False gods

One of the last sermon series I listened to was on false gods.  The false god was not a different god than God, but an unbalanced view of God’s attributes.  If your idea of God was focused on judgement and not balanced with mercy, you were worshipping a false god. 

 To help get a more balanced view, handouts were given quoting verses highlighting different characteristics of God.  Some included : merciful, loving, fair, mothering, and holy.  When I mentioned to this person that we were making a false god because of the emphasis on an exclusively male diety (with some mothering capacity) I was brushed off.

It did bother me that the verses were mostly claiming these attributes and had no other evidence.  Somebody claims to be kind and the proof is that they call themselves kind but that is ok because they also claim that they never lie.

However, by that view no one is worshipping the true God because no one has the capacity to have a balanced view of the diety.  There are at least as many views of god as there are people.

Perhaps the real message is that we need to be thoughtful in choosing what we admire and try to pattern ourselves after.  

Does the idea of god just replace the question of what it means to be truly human both as an individual and as a society?

3 thoughts on “False gods

  1. Jay says:

    It’s long bothered me that Old Testament God is all punishment and wrath and sending bears to eat children and such, but New Testament God is all (supposedly) sunshine and puppies (well, if we leave out Revelation and squint at the remaining text a bit).

    I think that the broad description of God reflects the goals of the society that creates it, and likewise individual perceptions of God reflect the goals and needs of the individuals. We make God in our own image.

  2. soffiasoul says:

    Yes. We do make God in our own image. In fact, it is impossible not to. Studying anthropology really opened my eyes to this. The other really big realization I have had thanks to anthropology is that the scriptures were oral story for thousands of years. Oral story! It totally changes how I read them today.

    • prairienymph says:

      I’m so glad we have access to this knowledge!

      No wonder I despised women- the image of god i was embraced did so also. I think I’d like to remake my image of god into just being the ideals I’d like to strive for.

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