Over the past 3 years I (Tripp) have had a 20 mile commute within the great city of Chicago. In this time, it’s become clear that for many people, their cars are their sounding board, and their opinions must be put on them for others to read. For them, this is a safe soap box. Many see their opinion or bold claim, but few would ever have any opportunity to challenge it. Here, I will correct that, and to several that I’ve read, I have something to say in response. The first is here:
God is too big to fit into one religion.
Initially this statement seems to be giving God a grand compliment, commenting on how vast He is, and He is indeed bigger than we could ever imagine. However, in this statement, “exclusive” religions become the bad guys, and they are shown as belittling God by limiting who He is. The first problem with this statement is that it makes these religions out to be some type of jars or containers that may come in various shapes and sizes. God is then viewed as some type of liquid form that can be poured out and distributed into each of these jars. He then like a liquid would conform to the shape of each jar filling each nook and crevice of the interior. This view, in turn, is not complimentary to God, but in fact makes Him out to be subject to man and its views of Him, as though we can define Him as we wish. But the truth is that, God has an eternal being, and His character is forever perfect and unchanged. Though He is vast beyond measure, He already has a shape (for lack of better words), and will be conformed by nothing. He consequently does not “fit into” any and every religion or vague view of who He is, but can only be defined by His own revelation to the extent that He wishes to share it. The good news is that He does want to be known, and has set forth His revelation of Himself as recorded through the Holy Scriptures of the Bible.
I recognize that this claim is loaded, as one may in turn also believe that God is too big to fit into the Bible, which would make yet another very clever bumper sticker. Nonetheless, the Bible is an accurate portrayal of who God is, and yet, by no means does it belittle Him. This should be considered practically. On my bookshelf I have a biography of General Robert E. Lee. It is by no stretch of the imagination an exhaustive record of all of the accounts of his entire life, nor does it describe to the most minute detail every trait or aspect of his personality. And yet, it is a very good biography, and it tells the reader everything he or she needs to know to understand who Robert E. Lee is, how he lived, and the big picture of what he did. So, Robert E. Lee is not “too big” for this biography, and in a similar way the Bible is sufficient in what it has to say to us about God.
Though now we do “see in part” and “know in part”, we are given enough information through the Bible to understand His character accurately. It is also important to note that the god we see in the Bible is distinctly different than the “god” of Islam, or “gods” of Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, or any other religion. As much as many today may like to think that these could all be various interpretations of the same god (a singular God), they are not. These religions all describe separate and distinct entities that are often not compatible with each other, and are certainly not one in the same with the one true God. It is not a new concept in history for man to honor other “gods” or even to seek God in other things or entities. In both the Old and New Testament God confronts this and distinguishes himself from these false idols or gods, renouncing the worship of them as evil and fruitless. Thus, making it clear that there is only one God, and all other gods are false. That one God will not be defined by man, and He is not open for interpretation, but only is as He is, the one and only, the great I Am.