GOD REDEFINED

by Louis A. Turk, B.A, M.Div., Ph.D.

There is precious little agreement between me and atheists I not only believe God is, but also know God personally as my Lord and Savior.  The fact of God’s existence is no longer just faith to me, but is knowledge.  I have experimented with God in the laboratory of life, and have found Him real; I have personally experienced the new birth.  And I have reproduced the experiment for others; I have personally led many others to the same knowledge of Christ.  I know the Bible is true.  Webster’s Dictionary defines dogmatic as a teaching "asserted a priori or without proof."  I am not dogmatic, for I do have proof.  I speak with the authority of a person who has experienced what he is talking about.

However, I have recently read an atheist essay with which I do agree, at least partially.  Corliss Lamont, an atheist, a signer of Humanist Manifesto II, and at one time Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, Chairman of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, and a director of the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote the following in "Equivocation on Religious Issues" which was published in his book A Lifetime of Dissent (Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books, 1988):

 

The Bible Definition of God

Mr. Lamont is right!  Any definition of God in disagreement with the definition of God given in the Bible is really just disguised atheism.  The true God is defined in the Bible as follows:
 

God Is Our Creator

The God of the Bible created everything in six 24 hour days:  "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is" (Ex 20.11).  The argument that the six days were actually thousands (or billions!) of years in which evolution took place is simply atheistic unbelief, for the Genesis account of creation clearly says "the evening and the morning were the first day" (Gen 1.5).
 

God Is Separate From His Creation

The God of the Bible "is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Col 1.17).  So God is separate from the universe, matter is not eternal, the universe is not God, and pantheism is therefore wrong.
 

God Is Spirit Not Matter

The God of the Bible is spirit, not matter.  "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (Joh 4.24).  That spirit is not matter is made very clear in Luke 24.39: "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."
 

God Is Prayer Hearing and Answering

The God of the Bible hears and answers prayers asked in accordance with His holy will.  "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jer 33.3).
 

God Is Unlimited

The God of the Bible is omniscient, "Thou, God seeth me" (Gen 16.13), omnipresent, "Do not I fill heaven and earth" (Jer 23.24), and omnipotent, "With God all things are possible" (Mat 19.26).  He can do anything he wills, including creating humans able to chose between good or evil without His intervention.  "He hath done whatsoever he hath pleased" (Ps 115.3).  "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions" (Ecc 7.29).
 

God Is Absolute and Immutable

The God of the Bible is absolute and immutable.  "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 Joh 1.5). "For I am the LORD, I change not" (Mal 3.6).  Thus we can depend on him!
 

God Is Holy and Just

The God of the Bible is holy and just. "Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy" (Ps 99.5).  "Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints" (Rev 15.3). Because God is holy he hates sin.  Because he is just, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Eze 18.4). "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Ps 9.17).
 

God Is a Trinity

There is only one God, and He reveals Himself to man as three distinct persons"Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  "There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" (1 Cor 8.6).  "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 Joh 5.7).
 

God Is Living, Personal and Loving

The God of the Bible is a personal being who loves and cares for the people He created. Therefore God wants to save you from your sins so you will not have to go to Hell.

God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.  (Rom 5.8-11)

The word atonement implies "at-one-ment."  It is the covering and washing away of sin by the blood of Christ so that whosoever believes in him shall be reconciled with God, and also receive forgiveness, peace, and everlasting life.
 

God Is Knowable

The God of the Bible can be known by humans.  "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (Joh 17.3).

Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind....if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.  (I Chr 28.9)

The God of the Bible is the only true God.  Any God less then the God of the Bible is not really God at all, but mere delusion.
 

Redefining God Away

To define God to be something besides what He really is is deception.  Being an atheist himself, Corliss Lamont easily recognizes the following definitions of God as disguised atheism (these definitions are listed on pages 11-19 of his book):

Kirsopp Lake’s Definition.  "God is the sum of all ideal values."

Julian Huxley’s Definition.  "I wish you here to agree to my giving the name of God to the sum of the forces acting in the cosmos as perceived and grasped by the human mind.  We can therefore now say that God is one, but that though one, has several aspects."

