TRIVIALIZING GOD

According to Donald McCullough, the trivialization of God may be the most significant sin people (including the church) are committing at this stage of history.  People tend to reduce the utterly awesome God of the Bible to manageable proportions so that we can be comfortable with God. The result is a trivial God who is insignificant and irrelevant. A trivial God is a God who is of little importance. A trivial God is a God who is ordinary and commonplace. A trivial God is not the God of the Bible. A trivial God leaves us with souls as parched as a desert.

We need to abandon the comfortable god of our creation and embrace the God of the Bible. Let’s get rid of that crinkled, worn-out picture of God. God is far more powerful, exciting, loving, and unfathomable than any image of God we can invent.  When the prophet Isaiah encountered God, he saw God as king and heard about the holiness of God (Isa. 6:1-5). The awesome holiness of God ought to produce a sense of terrifying fascination. His glory should attract us like a magnet pulls iron filings to it. The true God, as revealed in the Bible, is so majestic that we might be tempted to stay away from drawing close to Him. The inspired author of Hebrews understood who the God of heaven is and wrote, “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29). The same author also encouraged his readers that it is possible to draw close to the awesome God because of the sacrifice of Jesus (Heb. 2:14-18; 4:14-16; 7:25).

People are to do more than draw near to God. God desires that people reflect His character. Humanity is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). Then calamity took place with the result that “the image of God was distorted, disgraced, warped, bent, but not totally effaced or erased. Salvation history could be described as the story of the attempt to restore human beings so that they once again properly reflect the image of God” (Ben Witherington). The goal of God is for the human heart to be reshaped into a holy heart that mirrors the heart of God. This goal of a holy heart was answered by Jesus and is to be answered by those who follow Jesus. Honoring God is another way of describing the answer to the holy heart cry of God. Our society has moved from being a society of honor to a culture of law, so honoring God does not come easily for us.

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