I Don't Believe in That God Either

A Canadian preacher named A. W. Tozer once wrote, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us."

What do you think of when you think about God? I think everyone has a concept of God.

An amazing thing to me is this: Even if you don't believe there is a God, I bet you have a picture in your mind of who God is (or isn't).

See if one of these fits you:

Many people have an eclectic view of God. They pick and choose from various world religions and spiritual thoughts to fashion whatever God they want him to be.

Some people picture God as angry and vengeful. He's a "fire and brimstone" God. He is keeping score and is just waiting to damn everyone to hell on Judgment Day.

Or maybe you can identify with this: God is totally unfair and you want nothing to do with him. Maybe you prayed for someone you love, but God let something bad happen to them. You can't believe in a God who lets bad things happen to the people you love.

Here are some more ideas about God:

• God is a grandfather figure. He's old. He has a white beard. He's kind and benevolent. He's nice to have around on special occasions - like Christmas and Easter.

• God is distant. He's busy running the entire universe. He doesn't have time to be interested in us.

• Some people act like they are "god." Oh, they would never call themselves "God." But they live like the world revolves around them. While the Bible says God created man in his image, they've turned it around and created God in their image.

• God is capricious. He does things without rhyme or reason.

• God doesn't make sense. Usually this means: I've read the Bible and it doesn't make sense to me.

So what is your concept of God?

George Buttrick, former chaplain at Harvard, recalls that students would come into his office, plop down on a chair and declare, "I don't believe in God." Buttrick would give this reply: "Sit down and tell me what kind of God you don't believe in. I probably don't believe in that God either" (Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, p. 264).

He would then proceed to tell them about Jesus Christ.

Why Jesus? Because Jesus Christ shows us what God is really like.

Some people think Jesus was just a good religious teacher. Some people think he was just a regular guy: got married, moved to the 'burbs, settled down, had kids.

But the truth is, Jesus made the radical claim, "Anybody who has seen me has seen God."

Either he was lying. Or he was delusional. Or he really is God.

I hate it when people assume things about me that aren't true, don't you? Is it possible that you've done the same thing with God? Have you formed a view of God based on your experience rather than on who Jesus is?

If you want to read the eyewitness accounts of who Jesus is, check out any of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) in the New Testament. They are the oldest records of his life. Here's a link to John's account if you want to read it on-line.

If you'd rather watch the story, here's the Jesus Video on-line (available in many languages).

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