Bible Studies By Susan Niswonger / last month Share Tweet Pin Share In the midst of his sermon, last Sunday, the preacher made the statement, “They hate us because they hate God!” As I pondered that statement, I realized that people don’t really hate God, they hate the holiness of God that reveals sin, they hate their responsibility to Him, they hate the absoluteness of the truth of Him, but they love the idea of Him. We love the idea that there is someone out there more powerful than we are, someone we can call on when times are tough, and someone to blame when things don’t go our way, but to many God must also be someone that can be controlled with their hand holding the remote. But that’s not the God I wanted! Throughout history mankind has resisted accepting a God that is so far beyond what we can imagine and requires absolute faithfulness and obedience from His followers. Thomas Jefferson believed in the ethical teachings of Jesus but he did not believe in miracles or the deity of Jesus, so he created the Jeffersonian Bible. Jefferson cut the passages he liked out of the Bible and pasted them into a book which included the early years and ministry, teachings and parables, the betrayal, crucifixion, death and burial. There is no mention of course of a virgin birth or the resurrection since they fall into the miracle category and give Jesus God-status. This is the sad ending to Jefferson’s Bible; “There laid they Jesus, and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.” Thomas Jefferson missed the entire message of the Bible. A message about fallen man with no power to redeem himself from the clutches of sin and a holy, righteous and just God who so loved the world that He would robe himself in flesh and die that fallen man could be saved. It is a message about a God who has promised to prepare a place for those who will accept Him as their God, where they can live for eternity with Him. It is a message about the Resurrected Christ who reigns supreme in the lives of those who trust in Him. Lord of the Rings’ star, Ian McKellen, admits to tearing out the page containing Leviticus 18:22 from every hotel bible he finds. You see, Leviticus 18:22 does not fit with his chosen lifestyle. In an interview he states, “I’m not proudly defacing the book but it’s a choice between removing that page and throwing away the whole Bible.” Mr. McKellen and Thomas Jefferson are not so very different than most of us who through disobedience tear or cut the parts out that we don’t like. Our lives proclaim, I want a God who is just a prayer away, but only when I need Him. “Don’t call me, God, I’ll call you.” I want a God who would give His all and die for me, but don’t ask me to sacrifice a few hours every week to go to His house and visit. I want a God that owns the “cattle on a thousand hills” and can supply my every need, but I think 10 percent is a little much to ask me to give from my paycheck. I want a God that will heal my body and that of my loved ones but I also want a God to be angry with when it doesn’t happen the way I had it planned. I want a God who can redeem me and save me from sin but I want to be the one who determines the definition of sin and which ones I want to be saved from. I want to make God into the image of my choosing, however,THE GOD I CREATE CAN BE NO GREATER THAN ME!!! Genesis 1:26 describes the beginning of mankind, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” No matter what position you ascend to in life, how much money you may accumulate, how many educational degrees you may earn, you cannot make God into your image. We can, as the Apostle Paul stated, “become vain in our imaginations and change the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, birds, four footed beasts or other creeping things”, but it will not change who God is. The bible tells us in Hebrews 6:13 that “When God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He swore by himself.” There is none greater than God and He will always be God no matter what we do or think. The god that you create will be no greater than you but the God that created me is all powerful. He can supply my every need, heal every disease and sickness, comfort every sorrow and save me from every sin. Jesus Christ is my God and beside Him there is no other.