Fulton County Gospel News

a work of the mammoth spring church of christ


Let us make God in our own image

By Randy Robinson

Does the above title sound like a case of Biblical dyslexia? Indeed the book of Genesis records the words of God as He contemplated the culmination of His creation, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26). This was a straightforward statement. Indeed, the next verse confirms that God did create man as the pinnacle of His creation, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (verse 27). The next chapter provides even more detail, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (2:7). Mankind is the apex of God's creation, because we were created in God's image with the ability to contemplate and reason. God loves reason and desires to reason with mankind (Isaiah 1:18). When we reason with God, we heed and obey His commands without question. Reasoning with God does not involve compromise. He is the Creator, we are the created, we have absolutely no right to interject our whims into the equation.

However, there are virtually millions upon millions of people who wish to make God in their own image. Perhaps this is the true "extreme makeover." They are not satisfied with God the way that He is. They reject the Bible as His Divine instructions for mankind. When the Bible says something with which they do not agree, then the Bible must take a backseat to their point of view. This concept has been adopted by people in all walks of life. Several years ago, Oprah Winfrey was quoted on her highly rated television talk show as stating, "My God accepts gays." It is obvious that Ms. Winfrey believed that she was taking some moral high road, when in fact she was taking the exact opposite. Also, we may infer from that statement, that her god is another god besides Jehovah, making her an idolater. May we surmise that Baal, Dagon, Molech, Chemosh, Ashteroth as well as the Greek and Roman "gods" all accepted homosexuality?so what? Those "gods" never existed and the god to which Ms. Winfrey pays homage does not exist either. Jehovah God, the Creator of the universe has weighed in on this subject through the Scriptures. Note that here we have an explicit, "Thus saith the Lord." "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" (Leviticus 18:22). One may also correctly presume from this verse, that thou shalt not lie with womankind, as with mankind: it is also an abomination (compare with Deuteronomy 23:17). The apostle John stated that those who commit abominations will not be in heaven (Revelation 21:27); therefore, the only alternative is that they will be in hell. Since homosexuality is in fact a subset of a larger set of fornication and whoredom we know explicitly that they will reside in hell (Revelation 21:8). One wonders why Ms. Winfrey even bothers appealing to any deity whatsoever. Perhaps she has decided that she is too rich, too famous, and too powerful to yield to the holy and righteous Jehovah. Her god will have to yield to her politically correct pseudo-wisdom. The fallacy is so obvious. In effect what she is saying is, "If it offends my tender sensibilities?then it cannot be God's will." What an arrogant, as well as spiritually fatal philosophy that is!

Speaking of hell, others have questioned the very concept of hell, refusing to reconcile a place of eternal torment, which is clearly defined in the Scriptures, with the God of love, Who is also clearly defined in the Scriptures. There are those, including the Jehovah's Witnesses, who have concocted the doctrine of annihilation, which claims that even if one goes to hell, that it will only last as long as it takes for the soul to be consumed by the fire. This erroneous conclusion flies in the face of all that we read concerning hell in the Scriptures, including the words of Jesus, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Mattew 10:28). If anyone questions the duration of hell in these words consider this: "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched" (Mark 9:43; emphasis mine, RR). How do we reconcile the God of love with the God that will send the wicked to hell? The apostle Paul provides that insight in his letter to the Romans, "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off" (Romans 11:22). Human beings, created in the image of God, also possess this duality and demonstrate it in their various relationships. God demands obedience and has the right to expect it. If mankind refuses to supply that obedience, dire consequences will result.

We also witnessed this attitude among some Roman Catholics last year in the selection of their pope. Many expressed reservation at the selection that was made, out of fear that he was an individual who promoted objective standards and traditional positions on the most controversial issues of our time. One woman was quoted as saying, "I was devastated by this selection." No doubt, there are many Catholics who would have preferred a pope who was less rigid about abortion, homosexuality, the roles of men and women, etc. These attitudes express the sentiments, in a larger sense, of society in general. While members of the Lord's church do not acknowledge the legitimacy of Catholicism; nevertheless, we can still be encouraged by anyone who takes a stand for moral absolutes.

That of course, is what this is really all about. Society has come to despise objective, absolute truth because it eliminates the "gray" area. As a society, we have become very comfortable in this area, where options prevail and where morals and ethics are situational, if they are present at all. Most people who wish to practice some semblance of religion want to do so on their own politically correct terms. The problem with this is: GOD IS NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT as defined by 21st century society! He is however, religiously correct as indicated by the Psalmist, "? for all thy commandments are righteousness" (Psalm 119:172b); "every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever" (verse 160). That is the omnipotence of God?whatever He says is the way it is!

Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions, which test both our faith and our desire to please God. May we never subjugate God's will to our own will and let us recognize that when we obey God?even if we may not understand fully at the time, even if society declares it to be the wrong course of action?it is a demonstration of our faith, at is was in the case of Abraham who was willing to sacrifice the son of the promise (Isaac), because God told him to do so (Genesis 22:2). Those who wish to make God in their own image will ultimately be disappointed, because despite their reluctance to submit to God's will, His will will eventually be done in all things (Matthew 6:10).



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