- Eldon Peterson
In an age of political correctness, we are likely to find many of the Bible’s basic premises disturbing. Our culture is far more comfortable with relativism than absolutes.
M. Cherif Bassiouni, one of the world’s leading authorities on international criminal law and human rights and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 said, “All religions lead to God using different paths… judgment is not by the choice we make, but by how we pursue the path of the choice we make. Different religions and cultures are equal in the eyes of God and should be seen as equal in the eyes of man."
Do you agree? Most Americans – regardless of their own religious beliefs – would heartily agree. It appears to be such a reasonable statement! We want to agree with it! It seems to honor all and offend none, but in truth it does just the opposite. We must begin by acknowledging differences to find truth.
We must see that such views oppose the first commandment. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Or, to turn it around, “All religions do NOT lead to God using different paths.” There is only one God.
That the Bible demands for Yahweh (the Hebrew name of God) to be worshipped exclusively grates against our democratic sensibilities. We believe that we should be able to define who God is; Mary Lewis calls this “Franken-God” – Not the God who IS, but a god they’ve invented from pieces of other gods.
We create God in our image. He is like us, or how we would like to see our exalted selves. But the first commandment does not allow for that kind of spirituality. The first commandment emphatically states that He alone is God, there are no others.
“Who are you to say that your way is the only way? That is so arrogant!” But it is not my truth, it’s the Bible’s truth. It was Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the father except by me.”
God does not need our approval to speak, and when we create our ‘Franken-God’ we must see that it is no god at all. People will say, “Well, I couldn’t believe in a god who would send someone to hell…” Or I don’t believe in this kind of a god or that kind of a god. But it should cause us to wonder if they are talking about God, or about an invisible friend.
Invisible friends are great, because they are whatever I want them to be. If I want them to be a fireman, they are. If I want them to be a ballerina, they are. There’s only one little problem with invisible friends. They don’t exist! They’re not real. They are figments of our imagination.
We do not define God; he has defined himself for us in His word. Arrogance is not saying, "I believe that God is who He said He is." Arrogance is saying, “God is whatever I say He is.” Arrogance is not saying, “I believe Jesus when He said He was the only way to God.” Arrogance is saying, “I don’t like the idea of Jesus as the only way, so I’ve decided that ‘all roads lead to God.’” It is saying that, “I’ve decided that as long as people are sincere in what they believe, they’ll go to heaven.” That’s saying, “I know more about God than Jesus ever did” The God who created the universe with the power of His Word is the one who has the right to tell us who He is. All roads do not lead to heaven. All religions do not teach the same things. We don’t all worship the same God. And all gods are not the one true God of the Scriptures.
Much of the problem in our nation is that Christians who claim to believe in the God of the Scriptures don’t know the Scriptures well enough to have an accurate view of God.
All too often, Christians have constructed their own “Franken-gods” from Bible stories, Oprah, and things they heard from their mothers or some preacher. We can’t worship the God of the Bible if we don’t know the God of the Bible.
Who are you trusting in, the god of your own making, or the God of Scripture? If you don’t know, grab a Bible and start by reading the gospel of John. There I think you will find the God who IS.