Jesse H. Holmes’s Definition.  God is "that unifying element within which moves men to unity in a brotherly world."

Henery Nelson Wieman’s Definition.  "God is that interaction between individuals, groups, and ages which generates and promotes the greatest possible mutuality of good."

John H. Randall, Jr.’s Definition.  "There is no room for God save in the aspirations and imagination of men....We take the word ‘God’ as the symbol of man’s supreme allegiance....faith in God may mean faith in the possibility of sharing ever more fully this vision of the highest perfection."

John Dewey’s Definition.  "We are in the presence neither of ideals that we completely embodied in existence nor yet of ideals that are mere rootless ideals, fantasies, utopias.  There are forces in nature that generate and support ideals.  They are further unified by the action that gives them coherence and solidarity.  It is this active relation between ideal and actual to which I would give the name God.  And would not insist that the name must be given."

To Corliss Lamont’s list of atheistic definitions of God, I will add the following:

John Shelby Spong’s Definition.  "We have come to the dawning realization that God might not be separate from us but rather deep within us.  The sense of God as the sum of all that is, plus something more, grows in acceptability.  When theologians are pressed, however, to define that something more, the inadequacy of language becomes gallingly apparent" (John Shelby, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism [New York: Harper Collins Publishers <Imprint: Harper San Francisco>, 1991], 33).720

John Shelby Spong is a bishop in the Episcopal church.  However, that he is actually not a Christian but a humanist is obvious from the following quotation in which he redefines Christianity.  Lies Spong:

By so redefining Christianity, Spong makes Christianity to be mere atheistic humanism.  And to really nail down the fact that humanism is atheism, we have yet another quote from Spong.  Lies Spong again:  

Why Atheists Say They Believe In God When They Really Don’t

Why do some atheists say they believe in God when in fact they do not?  The answer to that question is very significant indeed, as Corliss Lamont points out in the following commentary: In other words, some atheists confess to believe in God so that they will be accepted by Christians so that they can gradually convince those Christians that they should be converts to the "religion" of atheism!  And Corliss Lamont is correct to use the term "religion" so, for atheism is a religion---a religion of falsehood, lies and deceit.  Everyone is religious, and everyone worships someone or thing.  Atheists worship themselves (that is why they often call themselves "religious humanists" as well as atheists).

Lamont’s contempt for atheists who claim to be theists provokes him to write yet another truism:

How right Mr. Lamont is!  To define God as being something which He is not is to imply that God Himself is not.  A God without the attributes of God is not God.  The redefiners of God are atheists of the most dishonest and deceptive sort.  They muddle (mix up in a confused manner) the thinking of everyone they influence.
 

Important Conclusions

There are important facts made clear by Corliss Lamont which we would be wise to remember:

There Are Phony Christian Preachers

For centuries humanists have infiltrated the Christian ministry to convert Christian youth to atheism.  Bragged one humanist evangelist: The apostle Paul warned of this, as follows: The wise soul will therefore beware.
 

Liberal Religion Is Atheism

Many of the old mainline Protestant religions are now led by atheistic humanists.  They do not believe the Bible at all, but simply redefine everything in it to mean whatever they want it to mean.

Beware of preachers "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Tim 3.5).  One atheist rightly described liberal religion as follows:

Even Humanist Manifesto I & II classifies liberal religion with atheism:

The Doctrine of Salvation By Works Is Really Just Atheism

The Bible says that salvation is "by grace through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2.9).  But the atheistic Humanist Manifesto II declares: "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves" (Ibid., 16)  The doctrine of salvation by doing good works is a rejection of the true God, and should be recognized as atheism, even if it claims to be Christian.

Dear reader, if you do not yet know God it is because you have not come to Him on His terms: "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb 11.6).  Faith in the true God is rewarded with knowledge of His reality.

To learn more about how you can know the true God, read "Ye Must Be Born Again."


(C) Copyright 1994 by Louis A. Turk. All rights reserved. You may  reprint this article, provided you do not edit it in any way without the author's consent, and provided this paragraph is printed at the end of the article.  Other publication requires advance permission of the author.



Louis A. Turk, B.A., M.Div., Ph.D.

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