Wednesday, November 29, 2017

God of Men

The terrifying truth is this: if we allow ourselves to think of the things that men do as miracles, then it is not long at all before we need no God at all. 

Follow this - God used to do all kinds of incredible miracles in His Word. The blind saw, the lame walked, the deaf heard, the water was turned into wine. There was no doubt in anyone's minds that these were acts of God and that God was, indeed, Creator of All. He had to be, for only a Creator could re-create the world in such ways as to heal its brokennesses.

Today, we say that modern medicine, fashioned by men, is a miracle. We say that human perseverance is a miracle. We say that the things that men do are miracles, and that this is how God works His miracles today. Let's just assume for a minute that that is true (it's not, but let's assume that it is). The God that works these "miracles" doesn't have to be the Creator of anything; He just has to be the puller of men's strings. He's not an artist; He's a puppetmaster. 

That's far less than He tells us that He is. 

But that's all it takes for these "miracles." God doesn't have to break any metaphysical barriers. He doesn't have to re-create a fallen world. All He has to do is get men to do things according to His Will, and we'll call Him miraculous. 

Never mind that this is the very same God who gave us free will because He didn't want puppets; He wanted friends. 

Now, we take this God who is the God of men, and it doesn't take long before we stop seeing Him involved even with men. After all, if men are the ones working the miracles, then it doesn't really matter how or why. Some might continue to give credit to God, but we think that's probably just a nice sentiment. Instead, we're focused on how they actually did what they did, and we come to believe in all kinds of things like human ingenuity, human grit, or human reason. Notice something about these things? 

They're all human. No need for God at all. Why should there be?

You see, once we stop needing God to be the Creator of the universe in order to be God at all, we start to lose Him, and it doesn't take long before we let go altogether and fall into the abyss of human arrogance, human pride. It's the same sin His people have always committed, but to a far more dastardly degree. For much of their history, men have attempted to say that they do not need God because they have no need of a Creator of the universe. 

Today, men say that they do not need God because they have created the universe themselves. 

Don't you see how we got here? It's with ideas like these. It's with this slow creeping of our theology from God as He has revealed Himself to God as we acknowledge Him. It's with this subtle, slow shift by where we stop letting God tell us who He is and start telling Him who He is. It's with this rebellion where we stop listening to our creation in His image and start creating in our own image. And for awhile, we still call it sacred, but that doesn't last. It doesn't take long before we just start calling it "real." Whatever that means. 

Which is why we have to be careful, especially as Christians, not to fall into this trap. We have to insist that God is much more than just the God of men, the God who pulls our strings so that we do good and beautiful things in this world. Sometimes, by grace, we do good and beautiful things, and it's pretty cool.

But God is the One who does good and beautiful things in this world all on His own, consistently so. And it's miraculous.

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