“Wiki” is a type of website that allows collaborative editing of its written content. You don’t have to be an expert in computer coding or even the specific topic at hand before you are given complete expressive license to create and to edit the matter of such a site. The only expertise that is needed to contribute is the ability to think somewhat coherently and to express oneself through typed communication.
I believe we are living in a time that has taken this type of editable approach to theology. In this anti-authoritative, individualistic society, it is socially intolerant to be religiously intolerant. The culture teaches that what’s good for you is good for you but not necessarily me. What I believe about my beliefs has absolutely no jurisdiction upon your own. The only unforgivable sin is holding to a worldview with such conviction that you feel inclined to share it with another. We are trained to allow someone to continue operating in perilous ignorance over warning them to any potential impending danger. In our society, we all believe something very antithetical from one another, and yet, somehow each of us is supposedly correct.
In lieu of divine revelation, we have sought out sideways collaboration. Instead of learning from the expert, we effortlessly become the expert.
We have traded truths etched in stone by the finger of the Almighty God for erasable opinions jotted down on disposable coffeeshop napkins.
Our culture worships the Wiki God. We want ever so desperately to serve a deity whom we have the freedom and capability to edit. We cut out what we dislike about God. We copy a belief from another religion and paste it over into our own. This syncretistic approach places God upon a theological buffet in which we pick and choose those delicacies that we enjoy and pass over the dishes upon which we would rather not chew.
Voltaire said it this way: “In the beginning, God created man in his own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.” I cannot disagree with him. We were made to be like God and not the other way around, yet we filter truth as soon as it conflicts with our preferences. When Scripture teaches an attribute of God that doesn’t settle nicely into our neat, tidy theological cages that we have assembled, we resort to tossing out those doctrines altogether. “I just don’t think God is like that” could be the theological slogan for our culture.
As gently as I can say this, please process this truth:
It doesn’t matter what you or I think about God. It matters what God thinks about God.
We must submit to the ultimate authority on such a significant matter and never frivolously choose to accept the societal flavor-of-the-month theology. If we plant our feet deep in our independent worldview stances, unwilling to change even when the truth is undeniably revealed, we will never reach a satisfying conclusion as individuals or as a culture. If we espouse beliefs based upon consensus, we will throw biblical doctrine overboard ever so eagerly and find ourselves unaware that we have entered far more dangerous waters. We will voyage at what seems to be a quicker, unhindered pace until we run ashore to our utter demise realizing far too late that the anchor that we thought was our captivity was instead our only salvation.
Truth does not hold us back. Truth keeps us up. If we pursue a biblical theology, we might be alarmed at how far off we are from God’s characterizations of himself. The more we come to know about him, we may be shocked to realize how different he is from us. The psalmist declared God’s position by stating, “You thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you” (Ps. 50:21).
Have we been found guilty for assuming that God is positionally identifiable with us? Our opinions want to dictate that God should be qualitatively relatable, but we honestly do not want to experience the ramifications of living in a world governed by a God who was tailored by us.
Our edited version of God would run this world into the ground because he would look too much like us.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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