“What men have believed about god has caused more wars and fiercer wars than any other thing whatever. Error about God cannot be a private affair. It can only end to a diminished and distorted life for everyone.”
– Frank Sheed
When it all comes down to it, does it really matter what you believe about God?
What’s the big deal if there is one God as opposed to 300?
Does it make a difference whether he exists or not?
Believing the right thing about God is as important as getting the right prescription for your glasses. With the wrong prescription you can’t see properly and you’re liable to walk into grouchy people or hard objects. It’s the same with God. The wrong perception about God results in a wrong perception about reality. A wrong perception about reality will affect our behavior towards others.
As sad as it is, we will more than likely attend the funeral of a loved one if we haven’t already. Imagine if you will, as you’re grieving over your beloved you look across the street and see a group of people with signs telling you “We’re glad ________ is dead,” and “God Hates You”. A wound that has been punctured by the cold harsh reality of life is being cut even more deeply by this sign and endorsement of hatred. This has happen several times over the past several years by a church group from Kansas that believes that God wants them to remind people of his wraith in the hour of their discontent .
This church group believes God hates the world and that America in particular is
This vision of God, as one who hates the world, drives their blatant disregard for the dignity and feelings of others.
If there is no God, everything is permitted. -Fyodor Dostoevsky
Throughout the 20th century many governments arose forcing their non-religious beliefs on its citizens. Communism in particular forced their belief that there was no God. ‘The State’, not God, was the thing that people were to devote their time and loyalty to. Communists profess that a belief in God is what causes misery and oppression in life and that if God is removed from one’s vision of reality, all will be well as long as ‘the State’ is their to take care of you.
Those who oppose ‘the State’, with any ideas other than their own can be taken out and shot. Another option is that they will let you live and ship you off to a labor camp in Siberia. Communist governments strip people of any liberty that does not advance those in power. Individual freedoms are directly opposed to Communist philosophy. Communist governments have killed millions of people because they believe there is no higher moral law above and beyond their own. They claim there is no God other than that of state.
The Communists oppressive philosophy is rooted in a vision that tries to make a temporal reality (the State) into an absolute reality (God).
The lack of respect for a person’s dignity, freedom, or life reflects the vision of God (or lack thereof) as seen by that individual. The choices a person makes in his daily life “are shaped by what he believes to be real and true, right and wrong, good and beautiful. The choices one makes is shaped by their worldview which is simply the sum total of a person’s belief in the ‘big picture’ that directs their daily decisions and actions.” For this reason it is important to gain a correct vision of God.
Mother Teresa saw God as a very powerful and real being that created reality and holds it in existence. This same God who crafted the cosmos became one of the creatures that He created. He did this out of Love for each and every single individual person that He created. He laid down His life for His enemies and told His followers to do likewise. Jesus said , “‘Truly I say to you, whatever you do to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you do it to Me.’ Mt 25:40
Mother Teresa acted this truth out in a very radical way. She treated her fellow human beings with dignity and respect. She held the sick in her arms as they lay dying and cared for the poorest of the poor.
She treated people this way because she let the vision of a God of Love flow into her soul and she loved those she saw formed in His image. Your vision of God, will affect the way you act and behave in life. This is why it is important to gain a correct understanding of God.
The Church affirms clearly and forcefully that every individual — whatever his or her personal convictions — bears the visible image of the invisible God. Therefore by his very nature is the subject of rights which no one may violate, — no individual, group, class, nation or State.”
-St. Pope John Paul II CA 22.
Lastly it is important for those who say they believe in God to act according to those beliefs because
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. “2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV
Jesus sends his disciples out to evangelize. If God is appealing through us to the world and we don’t act according to the correct vision of God that we claim to believe it can have the opposite effect of evangelization.
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
— Brennan Manning
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”― Mahatma Gandhi
What is your vision of God?
How do you let this vision of God affect your daily choices and decisions?
How do you view other people and how do you treat them?
 Pg. 13,14 Chuck Colson How Now Shall We Live