God cannot be shrunk, but that does not stop man from trying! And sometimes those most guilty attend church! This is a travesty. The Lord says,
"To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?""To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One." (Isaiah 40:18, 25).
You Thought I Was Like YOU?!
To counter the "buddy-buddy" reduction of the Almighty, read this. Psalm 50:16-21, The Message,
“What are you up to, quoting my laws, talking like we are good friends?You never answer the door when I call; you treat my words like garbage.If you find a thief, you make him your buddy; adulterers are your friends of choice.Your mouth drools filth; lying is a serious art form with you.You stab your own brother in the back, rip off your little sister.I kept a quiet patience while you did these things; you thought I went along with your game.I’m calling you on the carpet, now, laying your wickedness out in plain sight.“Time’s up for playing fast and loose with me. I’m ready to pass sentence, and there’s no help in sight! ”
In a very insightful article by Robert Withnow, he hammers home the weak kind of God prevalent in Small Groups and which we must all watch carefully.
But small groups are not simply drawing people back to the God of their fathers and mothers. They are dramatically changing the way God is understood. God is now less of an external authority and more of an internal presence. The sacred becomes more personal, but, in the process, also becomes more manageable, more serviceable in meeting individual needs, and more a feature of the group process itself. . . . The deity of small groups is a God of love, comfort, order and security. Gone is the God of judgment, wrath, justice, mystery and punishment. [emphasis mine] ("How Small Groups Are Transforming Our Lives." Christianity Today, 2/7/94) NOTE: For larger quotation, see this blog, April 5.
Does this make sense? Oh, the weight of this argument. Get this wrong, all goes wrong.