FALSE CONCEPTS OF GOD AND THE TRUE!
Once Jesus asked who people said He
was and there was a wide diversity of opinions: Elijah, one of the prophets
from of old, even John the Baptist who had returned from the grave. Finally, the Prince of the Apostles and he
who would become the 1st Pope—St. Peter nailed it: “You are the
Christ, the Son of the living God!”
Today, floating in the theological
circles of speculation, are many views of God. Our vision of God obviously will
affect our relationship to Him as well as our relationship to others. The following are among the most common
erroneous visions of God and then briefly we will specify the TRUE GOD!
First, THE GOOD-NATURED GRANDPA IN
THE SKY! What is this false concept?
Well, it is simply this! Many believe that
God is like a doting and indulgent and rich grandpa type in the sky who is
always ready and willing to cater to our capricious desires immediately and
abundantly. We might even call this
vision of God the “Glorified Bell-hop!”
You know that well-groomed and ready worker in front of the expensive
Hotel that is ready to cater to you upon demand, of course expecting a generous
tip! Or you might even see this vision
of God as SANTA CLAUS. There He is in heaven
ready to shower you with gifts—as soon as you want and as many as you like.
Finally, this God can be compared to the GENIE IN THE BOTTLE. If you rub then the genie will come out and
grant you your wish! This can be seen in
many who make Novenas to God, Mary and the saints; then they expect on the 9th
day that what they have been praying for will be granted on that day. If it does not happen then they doubt both
the goodness of God and even His mere existence!
Second, ANGRY AND VINDICTIVE
GOD. Years ago there was the Protestant
hell and brimstone preacher Jonathan Edwards.
He preached a vindictive God ready to condemn and chastise upon the
slightest fault or transgression. He depicted the human person like a spider
hanging from a mere thread and hanging over a fiery pit. Upon the first transgression
this small thread would be broken and the spider (really the human person)
would precipitate into the fiery pit of hell for all eternity. In other words, this is a God of strict and
cold Justice—no mercy to say the least!
Third, DEISM: THE IMPERSONAL
GOD. The God of the deist is one who
launches the world into existence and leaves it there to fend for itself.
Therefore, the human person is part of the cog in the wheel of the impersonal
universe. However, God is totally impersonal. He will never intervene to help
the human person even in his must personal and desperate need. The great Greek philosopher, Aristotle called
God THE UNMOVED MOVER.
Fourth, ISLAM VISION. God is the supreme MASTER and the human
person is a mere slave. There is no real personal and tender relationship
between this God and man.
Fifth, THE GOD OF WEALTH AND
PROSPERITY. This is a most prevalent
vision among many Protestants. One of the surest signs that we are on God’s
side and He is on our side is that of prosperity. The making of money and the accumulating of
material possessions are all very clear signs that God’s blessings are definitely
upon us. In other words the more money
you make and the more money you have saved in the bank, then the more clear it
is that God is pleased with you.
Having briefly summarized five
erroneous visions of God, let us portray the true vision of God. The way we
think, act and become depends directly on “who” God really is for us!
God is both one and three and very
personal. We believe in one God, but three distinct Persons: the Father, the
Son and the Holy Spirit. What then is
our relationship to these three distinct but equal Persons that we title the
Most Blessed Trinity?
FATHER. God is a loving, tender, caring, concerned
and compassionate Father to us. His love never changes even despite our many
sins and failures. On one occasion an
Indian Moslem was converted to Catholicism. What moved this convert most was
the fact that God was not a distant master and slave-driver, but rather a
tender and loving Father that could even be called in the most tender fashion
DADDY! In other words a God that we can cuddle up to His Heart and embrace Him
and he embraces us--- Remember the most famous Parable in the world: the
Parable of the Prodigal Son or we might even call it the Parable of the
Merciful Father. (Luke 15: 11-32). This Father was willing to embrace, kiss,
and shower down mercy upon is repentant son!
Not only is God the Father, but He is also God the Son and His name is
Jesus! The relationship of Jesus to us is that of an ELDER BROTHER. However, He is the best of all brothers,
having a love for us that goes beyond our wildest imagination. This was proved
by His willingness to be nailed to the cross and shed every drop of His
precious Blood to save our souls for all eternity. Jesus is the best of Brothers and he is
always at our side to walk with us through life as was witnessed by the
disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:13-25)
HOLY SPIRIT. Who then is the Holy Spirit in our
lives? Many titles can be given to the
third Person of the Blessed Trinity, but we would like to offer the following—OUR
BEST FRIEND! In a world in which so many
people suffer a desperate and a crushing loneliness. At times we might feel as
if we are all alone and nobody real understands us and much less cares for us,
there is great hope: the presence of the Holy Spirit and the ever-present and
welcoming FRIEND! He is a Friend that is ever present and willing to console us
in the dark moments as we walk and stumble through this valley of tears.
OUR LADY. May Our Lady who is the
Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of God the Son and the Mystical Spouse
of God the Holy Spirit intercede for us so that we might have an
ever-deepening, personal and loving relationship to the Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit. Amen