Designer Deities and Tailor-made Theology

It was Jean-Jacques Rousseau who said, “God created man in his own image. And man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.” Unfortunately the French philosopher is correct. We live in the age of the designer. We hear of designer babies and even designer dogs. The concept is quite simple. We handpick all the desirable characteristics and discard the rest. We see this in every area of life. For some it is just personalizing a particular item; adapting it to better fit our personality and express our uniqueness. There is nothing wrong with that. Why stick with the factory model when you can customize it? Manufacturers known they can maximize their profits when they cater to the whims of the consumer. But what happens when this designer mentality collides with theology and what we know about God? The answer is, we prove Rousseau’s point.

Like never before, we are witnessing a redefining of Christian theology in which God is being re-cast according to the dictates of our culture. In recent weeks, 4 major denominations willfully rejected God’s Word and embraced their own concept of who God is. Following in the steps of so many who claim to be forward thinking and open-minded, they have bought into a new and improved designer deity. They have handpicked those characteristics of God they deemed desirable and discarded the rest. However, in doing so they are no longer worshipping or following the God of the Bible. They have created a new god, made after their own image. They have created a god, tailored to fit their liking. That my friend, is idolatry. God has revealed Himself through His Word. Any attempt on our part to embellish or impoverish that revelation leads us to the feet of a false god. The God of the Bible is the God of love, but He is also a consuming fire. He is the God of mercy and grace, but He is also the God of judgment. Don’t be deceived into accepting a designer deity –study God’s Word and allow Him to reveal Himself to you.

The Strength of Weakness

The Strength of Weakness

Several years ago, my family and I had the opportunity to visit California. One of the places we stopped to see was Yosemite National Park and the giant sequoias. These trees are considered to be the most massive living things on earth. Their size and longevity literally boggles the mind. The giant sequoias can live more than 1,000 years and equal a 26 story building in height. Its bark is impervious to bugs and is naturally flame retardant. Seeing these mammoth trees towering above you is an unforgettable experience.

The strengths of the sequoia are many. Perhaps its greatest strength is in fact its greatest weakness. It is easy to find pictures of loggers standing at the base of these evergreen giants. An enormous wedge is cut into them as they prepare to fell the mighty tree.  I can understand why loggers would gravitate to a tree weighing as much as 2.7 million pounds. That’s a whole lot of lumber from one tree! The reality is, there is an important reason lumberjacks did not clear the forests of the sequoia a hundred years ago. You see, the sequoia is so brittle that it is subject to shatter upon impact when cut down.

Consider that for a moment. Its greatest weakness is actually its greatest strength. Because of its weakness it has survived and many of those same trees that were passed over are still standing today. This unique characteristic of the sequoia reminds me of something the Apostle Paul wrote. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul is very transparent about personal difficulties and weaknesses. Three times he asked that they be removed. In verses 9 and 10 we read the answer the Lord gave and Paul’s response to it. The Bible reads,

  • “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Paul found strength in weakness because in his weakness the power of Christ was revealed. It is true for us as well. You too can know that same strength. ‘For when I am weak, then am I strong.’  It is our weaknesses that compels us to trust the Lord. It is our weaknesses that drives us to seek God. When we do, we find His grace is sufficient and His strength is perfect.

What Language Does God Speak?

Have you ever given any thought to that question? Thinking about the world in general, some countries are more religious than others. Some are cold and indifferent while others are completely governed by their religious faith. No matter which faith it might be, all them envision their spoken language to be the first language of Heaven. The Muslim will tell you Arabic is the divine language. The Jew will cite Hebrew. The Hindu’s first thought would be one of the languages of India. So which is it?

There are as many as 6,700 recognized languages in the world today. Which one is the language of God? If God has 6,700 languages to choose from, which one did He choose?

The answer is illustrated in Acts 2:5-11. There were representatives from at least 15 nationalities and languages in Jerusalem during Pentecost. Yet all of them heard the message Peter preached in their own native tongue. What language does God speak? He speaks every one of them because He is not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Let that sink in. What a tremendous privilege is ours. What a glorious honor for any country to be able say, ‘God speaks my language.’ And He does. God speaks and His message is clear,

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” –Isaiah 45:22

What language does God speak? He speaks your language. Are you listening?