Monday, April 8, 2013

Party God?

“God is the one throwing the party and everybody’s invited and that includes you.”

This quote, from a former pastor from our area, sums up his thoughts about God.

Old notions of God are so…….well, old.

Creeds, historic statements of faith, confessions? Those are just leftovers of a “tribal church” mentality, a church for “us” and against “them” (that is, those who are not us).

This new, inclusive, fun-loving god is the sort of god people can relate to. After all, who wants a God who is loving and just? Who will believe in a god who holds people accountable for their behaviors? Who will worship a god who respects human persons for the responsible image-bearers that they are?

This new, re-imagined god loves everyone. . . .except for those who still believe in the God that the church has professed for more than 2000 years.

This new god, like his followers, accepts everyone just the way they are. . . .except for those who still believe that God created the world with a moral order that reflects the created order, those who still believe that a holy God is loving, yet to be feared. Those who believe that God is, as the beavers said about Aslan, good but not safe.

In other words, this god is not really all that inclusive after all. Nor are this god’s followers. This god’s followers are really rather capricious, including only those who agree with them and whatever they have decided is ‘truth’ this week, something they accuse those who don’t agree with them of being guilty of. The beliefs of this god’s followers are, in other words, inconsistent, self-referentially incoherent, in fact.

Which is what one might expect from those following a god who is anything less than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the god who is not the Tri-personal God who emptied himself in order to repair what his creatures had broken; the God who is not “man” said with a loud voice.

This party-throwing god might be fun, but is certainly not deserving of our worship, praise, and love. Only the one true God – the Triune God of mystery and majesty as revealed in Scripture and testified to by the holy catholic church – is deserving of that.

Be careful who you worship.