Not too long ago I was spending some time with my nephews, who are six and three years old. These guys are high energy fellows that bring me such joy. As we played with building blocks, they started to create all sorts of wonderful things that come from a boy’s imagination. By looking at the collections of blocks they had assembled, I had no idea what they had created. They had to tell me what each item was and then describe the exciting features on the spaceships, guns or alien creatures they had built.
As the boys pieced together their new creations, they were able to form them in whatever manner they desired. While no one had ever seen the particular lego monster with laser beam eyes and blasters for hands that was built that morning, it was an assembly of pieces and ideas that the boys had previously seen or experienced.
Just as the boys made their new creations based on what they liked, many people that I speak with about faith “build” their God based on what they like.
A recent Pew survey indicates that more than 75% of American adults identify with some branch of the Christian faith. But if you take a look at the cultural landscape, can you find evidence that 3 out of 4 Americans is Christian? Instead of building their understanding of God based on the Bible, many, many self-professed Christians are engineering their version of God to look like themselves.
I have found easy-to-identify clues that give away when someone is engineering God in their own image. When you hear statements that begin with…
- I believe in God, but…
- God wants me to be happy.
- God made me this way. He understands.
- Culture has changed since the Bible was written, so it doesn’t apply/mean the same thing now as then.
- All religions are really worshipping the same God.
- I don’t need organized religion to be spiritual.
While it is true that there is some room for interpretation of what the Bible means, the salvation message and the character of God are indisputable.
Truly understanding that God has created us makes us recognize that we are accountable to him for how we live our lives. It can be uncomfortable for us to admit that we are not in control, and we are not free to live as we wish without consequences. Therefore, many people create a version of God that is easy to be accountable to, rather than the holy, righteous, powerful and just God we learn of through Scripture.
How do you protect yourself from engineering God in your own image?
What consequences result from creating our own personal version of God?
Please reply to this post. I’d love to get your input.