Last night, I was up later than I should be discussing, or more like debating, with someone who was having some doubts about his Christian faith. It hinged around Calvinism. Now I am not a Calvinist, but I have many brothers and sisters in Christ who are. It brought to mind though something we must all remember when we approach God.
First off, none of us knows God entirely. We all have some wrong beliefs about God. We should seek to get rid of as many of them as we can, but in our finite capacities, it’s highly likely that any of us this side of eternity will have fully correct knowledge of God. Even though we are limited even, it’s doubtful that all the knowledge we have will be correct.
There is a great danger though in saying “Well, if that’s the way God is, I could never worship him.” The danger is that that’s the only God you have! Is it really rational to say, “I don’t like the concept of God in Christianity, so I will become a naturalist instead.”? It’s hardly valid to say God doesn’t exist just because you don’t like something about him.
We have to get past this notion that truth is what we like. There are some things I don’t like about Christianity. In fact, it’s probably a good thing because Christianity is not an easy religion. When I see a beautiful lady, I don’t like the command of Christianity that says that sexual intercourse is to be reserved for marriage. It would be so nice to write that off.
When I realize that I have to go to work the next day, I may often have this great urge to call in sick and take sick pay. Unfortunately, there’s this command against lying. I don’t like the command. In fact, at the time, I like the idea of breaking the command. I do it though because I know that the command is the true path to happiness.
So what of God? One has to ask himself, and we should all ask ourselves indeed, “Am I really seeking for the God who is there or am I seeking for the God who I want to be there?” In our day and age, it’s liked to have a god who is there to take away all your troubles but then goes back to his own little corner of the world and lets you go out and have your fun. Many people today do not like the thought of a God who acts like one, which includes such minor details as judging evil. (Well, we don’t usually mind judging someone who’s done evil to us! Just leave us alone thanks!)
God is unlikely to change for you and frankly, why should he? It seems we are so self-centered today that we think it appropriate for God to meet our standards, but we don’t think anything about changing ourselves to meet his. As I told this person yesterday who was talking about Hell as well, it does not surprise me that some people go to Hell. What should be surprising to us is that not all people go to Hell. He could send us all there and who could say he was wrong to do so?
When we think about God, and I believe our highest good is to contemplate the nature of God, are we wanting to see him as he is. Are we willing to give up some of our beliefs about him if we find them to be inaccurate of our view of who he is? If you are a Calvinist, are you willing to forsake it if you find it to be false? If you are an Arminian, are you willing to forsake it if you find it to be false? I’m not saying to not have a position, but I’m saying to be open in your position always.
We are warned against making images of God. Our danger today is not often physical images but mental ones that do not reflect him. Are you making sure you’re doing what you can to avoid false ideas of God so you can worship him as he is? He won’t change for you, but hopefully, you’ll be willing to change for him.