Since the dawn of time, beauty has always been sought, adored and even worshipped. How many young ladies can resist a makeover so that they become glamorous – with the soft, airbrush look – like magazine cover girls?
This obsession with all things attractive spills over into the spiritual realm. We all love a God whose image fits our expectation of a benevolent being. We prefer preachers who portray God as loving and forgiving, patient with our sins and deficiencies – rather than those who dwell on judgment.
Change God, Change the message
This warped image of God is reflected in three areas: blessings, salvation and discipleship. Let’s examine these three points in turn:
At the Mount of Olives, Jesus warned that false prophets will arise and deceive many, even the elect (as error is so skilled at imitating truth that the two are often being mistaken for each other). Only those who endure to the end will be saved.
The story of the six blind men who felt different parts of an elephant is highly instructive. Each perceived the pachyderm differently. Its trunk was likened to a snake, leg to a tree trunk, tail to a rope, ear to a fan, tusk to a spear and body to a wall.
If we live only to please ourselves, believing that an “indulgent” God will constantly bless and forgive us, we are deceiving ourselves.
FUTURE SINS AUTOMATICALLY FORGIVEN?
COMMENT ON ABOVE ARTICLE
Francis Tan * , who read my article, The Divine Makeover, responded by sending this feedback:
A few weeks ago I was sort of lamenting to someone that most of us have inaccurate ideas of who God is and what He is like. We create in our minds and hearts an image of God who is all loving, all gracious, never gets angry, like a soft and gentle Santa Claus.
And a Jesus who is buddy buddy and only buddy buddy with us. We have created in our minds false images of God, and that is tantamount to idolatry.
My "lamenting" probably stemmed from something I heard from the pulpit one prayer night, when a pastor in my church quoted John 15:14 "You are my friends if you do what I command." Then he called us "friends of God" and asked us to sing the song that begins, "I am a friend of God". Wasn't that presumptuous? Jesus says we are his friends "if you do what I command", yet in the face of Scripture stating the condition, we are duped into thinking we are by default friends of God.
It's so sad that most Christians don't read their Bibles and even those who do, pick and choose what they like and disregard the rest. Even a casual reading of the New Testament shows us that Jesus can be a hard Master and Lord. Show them Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23 or Philippians 2:12 and so many other verses, and you get varying degrees of indifferent responses.
Now we have prominent leaders making it so easy to enter the kingdom of God. Many Christians are hoodwinked into thinking that they are godsend. When I tell them what these leaders believe, they think I am alarmist.
It is also good that you use Cat and Dog Theology to illustrate our poor spiritual condition, and quote A W Tozer. We need more voices like yours to set us straight. I am also encouraged knowing that I do not stand alone among so many "cats".