Our Society Won't Let God Be God, but Will You?

Union Theological Seminary in New York City recently held a service in which seminary students prayed and confessed the sins of humanity ... to plants.
Union Theological Seminary in New York City recently held a service in which seminary students prayed and confessed the sins of humanity ... to plants. (Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash)

I'm confused.

I understand atheists who say there is no God. I don't agree with them. But if they choose to hold a position contrary to what the Bible says, they're free to do so.

I understand Muslims who say Allah is god and Mohammed is his prophet. Again, I don't agree with them. Still, if they choose to hold a position contrary to what the Bible says, they're also free to do so.

And I understand Jewish believers who say the promised Messiah has not yet come the first time. Once again, I don't agree with them, given the mountain of evidence found in their Scriptures (what Christians call the Old Testament) and the fulfilled prophecy recorded in the New Testament. But if they choose not to believe what their own Bible says, that's their choice.

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What I don't understand is when a professing Christian seminary denigrates the Christian faith by equating the creation with the Creator and still claims to be Christian.

Did you miss it last week?

Prayers to Plants

Union Theological Seminary in New York City recently held an event in which seminary students prayed and confessed the sins of humanity ... to plants. Yes, you read that right. They prayed to plants.

Think I'm making this up or perhaps exaggerating? Here's the announcement on its official Twitter account:

"Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor."

When that announcement caused a backlash, the administration dug in even deeper, defending the chapel service in a series of additional tweets.

I began by saying I'm confused. But a more accurate statement would be that my heart is breaking over their confusion.

I get it. Overall, humanity has not been a good steward of the creation that was entrusted to us. We bear the guilt and shame of such irresponsibility. But the shame is in our failure to obey the Creator, not His creation.

Still, there's a bigger issue here than a rogue seminary. It's the issue of letting God be God. These days it seems anyone or anything can be worshipped as God except for the God of the Bible.

Everyone Gets to be God Except God

Want to be your own god? Go right ahead. Believe in Allah? Have at it. Want to believe God is not separate from creation, aka pantheism, or as someone has said, "God is everything and everything is God"? You've got lots of company.

But dare to claim God the Father redeemed humanity through God the Son, Jesus Christ, and then applied this salvation by indwelling Christ-followers with God the Holy Spirit. Such a statement is vilified as bigoted, narrow-minded and uneducated.

Everyone gets to be God except God.

—We can confess our sins to plants, but not to God.

—Morality is fine, as long as we're the ones who define it, instead of God.

—Science is the altar at which humanity worships ... until science itself becomes inconvenient:

—Ultrasounds reveal the baby in the womb, so don't look.

—Biology reveals two genders: male and female, so let's dismiss the evidence of our own eyes.

The bottom line? The only god we want to worship is ourselves. And once again, everyone gets to be God except God.

It Was Predicted

Ironically, the very Bible dismissed by our culture predicted this would happen.

"Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him or give thanks to Him as God, but became futile in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools (Rom. 1:21-22).

"They turned the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever" (Rom. 1:25).

"For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears" (2 Tim. 4:3).

How sad that these things have come. And how sad that those who chase these pursuits fail to recognize their ultimate end. Stephen Covey once said, "We are free to choose our actions, but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions."

Does it break your heart to hear these things? Are you shedding tears at the folly that will have eternal consequences? Don't rejoice that such people are facing the torment of eternal separation from their Creator. Instead, pray for softened hearts. Plead for eyes to be opened. And always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have, doing it with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15).

Regardless of what the world does, in your own life, will you let God be God?

Ava Pennington is a writer, speaker and Bible teacher. She writes for nationally circulated magazines and is published in 32 anthologies, including 25 "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books. She also authored Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, endorsed by Kay Arthur. Learn more at avawrites.com.

This article originally appeared at avawrites.com.

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