Wednesday, November 14, 2012

God the Politician

When I was in high school I wrote a paper in my psychology class about if you apply Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Jungian psychology that religion is tied to the subconscious, then the logical conclusion is that man invented the notion of God. (In hindsight, even in high school I was a religious studies nerd.) Recent studies have gone a step further detailing how certain chemical reactions in our brains give us a sense of pleasure during worship and even create the so-called "light" that many have described seeing on their deathbeds. Even physics has its "god particle".

This only reveals the truth that throughout history we have been trying to mold God into a person that we can accept. (Maybe that was the wisdom behind God the Father sending his son Jesus?) When we see injustice we cry out to God that it isn't fair. But unfair to whom? When we find a difficult passage of scripture that is counter to ever-evolving cultural norms, we dance around it saying "God didn't really mean that." A.W. Tozer writes in The Pursuit of God, "Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image." (pg 71)

It is like a politician who will vacillate on issues at the whim of public sentiment or to capture a certain demographic. I remember President Clinton being criticized for "waffling" and the jokes about how he'd take a poll before making a decision on what to have for dinner. What many found unacceptable just a few years ago is now considered common practice. We the people, are a fickle bunch. Are we surprised that we approach God the same way?

Tozer writes later, "The whole course of the life is upset by failure to put God where He belongs. We exalt ourselves instead of God and the curse follows." (pg 76) When we fail to let God be who He is, we essentially put ourselves- our desires, our priorities, our definitions of right and wrong- above Him. We call Jesus "Lord" but only because we get something out of it. But only when we exalt God above all else, even ourselves, can we truly find peace with Him. Without doing so we will constantly struggle against God's way because we want to get our way.

God's truths are eternal. Our morals are the signs of the times and are ever shifting through history.

In the end, the only thing that really matters is whose Truth do you trust?

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
(Hebrews 13:8)

This blog is part of a book club reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Please join the discussion here and at our hosts, Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter. Need a copy of the book? You can get it for free on Kindle.

1 comment:

Jason Stasyszen said...

This is a hard reality that so many refuse to face. We want to say, "this is just natural. I was born with it." All of it may be true, but it doesn't change God and His holiness and perfection. We all have the choice to make. Our gracious God gives us opportunity after opportunity to see and respond if we will recognize. Thanks Frank.