The Self Created God
Sometimes Christians appear strange to the rest of the world. We are from a different world, in a way. We think outside the cultural box, typically. We are called to be this way. God calls us “a peculiar people for His own possession”. This means that He shapes us in a way that makes us suitable and pleasing to Him. However, this may preclude us from being pleasing to others to some extent. Thus we may find ourselves a bit rejected at times.
In seeking to truly follow Christ, we may have the effect of making those around us uncomfortable. This is because we challenge beliefs that others perhaps hold dear. The problem often occurs when those who follow the true Gospel and the God of this Gospel, encounter others who are following a “self created god”. Believe it or not, you can even find this in churches among those who consider themselves believers! A “self created god” may look a lot like the real thing. But if you look or listen carefully you will note several significant differences. Self created gods are often one dimensional. They may be all about love, but absent of justice. They accept everyone and everything and condemn nothing. There is much talk of heaven but no acknowledgement of hell. In short, self created gods look and sound a lot look the culture we live in! When confronted with the true version of a biblical God those who cling to a self created god often become angry and reject the real thing. And in so doing, they crucify Christ once more.
The True God of the Gospel is not a benign entity. He is a God of power, might, judgement, justice, mercy and yes, of course, love. He is a God who longs for a relationship with us, but desires that we allow ourselves to be conformed to His will. He has expectations of us. There is both a call, and a response required. He is Abba Father. As such he both loves and disciplines his children as any good father would. A self created god is typically absent of one or more of these features. To acknowledge and follow the True God we encounter in the Gospel may put us into conflict with those around us, even within our own church. But to deny Him is far worse. So when you find yourself feeling rejected in seeking to truly follow Christ remember this: Jesus said that as the world treated Him, so they would treat His followers. Should we expect anything different?