Last time on Searching for God Knows What…
Emily finally fulfilled her promise to her sister. Donald dropped the rules and turned rebel. In a dramatic revelation, he discovered his long-lost Father wants to renew a relationship with him. But will Donald believe God’s his real father? DUN-DUN-DUN! *blackout*
Okay, so maybe this book isn’t a serial soap opera. (Though, you have to admit it would make a good soap title.) The second chapter goes on to talk about “God impostors” and how they lead us away from the real thing. If I can stretch my analogy a bit here, real life people represent fake gods just like you can never tell whether a soap character is really the next-door neighbor or the victimized daughter who got kidnapped as an infant and is now carrying her brother’s child.
Miller relates God impostors to department store Santas. The only difference is when he found out the dressed-up Santas are fakes, he figured this out because his mom finally filled him in that Santa doesn’t exist. If Santa isn’t real, how can the men sitting kids on their knees be the real thing?
“That is good and fine when we’re talking about Santa, but when we’re talking about God, the ramifications of an impostor are more upsetting,” Miller wrote. “There are, after all, a lot of people who don’t believe in God because they can’t reconcile their idea of Him with the idea presented on television.”
The media shows us pictures of a god who supports only conservative politics and wants us to blindly argue with our opponents, whose followers sexually abuse children and steal money from charities. These impostors show off their inflatable gods that look good on the plastic surface but are filled with air and no substance.
In high school, a psychology class punctured Miller’s God and left it deflated on the floor.
“I didn’t have a relationship with God; I had a relationship with a system of simple ideas, certain prejudices, and a feeling that I and people who thought as I thought were right,” Miller wrote.
Without the system he grew up believing, Miller had nothing left to separate God from his childhood belief in Santa Claus. You can imagine what happened next or read the book for yourself.
There are two questions I think every Christian could ask themselves at this point.
First of all, do I have a relationship with a God impostor or the real thing? How do you tell? The easiest test here is to go to the source, which for Christians, would be the Bible. There are many reasons I trust the Bible as my primary source of information, but let’s not go into that just now. To keep this short, your personal picture of God probably isn’t right if it doesn’t match up with the one the Bible gives. There is no excuse to skip taking this test. If you have internet connection (which I know you do, since you are reading my blog), you can read the Bible and check for yourself whether what everyone else tells you is true about God or not.
Next, if I know God as the Bible describes him, am I representing this God to others or leading them to know a fake? Don’t be the one reposting on Facebook those “Photoshopped” images of God. Look at your social media profiles and compare them to what you claim to believe. Do they match up? If you’re someone without a metaphorical mirror (or with a warped one), grab a Christian friend/mentor and ask for his or her honest view on the God-image you have taped to your shirt.
To be continued…