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The Problem with Your Own Personal Belief System

March 13, 2019

As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. Isaiah 40:19

Someone sketched this idol. Someone else formed the shape and overlaid it with gold, and someone else put a silver necklace on it.

This cost money, and so Isaiah tells us (40:20) that if someone is too poor to make this kind of investment, he (or she) will use a piece of wood, though Isaiah adds with a touch of humor: “If you are going to make an idol of wood, choose wood that won’t rot!”

Idols are images that we have created. They are our distorted attempts to represent what god is like. Our culture says that anything sincerely believed is a valid expression of the truth, and that if we want to know what God is like, we can discover that by listening to any and all religions.

Our world is quick to say that all religions are talking about the same thing: “We are all like blindfolded men trying to describe an elephant. One grabs the tail and says it is like a rope. One feels his side and says it is like a wall. Another grasps his trunk and says it is like a pipe. But, of course, we are all describing the same reality. It’s just bigger than any of us can grasp.”

But Isaiah does not say that! He says, “To what can you compare God? What image can you compare him to?” (40:18). In other words, “He is nothing like the idols!” If you try to grasp truth by taking a little bit from each of the world religions and melding it together into your personal belief system you will end up with a very distorted picture indeed.

Have you been piecing together a distorted image of God, instead of listening to what he has said about himself in the Bible?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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