Do we all worship the same God? Not me. I know it may sound harsh but the God I know isn’t the same god as theirs.
Their god supposedly created them just so he could have humans to validate his value and do his bidding in the world. My God created me to know Him and to revel in the reality that He knows me. (John 17:3) My God doesn’t need anybody to do anything for Him but, on the other hand, is gracious enough to allow us to participate in what He is doing in the world. (Acts 17:25, Ephesians 2:10)
Their god imposed a holy book upon them with strict orders to adhere to its teaching or else. My God lovingly gifted us with inspired scripture to show the beauty of His love by pointing us to the love revealed in His Son through its words. (John 5:39)
Their god demands that they convert people to him by whatever means it takes. My God empowers those who follow Him to love people into the conscious awareness of His embrace. (Romans 2:4)
Their god judges them based on how they act, talk, feel and even think. My God loves and accepts me no matter how wrong I get it at times. (2 Timothy 2:13)
Their god is for their religion and theirs alone. My God isn’t into religion at all but is eternally committed to people of every nation, culture and even religion. (Ephesians 4:6)
Their god insists on a theistic government that fits their religious views on every issue. My God seeks to invade every government with one and only one agenda – expressing pure love to all. (Genesis 22:18)
Their god is into payback toward those who act in ways he has not ordered. My God is concerned with put-back by making things right for those who misbehave and changing their hearts. (Isaiah 30:18)
Who is this god and who are they? This god is the god of my past and they are the beloved inmates of the prison in which I lived for so long, the ones for whom I still feel nostalgic affection and an authentic, heartfelt connection. This pseudo-deity is the god of the Bible-believing, church-going, clean-living, faithful Christians who have seen the Abba of Jesus be reduced to a religious icon who needs to be appeased by our feeble and futile efforts. He is a petty mini-god whose obsessive compulsion about the moral minutia of our daily lives takes precedence over any love we would want him to actually have for us as individuals. He certainly will feel strongly about us at any given moment but you can be sure that how he feels is inseparably connected to whatever we are doing at that very moment.
Thank God for the day I walked away from that god. I renounced him and have never looked back. I walked out of the darkness of dead duty into the Light of Life and in that Light encountered the True and Living God. No, we don’t all worship the same God. Some gods are not to be followed but forsaken. It sometimes feels blasphemous to reject the god of our distorted imaginations. Idols seem very real when we have lived with them for a long time, but the doorway to freedom is entered as grace empowers us to say no to the false gods to whom we have sworn allegiance and to say yes to the God perfectly revealed in Jesus Christ. If our God doesn’t look just like Jesus, we’ve been duped for He and He alone is “the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3)