Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pastoral Ponderings ~ When the Lightning from God’s Throne Strikes the Shack of Man’s Pride

          This past decade will be marked by a significant change in the way people think about God. A particular book announced to all Christendom that we ought to throw off the ways God has revealed himself in Scripture, and think of him as a plump African woman named Papa, and his Spirit as an Asian woman named Sarayu.[1] In other words, as a female deity.

          The author explained that we should think of God on the basis of all the things he left out of Scripture, rather than the things he chose to put into Scripture. [2] He explained that the reason God emphasized revealing himself in masculine terms like Father, Son, Him, He, His, was because this was the side of God that would be most attacked throughout the course of history. The female side of God was apparently assumed, but, supposedly, did not need to be addressed so clearly since it would not be attacked so strongly.

          Once people are convinced that things not stated in Scripture have as much authority as things clearly revealed in Scripture, we lose the whole foundation of faith in the breathed-out words of God.[3] It is the reasoning that goes like this: Question one: if there was an invisible cat sitting in that chair, would you see it? No. Question two: do you see a cat sitting in that chair? No. Conclusion: there must be an invisible cat sitting in that chair. This reasoning has convinced thousands of church-going people to accept that it is okay to think of God the Father, the Father sitting on the throne, as a woman called Papa.

          God has revealed himself as the Father, sitting on a throne that flashes with lightning and peals of thunder,[4] who causes the four awe-inspiring Living Creatures to “never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’”[5] He shows himself as affecting the twenty-four elders with such joyful, spontaneous reverence and awe that they continuously bow down before this awesome Father, throwing their crowns down before him in worship of his Almighty Authority,[6] while their twenty-four thrones, and twenty-four crowns[7] remind all believers of just how approachably safe our Father really is.[8]

          One of the reasons that so many church-going people would honor a book representing God as a female deity is that the book addresses things that the church typically doesn’t speak about. In spite of the fact that the Psalms are full of every expression of emotion the human soul can experience, churches are often very restrictive in encouraging the exhortation to “weep with those who weep”.[9] People typically carry their wounds in hidden places because no one has ever offered a ministry that leads them to know God as the one who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”,[10] or the Savior who gives rest to their souls.[11]

          With this experience of so many church-going people carrying heartaches and wounds that the church has never addressed, in comes a book that speaks of heart and soul issues in such an honest and open way that it feels like an oasis of comfort to sorrow-parched souls.[12]

          However, this is the kind of situation where a thirsty group of travelers straggling across a desert come to the first water they have seen in a long time and everyone forgets to check if the water is good. They feel that they have had a good drink, and their thirst is quenched, not realizing that they have ingested a poison that will slowly kill their relationship with God. As the Israelites worshiping the golden calf were worshiping a false god no matter how they still ascribed to this god the feats of deliverance they had experienced from Yahweh,[13] so worshiping God through the filter of a plumb African woman named Papa is allowing the worship of a false god, no matter how this god appears to heal the brokenhearted who bow at her feet.

          I present to all of us that the vision of God in Revelation 4, and throughout the book of Revelation, and throughout the whole of Scripture, calls us to purify our hearts and minds of any thoughts of God that are contrary to what is revealed.[14] As Christians have suffered and died for standing on the Biblical revelation of God as distinct from all other gods of all other religions, including all the expressions of female deities, so we must stand against any misrepresentation of God, especially one as blatant as a golden calf in a manmade shack. God, just as he revealed himself in Scripture, is fully able to do all the healing of the brokenhearted that any believer in Jesus Christ could ever ask for or imagine.[15]

          Let us honor and glorify the God revealed in the Scriptures as fully able to do all, and more, than people have experienced in a manmade shack, when we come to him the way he has revealed himself as Father, through his image who is revealed as his Son.[16]

          In conclusion, I let God’s breathed-out words speak for themselves:

At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And HE who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.[17]

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to HIM who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before HIM who is seated on the throne and worship HIM who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”[18]

Let God be true though every one were a liar,[19]

          From my heart,




© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] The Shack, © 2007 William P. Young
[2] Author’s explanation during TV interview
[3] 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
[4] Revelation 4:5
[5] Revelation 4:8
[6] Revelation 4:9-11
[7] Revelation 4:4
[8] But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (I Peter 2)
[9] “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)
[10] Psalm 147:3
[11] Matthew 11:28-30
[12] Keep this in the context of the rave reviews Oprah gets for her book selections, and how many people spoke this way about the “Touched by an Angel” TV show.
[13] Exodus 32. This was such a great sin that God called for the sons of Levi to put to death the men who were involved even if they were brothers, companions, or neighbors (vs 27). By the end of the day, 3,000 men were put to death as God’s judgment, and a way to purge the evil from the camp (there are many references to purging the evil from the camp in the Old Testament, along with Paul’s reference in I Corinthians 5:13).
[14] Compare this with Paul’s heartcry: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1)
[15] 20 Now to HIM who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to HIM be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3) Note that this is talking about the Father who is to be glorified “in the church”, and “in Christ Jesus”, throughout all generations. There is no generation of the church that should so misrepresent our Father as the female deity of any other religion.
[16] Colossians 1:15
[17] Revelation 4:2-3
[18] Revelation 4:9-11
[19] Romans 3:4

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