Equals do not need to fear, obey, and serve each other. But we are NOT equals. We will never be God, and we will forever know our place and know who we are as we worship him and revere him. Again, we rejoice in having a relationship with God, but we still treat God as God. Yes we do it gladly and with a grateful heart, but we still recognise who he is and our proper place before him.
That people all the time get things wrong about God is not surprising. Most folks want to make God in their own image, so they will distort and misrepresent him. That is to be expected of non-believers. But sadly it can often be the case with believers as well. They can get even Christian basics wrong, and twist and mar the fullness of biblical revelation.
Having an interactive website with over 1300 theological articles – among others – I find this happening on a regular basis. People come here all the time. Some will send in comments looking to pick a fight and argue with me about something. Sometimes they are just way off – pushing theological error, heresy and the like.
Sometimes they will get part of the biblical worldview right while getting other parts wrong. As I have said countless times on this site, we must get the biblical balance right on so many key issues. Theological error easily creeps in when we try to undo the biblical balance that is found there.
I also have the recurring problem of someone coming along and missing the point of an article, and/or going off on a tangent. Often this will greatly detract from the point I was seeking to make in a piece. They may just be insistent on pushing their pet theological peeves, or have taken upon themselves the role of a theological enforcer, ‘correcting’ anyone who dares to have a slightly different view on things.
Yet another incident of this took place recently. I had written a piece on atheists, and how they reject the one true God, often setting themselves or something else up as god. In that piece I said this:
They want to be king, not subject.
They want to rule, not be ruled.
They want to give orders, not take orders.
They want to call the shots, not be told what to do.
They want to determine what is true and false, not God.
They want to determine what is right and wrong, not God.
They want to be independent, not dependent.
They want to do their own will, not God’s will.
They want to live like the devil, not God.
They want to rule in hell, not serve in heaven. billmuehlenberg.com/2022/06/23/romans-1-and-atheism/
Now all that happens to be perfectly true. Yet I got a comment – not from an angry atheist – but some Christian who thought I was quite wrong. He managed to do two things in his comment that I just mentioned above: he missed the whole point of my article and managed to derail the whole thing, and he managed to present some aspects of biblical truth while rejecting other key aspects. He said this:
The gospel is not that upon regeneration we become a subject people, ruled, ordered and told what to do. This is as far from the great relationship Yahweh promises in Christ as could be conceived. Upon regeneration we are re-born and are filled with Christ’s Spirit caught up at last into his family, adopted sons of the great Yahweh, our goals perfectly aligned with his, our life now in line with his will and in joy unimaginable as Paul teaches us.
If your preaching of the gospel is to ‘repent and become a subject, ruled, ordered and told what to do’ you are inviting people to become prisoners, not members of the family of God and feeding into the atheist’s vain distortion of who our Creator is and his call to live in step with him.
Oh dear. As I say, this was all rather off topic. My piece was on atheism and how Paul in Romans 1 views such things. But also, as I said, he presents some biblical truth with one hand while taking away some biblical truth with the other. Losing the biblical balance just gets us into more difficulty and error. Let me deal with each of these two matters.
As to the atheism issue, sadly this fellow missed the point of my article. Does the atheist and non-Christian want to be boss, to call the shots, and not have anyone rule over them? Of course they do. The only way they will get right with God is to lay down their arms and surrender.