29 June 2008

Making God in our image

Interesting issue highlighted this week in 2 different places.

Joel Edwards (IDEA magazine) writes of the gay and lesbian Christian movements that, despite their obvious sincerity and acts of service, 'their version of God is one I simply do not recognize from 2,000 years of Scripture and tradition'. He is 'concerned that there is an attempt at trying to remake God in our image'.

Rabbi Miriam Berger (Saturday Times Register) hopes that the new gender-neutral prayerbook for Reform Jews 'allows people to construct their own belief and their own concept of God'.

We all know that we live in a consumerist society and this affects our attitudes to many other aspects of life. Relationships, for example, or time. But God? Surely He is in a different league?

Apparently not. It is uncomfortable for us to realise that God is sovereign. That we are subject to His reign, not He to ours; that He sets the rules, not us; that the definition of 'good' comes from Him and is applied to us, rather than the other way round.

The Bible tells us that God made us in His image. And therefore we have dignity and value and (inestimable) worth. This is a very different starting point from a secular worldview, which also ascribes dignity, value and worth to human beings but is less clear as to whence that value derives.

And this different starting point leads us along a very different path. We are not gods, we are creatures, created by God, for His pleasure. And He sets boundaries, moral boundaries, on our behaviour.

At first glance, this may seem to make us smaller but actually the very opposite is true.

As we realise that God is the centre of the universe, rather than ourselves, we become aware of someone far greater than we are - infinitely good, indescribably lovely, unutterably beautiful. Then, and only then, can we aspire to be who we truly are: human beings, fearfully and wonderfully made.


Anonymous said...

Joel Edwards is absolutely right about homosexualist Christian (sic) movements. So why has he joined Tony Blair's Fake Foundation, when Blair is one of the most prominent Christian (sic) advocates for homosexual rights (sic)?

David said...

While there are always extremes, we all remake God in our own image. When we translate scripture into English, we limit our understanding of God to the limitations of the English language. When describe our faith to others, we limit God to the limits of our own mental abilities. Can we really criticize people who are streching a human understanding of a limitless deity?