September 26, 2008

God is...what?

This morning on the way to drop Kara and Garren off at school, I passed a church with one of those signs out front, you know, where they put little cutsie sayings to try and get attention? Now, sometimes I read those signs and just can't stop laughing. For example, here's one I saw the other day:

"Where will you spend eternity? Join us this Sunday."

Hmmm, not sure I want to spend eternity in your church. Does your pastor just preach a really long time? Will you be serving the Kool-Aid? What does that mean exactly...join you this Sunday...for eternity?
Here's another one:

"Don't let worry kill you. Let the church help."

Again...I don't need the church to help kill me. I am doing just fine on my own. Well, this morning I saw one that has the potential to be damaging doctrinally. Here's what it said:

"God is...Everything"

Now - at first reading one might think this is just a harmless statement of our belief that God is eternal, everalsting, all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly holy, loving and merciful. But the problem is that this statement can also be taken to mean that God is everything - that God and the universe are one. This is properly known as pantheism. This is the belief that all is God and God is all. This view assumes that the universe is eternal, because God is eternal. This view implies that God is not the creator, because there is no creation if everything is eternal - has always existed.

Maybe I'm being nit-picky, maybe you're thinking "Come on Geoffrey, you know what they meant." Yes, I know what they meant - because I was raised in a church culture. I speak the language. But for most people who do not know "christianese," this statement will be taken literally - God is all and all is God - God is everything.

God is not everything. God is a lot - but He is not the universe. God is the creator of the universe. He cannot be His creation.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Amanda Pelser said...

I pass the eternity church on my way to Jonathan's daycare. I've really wanted to call them and suggest that they consider changing their sign.