This weekend at Verve we talked about “idolatry” – our tendency to worship things other than God, thinking that they’ll give us what only God can truly give us. I thought I’d take a couple posts this week to talk about the kinds of false gods we tend to worship. The first are what I’d call “Me Gods.”
- Scott McKnight, a professor of religious studies at North Park College, gives his students a test on their first day of class, asking them questions about what they think Jesus is like. He follows that with another test, this time asking questions to determine what they are like. What he, and others who have done similar studies, has discovered is that everyone thinks Jesus is just like them. McKnight writes, “The test results also suggest that, even though we like to think we are becoming more like Jesus, the reverse is probably more the case: we try to make Jesus like ourselves.” It’s what the French philosopher Voltaire wrote years ago, “If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor.”
- There’s a temple in Kyoto, Japan, called the temple of the thousand Buddha’s. Inside the temple there are 1,000 statues of Buddha, each one slightly different than the others. The idea is that you can go in, find the image of Buddha that looks most like yourself, and worship that one.
- It sounds absurd, but take a long look in the mirror. I bet there’s something in you that would prefer a fake god whose image looks like you, to the true God in whose image you were made. And whatever that is in you, it’s in me too.