Thursday, September 6, 2007

"I want to know God's thoughts... the rest are details." - Einstein

As I sit at here at my desk, I can't help but feel a somberness covering me. I don't know if it's simply the events of today or the pinpoint prick of my latest read. It's interesting to think that generally the biggest problem with "the church" (or christians in general) today is their lack of knowledge of the position of God.

...and the most portentous face about any man is not what he at a given time amy say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.
As I was doing a bit of reading tonight, I couldn't help but recall the countless number of times I have heard friends and strangers say something like "I just don't believe God could do that." Generally, this is in reference to the concept of hell, some idea of absolute morality or the idea that bad things just happen.
I want to start by asking myself how I would describe God. I mean, if someone came up to me tonight and said, "Hey Tim, I'd like to know God, tell me about him." What would I say? How would I respond? Ask me that a week ago and would have said something like, "Well He's God and by definition that would mean omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. Of course the bible also says 'God is love' so that's important to keep in mind too." Then I wonder if I would make an analogy, maybe tell a story about a father and child or try to compare someone I knew, maybe Mother Theresa, or someone else, to give the inquirer some way to link the concept of God to a tangible idea. And this becomes the point, am I helping the person to commit idolatry? Hear me out for a second before you get all "damn, Tim's crazy... kid must have lost his mind. Must be something in the water" on me. Let me see if I can clarify.
I have a couple of friends that refer to God as "pal," they begin their prayers with "what up God, how're things?" And initially, I have to say that felt pretty uncomfortable about it, but I wrote it off to being raised in a religious household, maybe this "super-reverence" is really just a form of religious shackle? Then I heard Ravi Zacharias say once that we as a people, Christians in general and especially westerners, have a very loose concept of what it means to show reverence. He goes on to say that there is a way to show intimacy and yet be reverent of God and the position He holds. (He tells of the concept of "daddy, sir"). Tozer hits hard on this subject and goes so far as to say,
Without a doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightiest word in any language is its word for God.
If this is really the case, which I am still considering, I can almost start to see why using "the Lords name in vain" is such a big deal. I mean think of the last time you heard someone yell "god-damn" or "oh my god!" If God is the "weightiest word" then what are we saying about a) the current situation in front of us, that we would use such an expletive or b) about the weight of God? I don't know the exact implications for my life, but this is definitely something to at least chew on...
On a side note, I'm considering taking a year off to study theology and apologetics... and while I haven't totally decided if I'm going to pursue this course of action, there is a sentence that brings the need to the forefront of my mind. Tozer says that the greatest problem in all of heaven and earth is the "problem of God:"
That He is; what He is like; and what we as moral being must do about Him.
This is interesting to me because I recall a couple of conversations I had with newly acquired friends. When I was asked about my interest in church and God, part of my response entailed, "Well I think for me personally, I believe that a God exists, and so it makes sense that I should know everything about Him as it seems there would be major implications to what He is like..."

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carl said...

Words are very inadquate vehicles to describe the living God,it would take for one individual a lifetime of experience to begin to
share the friendship between the Heavenly Father & one of His creatures,so collectively,all the sharing of every individual who knows God,would begin to express the unspeakable joy of this relationship. carl

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