Thursday, April 27, 2017

Creating God Into Our Image

      In 2009 Israeli President Shimon Peres was addressing an audience at a global faith conference in Israel. He was discussing the issue of religious violence when he asked this question: Did God create us in His own image, or has humanity created a God to fit it's own image? It is a very powerful and note worthy question and one that should be considered deeply. Could it be, that from the very beginning, man has been more focused on creating a God to fit our image and our need instead of trying to understand how we were created in God's image?

      Just like the writers of scripture, we as people are trying to make sense of the experiences we have from a relationship with God. And, like the Israelites, our idea of God comes from our fears and affections. the result, unfortunately, is that we see God in the image that we have made Him into, instead of seeing ourselves in God's image. We see God as a judge, because we judge. We see God as an angry God, because we are angry. We see God as a controlling God, because we need to be in control. We see God as a jealous God, because we are jealous. We see God as a vengeful God, because we seek vengeance. This list can go on and on because it's true, we make God into our own image. In doing so we lose sight of what it means for us to be created in God's image.

      We are living in a time when people of all religions are attributing all kinds of craziness in this world to God. People of so called "faith" fly planes into buildings, killing thousands of people, because that's the image they need God to be. Other people of "faith" start what they call just wars, because they created God the way they needed Him to be. Still, other people of "faith" deny others their worth as children of God, all in the name of a God they created into their own image. We all do this, We take our projections and we layer them on God 1 by 1 until we no longer see God as God is. We put God in a box and make Him so small so we can manage what we can't comprehend or imagine. The truth is God is greater and bigger than anything beyond all understanding, and that scares most of us to death.

      When I see the way some people of "faith" treat women, I think your God is too small. When I see people of "faith" say you can't be faithful and dance, or drink wine, or enjoy physical pleasure for the sake of pleasure, or even love whom you choose, I think your God is too small. How much more would we reflect our likeness to God if we chose forgiveness over anger, or instead of remorse we chose gratitude and acceptance. I wonder how much more our world would reflect God's peace and justice if we stopped creating God into our own image and risked living as people created in the image of God?

      You see? God is love, not hate. God is merciful, not vengeful. God is forgiveness, not anger. God is our freedom, not our fears. The more we believe this about God and ourselves, the less we will create God into our image and live more like people created in God's image....... Amen !!




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