C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, reminds us that “in God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that– and, therefore know yourself as nothing in comparison–you do not know God at all.”
I think we are in a struggle here in America. It is a struggle of words and the values and interpretations we place on them. I have noticed so many attempts being made at redefining God as if He were some form of ‘concept’ which changes as culture changes. Instead of God defining us, some are attempting to define God.
This reminds me of Acts 17:28; “For in Him we live and move and have our being…” It is God who animates every aspect of our being. He is not only creator of all things but is the One who sustains it all as well. Brought into existence by the Word, we are kept in existence by the same.
Striving to pinpoint why some attempt to redefine God, I have made the following observations. Man likes to feel in control of his life in every aspect. When something does not go his way, or life throws a curve ball, man may recoil and strike out at God.Most of them don’t even comprehend that that is what they are doing. I have heard those I have had conversations with claim that God is not good because a good God would do something about their life situations. I have heard others say that their concept of God is all encompassing. God can be understood through a variety of modes and beliefs. There can not be only one way to grasp knowledge of the ‘concept’ of God. Some are just plain angry at God because they rebel against His authority in their lives. They act as spoiled children who are not getting their way.
I am using the word ‘concept’ intentionally. A concept defined is ‘an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances.’ So in this way, the idea of God is interpreted by the individual and his experiences. God can take on whatever idea you choose to use to communicate the concept of God. There are no absolutes that take precedence over experience. And in some cases, the person decides that no concept of God is necessary at all.
In this light, we create designer religions or spiritual lives. Truth flies out the window because it is not necessary and in some people’s views, orthodox ideas concerning God are power plays attempted by those who would seek to control or demand some standard of religious practice. Let me be me is the cry of this society.
But God has spoken and He was very intentional in His message. It is a demanding message and it stands regardless of our acceptance of it. Christ lived in total submission to its demands and upon our response to those demands, we rise or fall.
Many of His creation are running from Him. Some are mad at Him. Some fear Him but not to the point of submission. Some deny Him and call it intellectualism. Some fall at His feet and call Him Lord. But one thing is clear, God does not need us to believe in Him for Him to be real. Any attempt to redefine Him as a mere concept does not get you away from the accountability.