“Spirituality” is very popular today. Pop culture icons like Oprah and a myriad of others praise the “spiritual” and “spiritual journeys.” Unfortunately, what the pop culture icons and the people miss is this: The common brand of “spirituality” is no real spirituality at all.
Take, for example, this article from FoxNews.com. In this article a Massachusetts woman discovered the image of Jesus on her iron. Apparently this was a spiritual experience for her. An apparent lapsed catholic, she took the ironic (every pun intended) image of Christ to mean that “life is going to be good” and that “[Jesus is] listening.”
This article illustrates:
1. People are interested in the “idea” of God, but they are not interested in God Himself.
Why make such a statement? Because, an iron is not the purveyor of spiritual truth. If people were interested in God, they would look to Christ Himself who makes an unmistakable and demanding call on their lives–“teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:20)
Rather than look to Jesus Himself, people look to cheap imitations–like irons with images emblazoned on them. Why? Because this Jesus is “Safe.” He won’t command you to do anything that you don’t want to do. The icon can make you feel that Jesus is listening and that life is going to be good, but I’d remind you of this: You’re placing your faith in a household appliance, not the Lord of the universe.
True faith has Jesus Himself as the one and only object of that faith. And when Jesus is the object of one’s faith, the demands are steep and the demands are designed to strengthen one’s faith through challenges. The true Jesus is not “safe” by any human standard and He will not let you stay who you are–excusing your own perpetually sinful behavior.
2. People are interested in “god,” but only on their own terms.
Many people want to seek God in their own way. They want a god that is similar to themselves, not the dangerous God of the Bible that condemns sin and sinners, a God that declares that perfect holiness is what is required of us.
People seek a god that will bless their sinful behaviors while telling them “it’s OK…I’m OK, you’re OK…don’t worry about sin, certainly not your own.”
In this scenario, a “god” is assembled through a smorgasbord of religious traditions (Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, Christianity, etc), but the view of god expressed is not a true view. It is an imagined view, a subjective view. In reality, this conglomerate “god” exists only in the mind of the individual. This religion is more in line with the Greek pantheon of gods where every one was mostly powerful and mostly flawed. Greek gods were nothing more than super human–more power than human but still entirely human in their faults, flaws, and desires.
The God of the Bible is totally “other.” He is not human (although Christ did assume humanity). God is not given to the foibles and faults of humanity. He is totally perfect and totally holy and He is as far above us as we are above an ant.
God does not invite us to come to Him on our terms. His call is clear: Come to me on my terms. The one term is Jesus Christ–He is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father, except through Him.
This is not a safe God. This is a God who rightly demands our soul, our life, and our all.