Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The God Box
Jeremiah 2:11 "Has a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit." The above verse speaks of putting God in a man made box. Here are some of the boxes I have observed God being stuffed into. I. The ritual box. God is a distant presence who only wants to be honored by patterned worship. II. The fairy godmother box. Whenever we have a need we can run to him, expecting him to wave his hand and make everything better. III. The Burger King box. God will do it our way. We treat His truth like a smorgasbord. Flannery O'Connor said "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." IV. The generic box. Churches today compete for attendance by making Christianity as watered down as possible. Such Churches never face a call to discipleship that befits the Lord of glory and transforms their lives. V. The self help box. Ben Franklin said "God helps those who help themselves." Robert Schuller said "You can be anything you want to be, you can go anywhere if your are willing to dream big and work hard." The idea is you are the master of your own destiny; God only helps out as a silent partner. VI. The formula box. The most evident result of scientific thought on theology. We serve God by obeying principles such as six steps to a more vital prayer life, five steps to deal with anger. We must never miss the Person of the principle. VII The God told me to box. This box allows us to pursue our own ambitions by stamping them with God's endorsement. Its amazing how many people today God has called to be rich and famous, and how few He has called to self-sacrificing ministry. In conclusion: these boxes motivate people to action, and those actions can produce temporal results. Extra effort can make significant temporal change for many people, but they never learn to trust God, to hear His voice, to submit their lives to His ways and find true life in Christ. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.