Distorting God’s character is creating an idol god.

14 Jul

Spending the day talking about God and His character with an atheist is easier than talking to someone who has created a false god, and passes him off to be the one true God.

God is the creator of life, and also the author of freedom. He designed freedom. The Lord gifted us with our first taste of freedom by granting us free will. What is free will? It’s the ability to choose between right & wrong / moral & immoral. It doesn’t matter WHO you are or WHAT you believe, we all are familiar with our little friend, our conscience, and we all live by a moral compass.

Free will gives us the ability to choose to align our compass with God’s standards for morality or choose for ourselves our own standards. When we choose our own standards, we enter into sin. Free will is not a license to do whatever we want and then use God’s name as a stepping stone to justify our injustice.

Sadly, the longer America is alive, the more God’s character is being slandered, compromised and abused.

When someone sets their moral compass to a standard of immorality and then attaches God to the injustice, they have created an idol. God knew we’d all struggle with false idols. He made it the second commandment, and spoke in great detail (Exodus 20) so we would recognize this temptation and avoid it at all costs.

False idols are hard to see in our lives typically anyway. Some idols are made out of money, food, other people, work, addictions, gossip, hobbies, toys, and the like. But the hardest to recognize and convince someone of is when they’ve made an idol god and actually started worshipping and serving him instead of serving God.

How can we tell when this is happening? When the basis for the argument or belief stems from words like “I think, I assume, I’m sure, I believe, I know” instead of stemming from proof in scripture. Which begs the questions, do you believe in scripture? Have you ever read what scripture actually has to say instead of just assuming truths?

There are two types of misrepresentation that causes us to have an idol god.

1.) We like sin. We want to keep our sin. So we sin and say things like “A good God wouldn’t give me this desire if I wasn’t suppose to indulge in it.” And a million other justifications for our sins.

2.) We try to use scripture against itself.

This is a dangerous road! God’s Word says in 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

So before we can say we serve God, we have to start by deciding that we actually want to know Him, His character, His standards, His plan for the future and so forth and more than anything else, make a stand in our lives that scripture is the authority of moral & immoral / right & wrong / sin & holiness.

Once that decision is made, it is time to begin a relationship with the Lord and study His Word (the standard and authority of our lives). How do we do that? It’s best to get plugged in with mature Christians who can help with this process, but if reading on our own, it is important to remember that CONTEXT IS KING!!! Pulling one verse here and there doesn’t give us any kind of clear basis for an argument or understanding.

For example, let me use this very important section of Scripture. One of the common misrepresented sections of scripture is John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Many people know this. And they say “God loves us and as long as you believe in Him, you go to Heaven.”

Partially true. God is love. But there are SO SO SO many other words in the Bible left unread if we only read that one verse. God is also JUST! He created moral & immoral and HE WILL judge His creation on how they choose to use the gift of free will. He loves us! Which is why after we walked into sin, He provided us a way to be redeemed back to Himself so we didn’t have to face a “one strike and you’re out” kind of fate. And a relationship with Christ does start by believing.

James 2:19 tells us “19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that —and shudder.”

OK- so believing God exists is not enough to get us into Heaven. Lets try reading John 3:16 in context now. John 3:17-20 “17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.”

What does that mean??? It means that believing Jesus existed is not the same as believing IN Him. Jesus is the light of the world and He exposes sin. Humans love their sin (darkness) so much that they don’t come to the light (Jesus) to allow Him to expose and change them by believing in WHAT He did for them… instead they hold fast to their sins.

So what are some examples of darkness? Revelation 21:8 “8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

That’s pretty huge right there. COWARDLY? UNBELIEVING? (take note that we just talked about believing all scripture is true as the authority of our lives if we really do believe) VILE? MURDERERS? (God says HATE is the same thing as MURDER in His standards) SEXUALLY IMMORAL? (God defines this by those who have sex outside of marriage, adulturers, lust addicts, married couples who defile the marriage bed, homosexuals) PRACTICE MAGIC ARTS? IDOLATERS? (objects, people, false gods-even if we call them God.) LIARS?

Scripture can NEVER contradict itself. All scripture is God-breathed and useful to us (as we just read) so it must work in conjunction with itself.

So now we know by studying a few places that God is JUST and He is going to punish His creation who exercizes their free will according to their own moral compass to a second death in the lake of burning sulfur (Hell), but He loves us enough to die on a cross and be the blood sacrifice for redemption to Himself if we believe AND repent of our sins according to His moral compass getting us out of the darkness into the light.

I guess my challenge to myself and to anyone taking the time to read this today is to sit down with this practical application:

Do I believe God exists, or do I believe IN God as the creator of life and of moral & immoral standards for living?

Have I justified sin in my life with God’s name actually making myself an idol god to love and serve instead?

Have I studied God’s Word, and made it the authority of my life, even if it requires stepping out of my darkness (even hidden darkness that I never let anyone else see)?

Have I mislead others by making statements that are not true of God, but I spoke them anyway because they are things I wish were true of God so I could keep living by my own standards?

Father God,

More than anything today I pray that I will be convicted deeply to align my moral compass with Yours, even if it’s painful and hard to let go of sins that I love.

Give me courage to tell the truth about You that I am learning even when the opposition gets strong or heated because we all love our own sins and want them to be justified.

America is trashing Your character by saying you’re OK with and FOR all sorts of sins in the world. Forgive me. Forgive us.

Thank you for Your plan of redemption. I might be one of the worst sinners in this world with a past so ugly, I cringe at looking back. I know You’re a Just Judge and will honor the moral standards You created with punishment, so I pray that You’ll help me share Your truth with a world who doesn’t yet believe that is true.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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One Response to “Distorting God’s character is creating an idol god.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. It just gets easier. « Lessons Of Mercy - September 17, 2012

    […] When we ignore the authority of God’s Word in our lives, we quickly slip into making ourselves our own god and begin deciding for ourselves our own moral compass and direction to follow. (Which I have talked about before here.) […]

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