Impersonal Religion Is Dead Religion

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The LORD God Almighty, Creator of the heavens and the earth—is personal. He could've left us to our sinful natures, miserable, lost and debased. But He didn't. He could've chosen to save us from afar in an impersonal way by zapping us with a lightening rod from the heavens. But He didn't. He could've done so many things us human beings would consider, or even actually do. So let us thank God; that He didn't.

Because God is holy (set apart), He did what only He can do and what He alone is willing to do with no external prodding (as if anyone could "prod" God to do anything). He chose to create, in His own image; human beings. Unlike any other creation, people alone, are His image-bearers. We alone have the ability to reason, to consider things, understand cause and effect, acknowledge our own existence (i.e., animals look in the mirror and think it's another animal, people know it's their own reflection). As God's image-bearers, He has given us emotions, a desire for truth and intimate relationships. He's given every human being a conscience whereby we distinguish between good and evil.

But too often in any religion, whether false religion (i.e., Self, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) or true religion (Christianity), we're all prone to the sin of wanting to appear as if we have it all together. We're all proud and boastful, whether overtly or covertly. The only truly humble person who's walked this earth is Jesus Christ the Lord. And only those who abide in Him through faith in His perfectly finished work of salvation can walk as He walked, and only by the power of His Holy Spirit.

Therefore, Jesus alone can rightly act as if He has it all together, because He's the only one that really does. His actions aren't merely premeditated drama to make us think He's a certain way. Jesus' actions are real and true so that we can know with certainty that He is that way. Every way He presents Himself is who He really is. There is no pretense with Christ and there should be none with the those who profess His name.

Rather than deal with us from afar, rather than rescue us in an impersonal and anonymous, unknowable manner, God came in the flesh—in the Person of Jesus Christ, the only Savior for all mankind. God the Father touched all humanity through His Son's physical body. His Son touched our lives by living as one of us, feeling what we felt, struggling as we struggled and living as we live, but was without sin. His Holy Spirit touches our souls by indwelling the spirits of those who repent and trust in the only Son of God. Yet, we refuse to be personal and often shrink back from touching others. Oh, I don't mean the acquaintance like hugs and salutations we exchange. I mean the real life touches that binds hearts and lives. These "touches" aren't always physical, but they always warm and penetrate the soul.

We don't "touch" others, because we're afraid they may have "warts" we don't want to see or deal with. We don't want them to get too close and touch us either, because they may see beyond our plastic and refined religious exterior, and gasp at our warts. Just like we would judgmentally gasp at theirs.

"The truths of God are never meant to be distant theories we abstractly ponder in our ivory towers, but rather truths that find us in real-life pits of despair and dark alleyways and lead us home again. May we never settle for simply 'knowing' that God is strong, but may His strength find us in our weakness."

God made Himself known to us in an extraordinary manner—God becoming an ordinary man, so that as His image-bearers, we might make our ordinary selves known to others so that they might see the work of our extraordinary God in us. You see, only when we are willing to be real, only when we are willing to boast (that is, speaking at length) about our weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9-10) can anyone see how extraordinary, how awesome, and unlike us, our Lord truly is. It's difficult to distinguish or grasp the true beauty of a treasure if it's surrounded by fake polished gold. But it's not difficult for anyone to see treasure in the midst of a dunghill.

God is real. God is personal. And as His beloved children, we ought to be too.