Who is the God who we as Christians worship? Is he a God of Love? Of justice? Of Wrath? Is he our Father? Our king? Our friend? Our Shepherded? Our judge? The truth is that he is all these things. And more. We worship a many dimensional God. All these characteristics belong to the God found in the Bible.
Yet many of seem to reduce him to just one of these. There are many who talk about the love of God, but forget that he is also a Just God, that he is therefore also a God who punishes those who continue to disobey his. There are others who tell everyone how God is going to punish them for everything they have done wrong, while forgetting that God came to Earth as a human to save us. Others seem to worship a God who is nothing more than a mysterious best friend, while forgetting that he is king and Lord over their life, while others have great respect and fear of God, yet they don’t know his as their heavenly father.
The truth is, God is such an awesome and complex God, that we can never know all his characteristics here on Earth. If we could, he would not be the God of the Bible, but a figment of our imagination which we have called God. Yet this is no excuse for us to focus on one fascist of God’s character and call that God. Now at one level, God is simple. Jesus said that we must receive the kingdom of heaven as a child would. At one level Jesus really is the answer to everything. But this God who calls us to receive him as a child takes an eternity to get to know.
So why do some many in the church seem to worship a one dimensional God? Could have something to do the world we live in? Information in today’s world came in five second sound bites. A news story on today’s news only looks at one or two points of view. In short, we live in a world of simplicity. We then transfer this simplicity to our Christian walk. We settle for a simple God, rather than taking the time to get to know the almighty God reviled in the scriptures. Furthermore, we settle for a simple understanding of the Bible. In most sermons, the Bible is quoted as only a few verses (often taken out of context) to back a point made, rather than a decent chunk being read and studied. Some of us may memories a few single verses at Sunday school, but few memories whole chapters, let alone whole books of the Bible. We have a few favorite passages which we like to read and re-read, but rarely venture into other parts of The Bible. It’s no wonder many Christians have a 1D view of the God of The Bible, when we have a 1D understanding of the Bible thought which he has relived himself to us.
Furthermore, society tells us to follow our feelings, and to do what is right for the individual. This leads us to us promoting the parts of Gods character we like while ignoring those which we feel less comfortable with. This self-centeredness also flows into our “worship.” In most of the songs we sing in church (not that worship is about the music, but that’s another topic completely) the focus is on us, not God. Many consider a “good worship section” one where they “felt closes to God.” While having a good relationship with God is important, there are several issues with this. Firstly, worship is about glorifying God, nothing else. Secondly, music should not be the only means thought which our relationship with God is nourished. While each of us are different, and find different ways to grow closer to God more helpful than others, we must be careful that we don’t make one means the only means thought which we do so. Prayer, fellowship and Bible study are all critical part of our spiritual growth, and should not be neglected for any Christians, which music is really an optional. Thirdly, a good relationship with God is not bold one feeling alone.
The church is meant to be a light to the world. Instead, in often becomes a minor of the world, reflecting not the Light of the World, but the world’s “light,” which in many cases, is really darkness. We as the body of Christ need to look at how the values and culture of society impact on The Church, the beliefs we hold, and the way we worship and the lives we live. We can only bring the Light of the world to the world, if we are in the world, but of not of the world, bringing light to the world, not reflecting the world.