Paganizing God

A simple deduction from the truth of monotheism—that God alone is the uncreated being to whom all worship is due— is that God is the God of all humanity (Ac 17:23-28). If, therefore, we wrap him with the garb of our culture (whether national, regional, or ideological) and excluding others from him unless they conform to us, then we do not worship God in purity. Instead, we resurrect the pagan pantheon replacing Jupiter god of the Romans with Jesus god of the Republicans (or what have you). We bind him who knows no boundaries with the prescriptions of our culture creating a god who is bound to defend only us. This in turn allows us to despise others who don’t worship our Jesus. We use our haughtiness to justify not only insult and injury but also violence of the most debase sort while turning a blind eye towards our group’s most abominable sins.

The antidote to this is the humble confession that God is the one God of all and that those outside our circles are equally his even if they are in rebellion. We are no better than them because we are all made in his image. And therefore we must be diligent to understand our cultural biases and strip them from our concept of God.

Please note: I’m not dealing with soteriological concepts here and I don’t believe in universal salvation.

My reflection on the thoughts of Miroslav Volf in Exclusion and Embrace

Photo: Photo by Denis Zagorodniuc from Pexels

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