Churches existing in a Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Lowes, and Office Depot society must deal with that mind set. The majority in our society function on the "cheapest price, greatest variety, and maximum convenience" mind set. That is life today--everyday, everywhere in America. We acquire our wants to satisfy our desires. We surround ourselves with things and relationships that "suit us" to "give us what we want."

Let all of us say a collective "amen." Let all of us declare, "That is what's wrong!" Let all of us illustrate that conviction. Our illustrations will arise from earrings to worship attire, from church programs to leadership styles, from sermon content to group study styles. And our illustrations commonly reflect our eyes, not God's eyes.

So like those who went before us, we obtain our "build your own god" kits and construct God as we want Him to be. Just as Israel, and the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, and the Judaizing teachers, and even Peter did (before Jesus died).

Some want a god that they can manipulate. "I did this for you; now you do this for me."

Some want a god they can control. "God would never think that, want that, expect that, or do that! If I cannot comprehend it God cannot and would not think or do it!"

Some want a god they can direct. "God thinks this. God holds this position. God approves of this. God condemns this." Too often the correct translation: "God thinks and does what I have concluded that He thinks and does."

Some want a god who affirms them. "God approves of my convictions, my conclusions, my behavior, and my lifestyle!" God's function is to tell this person, "You are right!"

We are too sophisticated to build idols from wood, stone, or metal. We build our idols with thoughts, positions, perspectives, and inadequate convictions that are based more on desires and preferences than scripture's full revelation of the sovereign God.

Modern idol builders fashion their gods. Christians surrender to Christ. Idol builders fill the gaps and justify behavior. Christians let Christ fashion them to serve the living God. Are you building a god or surrendering to a Savior? God exists to fashion us. We do not exist to fashion God.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 1 August 1999

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