graciously agreed to allow me to record our conversation, and it can be seen in its entirety here.