In a recent discussion, I proposed the danger that we can find ourselves “creating a God in our own image.” I came to this conclusion because the person I was talking to was trying to construct a framework of “what they believed” about God. In the process of determining what they believe, they came to the conclusion that they could not accept a God who punishes people for eternity. That didn’t fit the construct they had created about a loving God.
This isn’t an isolated case. It’s reported that even within the churches of Christ many do not accept the teaching of eternal punishment (hell). Are we “creating a God" that fits our beliefs? I hope to develop this study through a series of articles in the bulletin.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:1-2, 26-27)
God’s Word tells us we were created in His image. I’ve always believed this refers to our innate character rather than our physical image. There’s evidence in the Bible that God is a spiritual being, not a man or woman.
When I use the word innate, I’m referring to characteristics we are born with in contrast to those learned through experience. Some of those character traits are love, justice, compassion, and truth. In the following passage, we see some of God’s characteristics in His own words.
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7)
The second part of this reading speaks about His justice by saying, “Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished.” The characteristic of a "Just God" is also found in Deuteronomy.
I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He. (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)
Let me leave you with some questions to think about. Do you recognize godly characteristics in your own belief construct? Do you honor those who take the risk of saving another from a burning building? Do you believe someone who takes the life of another should be punished? Are you offended when someone lies to you?
This study will take a few weeks to develop. In our next article, we need to establish how we develop our beliefs. What is our source of Truth? Any innate characteristics in which we were created have evolved by our life experiences. We may no longer look like the image of our Creator. If we begin to develop our belief of God based upon our altered character, we may find ourselves with a “Created God.”
God bless, Dave—check out the Memory Verse at the bottom of the page.
ESCANABA NEWS & NOTES
Family Night –October 29th Wednesday we meet for supper is at 5:30; activities at 6:00. Our activity will be from Daniel chapters 4-6. Meal: Huff; Songs/prayer: Marc; Activity: Huff; Memory: Huff. The new volunteer sheet will be posted next Wednesday.
November Potluck Plan to join us for a church potluck next Sunday, November 2nd following our morning worship. The theme will be Mexican, and a sign-up sheet is posted.
Christian Closet UPDATE On November 5th, the Closet will handing out some fruit bags for Thanksgiving. There’s a sign-up sheet for fruit, and we need it by next Sunday, November 2nd.
Congregational Meeting You can help! Join us on Sunday, November 9th.We’ll discuss the ministries of the church in Escanaba and hear reports from the different groups working on them. Our meeting will begin at 12:20 following our worship. No meal is planned.
Daylight Savings Time Ends Next Weekend! Set your clocks to Fall Back one hour at bedtime next Saturday night, November 2, 2014.
ESCANABA PRAYER REQUESTS
Missy is having a lot of pain and is seeing the doctor for her back. She’s concerned she may have to have back surgery.
Mary Messenger will be having eye surgery in the near future.
Loretta’s grandson is having several health concerns.
Melissa will have gall bladder surgery this week on Tuesday.
Melissa requests prayer for a 4 yr old boy who has leukemia.
Mickie requests prayer for a friend, Lori, who has cancer in her throat and they were unable to remove it.
Austin’s teacher, Janet Gazan, has breast cancer.
Carl Larson (Menominee) requests prayer for his well-being as he ages. He’s 88. Carl has been a TV viewer for many years.
Health: Carole, Theresa (M.S). Cancer: Amy Peterson, Cindy Poehlman, Tracie Frappier, Alisia Roland, Tony Fittante, Rose Beauchamp, Marcia Frederick, Mary Ann Poe, and Jeanette Pierce. Pregnancy: Ashley Godoy, Sarah O’Neal, Emily Rath, Shelly Goodle, Greta Briere, Marissa Briere.
Any updates on our Continued Concerns? Please call or e-mail so we can refresh our concerns to the Lord. Call 233-0065; E-mail email@example.com.
Serving Sunday, October 26, 2014
Memory Verse: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” Daniel 4:37