Big Toes and Tightropes Sudha Mehta©
Photo by Sudha Mehta©
I come from a country where there are many gods. a different god for a different purpose. Pick any, choose any! My parents did, generations before them did, I did, and but for Christ, my children and generations coming from me would have also.
Jesus came, one God , One Way, His Word . . . all settled! Right?! Not so much.
Exodus 20: 1 And God spoke all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 You shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.(KJV)
Over the years of studying I discovered that Hindus (which is what I was), Buddhists, and many others around the world are not the only ones that have many gods. Christians do too! While mouthing the name of only one God we are just as guilty of making images. Trouble is: how do you make an image of someone whom you have not seen, and one who is more vast, deep and high than your tiny human brain can be wrapped around? Not easy, so, we do the next best thing.
We design our god according to our specifications. We call him jesus, we pray to him and sing songs to him. We go to church and listen to sermons about him. We even attend Bible studies often pooling our ignorance of Him to bring this jesus we create to our comfort level.
This jesus bears a resemblance to the real Jesus, but is not the same.
You may ask what I mean by this: When I signed up to be a Christian, I gave up the right to serve another image of any kind. Salvation being free, living it was very costly. I signed on to a relationship not a religion, which is what made it all worth the price. My life was turned into a class and it continues as a learning journey. I signed on to learn what God wants of me and how to be His bond-servant, not to make Him mine.
Further more , since I signed on to be a disciple, it became clear i was to learn His written word, not other people’s opinions of His written word.
Over the years I have seen the majority of Christians do not learn the word. This is not about reading the bible everyday, or doing a daily daily devotional, or even memorizing a 5-7 word verse that relieves you of your obligation in this relationship.
This is about STUDYING the word!
2 Timothy 2: 15 Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
In the absence of studying to show ourselves approved, we fall into the trap of bringing God down to our level. we design Him to be our God in our preferred image, so we can feel cozy and comfy.
The world at large can accept a backboneless jesus who LOVES everything and everybody, but balks at the idea of a Jesus that judges and condemns sin. Easy believe-ism is fun, but it still leads to hell. The hard topics of today leave us in a place of choosing one side of the fence or the other, we can’t walk the fence anymore. Churches, and denominations are coming off the fence on one side or the other, one determines to serve Jesus, the real God, while the other offers a nice pleasing jesus of man’s creation fully compromised, who makes us happy but never pricks our conscience!
here are some jesus versions you may have come across as well.
This jesus would never judge the world, he loves everybody.
Or: Since we live in the New Testament the Old doesn’t matter. our god is different, he is all love, no anger.
Or: all prophecy is fulfilled, we will all go heaven when we die, and he is not coming again.
or: there is no literal hell.
or: speaking in tongues doesn’t happen today.
or: miracles and healings do not happen today.
here is my favorite: since he answers prayer, we must pray that he won’t judge the world. then there won’t have to be a rapture or the tribulation. it will all be fine.
Whole denominations have already become “men-pleasers” while others debate in their general councils the veracity of the Word and it’s relevance to today’s culture, as if culture will ever define, constrict or conform our God.
You catch my drift!
Here is my point. In order to stay in your comfort zone and not be disturbed in your thinking, If you make up a jesus that compromises the written Word, you have made a designer god of your liking no different than any other idol of any other religion.
You cannot excise vast portions of the Bible to pick and choose segments that suit your purpose, and your comfort while ignoring the rest of it; and believe yourself to be a disciple. At best you remain a dumb sheep.
2 Timothy 3: 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
As for me, I was never content to be a sheep, nor did I raise my children to be sheep. My teaching has never been suited to just sheep, only those who wish to grow up from being a sheep, to disciple, to servant, to brother and friend. I have taught them to think for themselves and to verify what anyone (including me) says by measuring it against the Word. My children have learned the value of being thinkers, and decipher-er’s of truth and it has served them well in their lives.
I choose to live in the liberty of the Word and choose not to give up my liberty to be tied down by men’s traditions, or to make finite gods that my mind conforms to my liking. It is much more freeing to live a life learning and exploring everything through the filter of His Word. He has indeed set me free! Free to grow, free to discover, free to live.
I need no other gods!! Do you??!!
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