God made man in his own image. And man, in his infinite wisdom, returned the favor. -Mark Twain
In my last post, I argued that if Christianity were a lie, we would have told a better lie. A similar line of thinking applies to God. Many gods have been invented by people. The God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, the Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, isn’t one of them. Here’s why no one would make up such a god:
God requires perfection. We would make up a god that settles for good enough. Our imaginary god would be happy with 70%. That’s good enough to pass. The best you can do is the best you can do. Who would ask for more than that? The God we wouldn’t make up, that’s who.
God doesn’t prove himself. Unbelievers often ask why God doesn’t offer undeniable proof that he is real. If God exists, they say, and wanted us to know it, he would offer positive proof than could not be denied. One might argue he has. But even so, just because the god we might want would prove he exists, that doesn’t mean the God of this reality has to. Let’s say I tell you my name is Clark, and you demand that I prove it. Even if I offer no proof whatsoever, that doesn’t mean I’m not Clark.
God is hard to understand sometimes. In the Old Testament God seems to be angry a lot. His judgement is often swift and violent. In the New Testament, so it seems to a lot of people, God claims to be love. He offers grace to everyone. To some people’s understanding, God is nothing like Jesus. God’s message is subject to interpretation, and not everyone interprets it the same way. If we made up a god, he would be easy to understand. He would speak clearly, concisely, and to the point, with no room for error in understanding his message. The god we make up would be like that. God is not.
God’s not always fair. By our standards, perhaps he is not. A person that is born into a Christian home and grows up in church hears about God over and over again throughout life. A person born into a nomadic, tribal clan might never see or hear of a Bible. How can God expect both to believe in him? The God we make up would not send people to hell for not having faith in him. Perhaps he would send only murderers, child molesters and rapists to hell. Anyone that is basically good, or at least not pure evil, would go to heaven. The god we make up would be fair, according to our definition and understanding of fairness.
God is perfect in his holiness, and requires the same for all who enter his presence. He unapologetic issues commandments, sometimes with little or no explanation. He exclusively offers salvation by his grace through faith in Jesus only. He is not a god we would invent, by any stretch of the imagination.