Monday, September 7, 2009
The Biblical View of God
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
How do we answer pre-believers who say that all religions ultimately worship the same god or that Christians worship three gods (Father, Son and Holy Mother)? We need to have a clear grasp on what Scripture tells us about the God we worship so that we can communicate this to others through our testimony and response to their questions about our God.
God created all things. Before creation there was only God. All God created was good but became corrupted by sin. God is far greater and superior than the sum of all His creation, which includes the Devil and his fallen angels (demons). Hence, there is not a DUALITY of good and evil in this world as all that is evil is definitely not equal and opposite of God. God is in control and only allows evil to seemingly triumph as He knows what is best and is working in all things for good to outwork His divine plan.
The following story shows various ways man has developed to understand life:
MICE IN THE PIANO
Imagine a family of mice who lived all their lives in a large piano. To them in their piano-world came the music of the instrument, filling all the dark spaces with sound and harmony. At first the mice were impressed by it. They drew comfort and wonder from the thought that there was Someone who made the music - though invisible to them - above, yet close to them. They loved to think of the Great Player whom they could not see. Then one day a daring mouse climbed up part of the piano and returned very thoughtful. He had found out how the music was made. Wires were the secret; tightly stretched wires of graduated lengths which trembled and vibrated. They must revise all their old beliefs; none but the most conservative could any longer believe in the Unseen Player. Later, another explorer carried the explanation
further. Hammers were now the secret, numbers of hammers dancing and leaping on the wires. This was a more complicated theory, but it all went to show that they lived in a purely mechanical and mathematical world. The Unseen Player came to be thought of as a myth ....But the pianist continued to play. (James S Hewett, ed ILLUSTRATIONS UNLIMITED p187)
Pantheism believes that God is in all things and all the universe is God. Most primitive animistic beliefs in any area of the word hold to this view of life. Hinduism is Polytheistic (worshipping many gods) as were the religions of the ancient empires such as Greece and Rome. They believe each god is responsible for one aspect of the universe (such as war, love, agriculture etc.). Atheism has only gained wider acceptance in recent years with the advances in Science and the rise of Communist nations. Agnostics (or Freethinkers) generally believe there is a god or that there are many gods but they have no relevance or real impact in their life. Buddhism is more of a philosophy of life and its believers can be atheistic, monotheistic or even polytheistic. Christianity is Monotheistic, meaning the worship only one God. Other Monotheistic religions are Judaism and Islam.
The main difference between Christianity and all other religions or philosophies is the gracious, loving personal relationship we enjoy with God through the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The Trinity does not mean Christians worship three Gods but worship one God in three persons. Indeed, because God is three in one He eternally lives in gracious, loving, relationship. He is a God of Love and Grace. That distinguishes Him form all else and that is a reason to worship Him and love Him and serve Him!
The mice thought the piano was their god at first,
A living, throbbing deity, that had given them birth.
Then one found many strings, each singing a different song,
So they started worshipping each string not knowing they were wrong.
Then one mouse found the hammers beating on the strings,
And came with a theory for why the piano rally sings.
It's just a mechanical wonder formed by amazing laws,
There's no gods of great player who really deserves applause.
And all the while the Great Player sat and played on the piano's keys,
Playing a song of love and joy , calling the mice to sit upon His knees.
It was not through simple observation that the mice could know what's real,
But by following and living for the one the music did reveal.
"Thank you Lord for revealing Yourself to us in Your Word. Show me who You really are that I may worship You in spirit and in truth. Amen!"