The god of our imagination

It has been said that, “In the beginning God created man in His image and every since then man has been trying to return the favor.” That is, we fashion a god who agrees with our perspective of life and agrees with what we believe and do.

The ancient Greeks elevated making their imaginations into an art form when they began to make statues that represented their many gods and temples to house them. But their various gods were clearly human creations.

Zeus, the king of the Grecian gods, was an inveterate adulterer. He was portrayed in Grecian mythology as having numerous sexual affairs with beautiful human women. The hero Hercules was the offspring of one such relationship.

Zeus and his goddess wife Hera had three children one of which, Hephaestus, was born with a limp according to the Greek poet Homer. What kind of gods are these that are consumed with mortal desires, are born and have birth defects? Clearly they are deities endowed with all the human foibles of character and body by their very human creators.

When Paul visited Athens and preached to them about the unknown God, the one they did not know, they dismissed his preaching because he had declared to them the resurrection of Christ. Paul’s teaching of a God who could raise the dead must have seemed strange to an audience whose only conception of gods are tainted with human-like weaknesses.

We live in a culture that was founded amid a Christian consensus, so it is not unusual that a statistic that has remained unchanged for decades is that about ninety percent of Americans believe there is a God. But something that has changed is the percentage of those who read their Bible with any degree of regularity. That figure stands at less than forty percent.

The Scriptures reveal to us God’s holy nature and divine will; they reveal who God is and what He is like, and what He expects from us. This means a very large portion of our population believes in a God they do not know and can only imagine what He must be like.

It is no wonder then that when someone says or writes things about God or what the Bible says many become confused and are easily duped into believing something that is not taught in the Bible, because it is unread.

The psalmist has said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” Psalm 119:105. The wisdom and guidance we so desperately need as a nation lies in many homes collecting dust while our nation is literally falling apart before our eyes.

It reminds me of a saying that I have found to be true, “If you see a Bible that is falling apart, it belongs to someone who isn’t.”

The idol we fashion by our imagination is as poor a substitute for the God of the Bible as an idol that has been fashioned by hands.


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