by Howard Glass
In casual conversations, unchurched people often reveal they have a nominal and dangerous spirituality. One thing I often hear goes something like this, "I honor God in my own way." Without basic religious knowledge, people assume they may define God the way they do other things—beginning with themselves.
If there is anything we creatures do not get to choose, it is who and what God is and what He expects of us.
Clearly, our culture worships freedom, and is beginning to treat diversity as a virtue. Small wonder Americans feel entitled to decide all things for themselves. Couple that to an economy driven by consumerism and choice, and you get support for the presumptuous thinking that God is a malleable concept and that a comfortable spirituality is everyone's right. The mindset is so well entrenched that opposing it sounds threatening or eccentric.
In our world people's minds are exposed to input from all kinds of media. There are more images and ideas than we even care to ponder, including an endless supply of shallow and twisted spirituality.
In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis suggested that some of Satan's most effective work is done, not by putting thoughts into people's minds, but by keeping them out. A world saturated with information makes that task easier. To counter that we must tactfully help the lost consider their position.
A relationship with the true God begins with the acceptance of His absolute sovereignty over oneself—not a comfortable starting point. But after we accept this we discover, to our delight, that His sovereignty is entirely beneficent. The law came before grace because without the backdrop of a rigid code, grace has no contrast; it cannot be understood, much less appreciated.
It is worthwhile to remind people that God is sovereign, and mankind is not.