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Friday, May 13, 2016

Who is God?

Who is God?
Everytime I hear that question, I hope someone clicks this link for an answer.
Who is God?
It's an age old question re-asked by Nat Geo's host, Morgan Freeman, in one of the recent episodes of the currect documentary "The Story of God". It's not the question that bothers me. It's, arguably, the most important question that can be asked. It begs another. If God is a "who", wouldn't there be some individuality to His personality? Tozer penned these words in his book, "The Knowledge of the Holy": "Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God". There is no such thing as just a question. There is always a motive. No question should be answered without considering who is doing the asking.  If there is a God, then nothing is more important than what we believe about Him. Freeman's ideas are dangerous, not only to himself, but to anyone who adopts them. 

I grew up watching Freeman preform as, Easy Reader, one of his many reacurring roles on PBS's "The Electric Company." I've always been a fan. Over the years, I've been a fan of many people whom I did not agree with. Celebrities and locals alike. I find it so funny, the authoritative validity we graciously afford celebrities. In 1986, at the ripe old age of fourteen,  Peter Bergman's words, " I'm not a doctor , but I play one on TV", opened my eyes to this insanity. I don't think it's an accident, Freeman, who played God, is asking this question. On matters, as simple as, which cough syrup to purchase, or serious matters of religion and politics, we listen to celebrities. No wonder, pastors, these days, try so hard to become one. No doubt, crazy as it is, Freeman's former role will give credibility to the answers he provides to his question. He has played the role of President, as well. It doesn't mean Freeman's endorsement of a canidate will guide my choice come this November.

Freeman takes a broad approach toward finding this god. He even Involves scientists, who have proven, believers meditating on God activates the brain in a way atheists are incapable of.  Freeman correctly states: "Experiencing the divine actually changes the brain, changes 
the way we see the world."  He goes on to examine a wide variety of cultures and many major religions, such as Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Insistant upon being all inclusive, Freeman chose mega church pastor, Joel Osteen, to answer questions about God from a "Christian" perspective . I guess it was a "practical" choice. Osteen is "practically" another celebrity who admittedly stated to Freeman," I don't go a lot of doctrine, and you know, I go practical." I can almost see Paul shaking his head while quoting 2 Timothy 4:3, adding an " I told you so". Osteen goes on to state, "God can be involved in as much as a part of your life as you want him to be." Which is "practically" believing, you can control an all powerful God. When Freeman asked Osteen "who is God?", Osteen's responded with " Our Father, the creator, somebody that gives us purpose and destiny... It's what you choose to believe through faith." Osteen neglected pointing out, you can choose to have faith in the wrong things and certainly believe in the wrong God.  No wonder he doesn't do doctrine. Freeman's comment after "worshipping" at  Lakewood saddens me. His soberrng words, " that was quite a show", should make the modern church cringe. Repentance just isn't good entertainment.

Freeman's universal approach, to the creator of the universe, alarms me less than his thoughts toward himself. As he exits the building, seemingly empowered, Freeman declares, "clearly having faith in the God in you, your inspiration, your power. Faith in the God in you...if you ask me who God is I'd would say a bit of the divine in all of us. There's God in you, there's God in me. The God in me is who I really  am at my core. The God in me is the best version on me. The God in me is who I strive to be. Who I was meant to be."
Depending how deep you want to go, there's a plethora of  unbiblical thelogy being stated here. You need only scratch the surface biblically to know who we are at our core, in our hearts, isn't pretty. Jesus did not come to save who we are at our core, but to change who we are at our core. Jeremiah 17:9 describes our core. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;
who can understand it?" 
Who we are at our core, since the fall, has always been idolators. Tozer wrote, "The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him." Fashioning a god of our choosing, within our minds, from the materials of our imagination, will always produce a god reflective of self. If you study Freeman's response above, you'll hear it. Think this is an exaggeration? Consider Freeman's statement in his 2012 interview with TheWrap. 

Freeman was asked if he considered himself atheist or agnostic. He replied, "It's a hard question because as I said at the start, I think we invented God. So if I believe in God, and I do, it's because I think I'm God."[ 

Most of us would never be so bold as to make the claims Freeman made in TheWrap. You know why we can't judge him? Regardless of whether or not we'll admit it, we have done the same thing. Everytime we have disobeyed God's word, or His spirit, we have placed the more managable god, ourselves, on the thrones of our hearts. One we could control, or use to our advantage. There's a reason the first commandment is to "have no other gods before me." Remember what Jesus said was the greatest commandment? Recall what two all the other commandments hinge on? To follow the teaching of Christ, you must deny yourself.

 Idolatry is the essence of sin, and is why all sin is equal in the eyes of God. For in the moment Adam attempted to rise above God, by ignoring His commands, sin was born in idolatry. There are no levels of being disobedience to perfection. It's why eating fruit we were told not to, equated to mass murdering the entire human race. Part of understanding who God is, is remembering who we are.

Who is God? Ravi Zacharias explains God this way: - God "is the only entity in existence the reason for who’s existence is in Himself. All other entities or quantities have the reason of their existence outside of themselves. So in that sense, God is uncaused, non-contingent, implicitly perfect, His very existence is not dependent on anyone else." We will never know who God is until we narrow our search for Him. For, the only way to Him is through Christ. No one finds that narrow road without repentance. No one finds this God lusting for more power. Rather, the revelation of this God comes from to those who know they are powerless. The God in me, saved me from who I truly was. The God in me, created a new version of me. The God in me, is who I truly am meant to serve. I did not make Him, He is making me. He's the master of the universe, the creator of all things. God could have been anything He wanted to be. He chose to be my Father, my savior, and my friend. I so hope you get to meet Him this side of eternity.

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