Living with a False View of God

carrying-the-burden-in-honduras

If we do not allow Jesus to recalibrate our image of God we are probably going to live with emptiness, guilt, suspicion, and fear. If we take spiritual matters seriously, we will likely be driven to religious activism to secure a place in God’s good books. We will function like servants and not like sons. Christian living will become dutiful, joyless, and burdensome. We may give it our best shot, but inside we’re running on empty. We may wear a smile, but our heart is struggling to keep going. A false view of God sabotages our spiritual life. Vital Christianity involves knowing that we have a Christlike God.

–Author unknown

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Debunking the myths

adoration-of-the-shepherds-Rembrandt

Men forsook God, and made carved images of men. Since therefore an image of man was falsely worshipped as God, God became truly Man, that the falsehood might be done away.

–Cyril of Jerusalem
(313—386)

Art: Rembrandt

One of us

JesusInCrowd3

For not only have
human beings been made
in imago Dei, like unto God,
but He also has
not been ashamed
to become one of us,
to be incarnate
in imago homini.

–Mike Mason

Published in: on 12/15/2013 at 20:04  Leave a Comment  
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Original glory

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Earlier in the Story, back in the beginning of our time on earth, a great glory was bestowed upon us. All of us—men and women—were created in the image of God. Fearfully and wonderfully made, as the saying goes. Living icons of the living God. Those who have ever stood before him fall to their knees without even thinking, as you find yourself breathless before the Grand Canyon, a sunrise, the cliffs by the sea. That glory was shared with us; we were in Chesterton’s phrase, “statues of God walking about in a Garden,” endowed with strength and beauty all our own. All that you ever wished you could be, you were—and more. We were glorious.

When I look at the night sky 
and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you have set in place—
what are mortals that you should think of us, 
mere humans that you should care for us?
For you have made us only a little lower than God, 
and you crowned us with glory and with honor.
(Psa. 8:3-5 NLT)

I daresay we’ve heard a little about original sin, 
but not nearly enough about original glory, 
which come before sin and is 
much deeper to our nature.

We were crowned with glory and with honor. Why does a woman long to be beautiful? How does a man hope to be found brave? Because we remember, if only faintly, that we were once more than we are now.

–John Eldredege
Epic
(emphasis added)

The quest is over

Man in his homesickness for his Heavenly Father has looked at nature to see the image of God. He views sunrises and sunsets and mountains and flowers and wonders if God is like that. But the storm rages, thunder rolls, flood arise, and the earthquakes shake; nature is cruel, and man’s faith in God’s being, like Nature is shaken with it all. No, God is not like that! The nature-worshipers are confused—and empty.

Then man looks on the works of his hands—on idols. He goes through austerities to wring out of the idol some favor or attention. For instance, in the hottest period with the thermometer 115 digrees in the shade devotees in India will measure their length on the ground for 50 miles to get to the temple to ring the bell, and thus get the attention of the idol. But the idol sits attentionless.

Then man looks to his books for some word from God. But the letters are letters, not life. He drinks of the words, but knows in his heart of hearts that this is not the Word.

Then he looks on the face of Jesus, and in one look he knows his quest is over. Jesus is “the Stamp of God’s very image.” The doubt now is not whether Jesus is like God, but rather is God like Jesus? If He is, then He is a good God and trustable.

If the best of men should try to think out what kind of God they would like to see in the universe, they could not imagine anything better than that He should be like Jesus. 

–E. Stanley Jones

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