Unfortunately, this same idea is being applied with abandon to theology these days. Not satisfied with the one true Creator God who revealed Himself in the Bible, many lost souls have invented their own New! Improved! hybrid gods in a vain attempt to improve on the real thing.
There’s nothing new about this; “spiritual” people have been doing it for millennia. Nor is there anything new about the nature of these designer gods. They all just happen to agree with whatever his or her inventor believes and wants to do.
You’ve probably heard some version of this explanation more than once: “The God of the Bible is nothing but an ancient myth, and a vengeful one at that. Whereas my god understands why humans may have a need for _____________.”
Fill in the blank with the speaker’s sin of choice – committing adultery, for instance. Stealing from the fat cats. Lying to protect themselves or flatter others. Drinking themselves into oblivion every night. Even becoming obsessed with something like gardening, home decorating or entertainment -- activities that might otherwise have been nice little hobbies.
This is how people make up designer gods that bear an astounding resemblance to ancient deities like these:
- Egypt’s Isis, who would have endorsed the all-out nature worship practiced by modern pagans
- The Baal of the Carthaginians, who sacrificed their children to him in an ancient prelude to 21st century abortion
- Rome’s Bacchus, who promoted the sort of religious ecstasy and libertinism we see in certain circles today
- Taoism’s Caishen, the prosperity god who promised wealth and good fortune to all who would worship him
And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. With designer gods, the possibilities are virtually endless.
The common denominator? Perhaps most notably, designer gods approve whole-heartedly of whatever pursuits their inventors favor – usually something explicitly condemned by the God of the Bible.
What’s more, proponents of designer gods often believe that their personal righteousness is just the ticket to eternal joy. “Of course I’m not perfect,” they might say. “Who is? But my god will welcome me into the afterlife with open arms, knowing that I’m much better than most people. After all, I’m good with tradespeople, I’m very tolerant of alternate lifestyles, I donate a lot to charity every year, and I even do some very important volunteer work.”
Sadly, those who embrace this line of thinking are taking risks of eternal proportions. In ignoring the Bible, they are rejecting the only source of divine authority that is demonstrably true. And that means they are ignoring what the true God has said is prerequisite to a heavenly eternity: repentance and trusting in Jesus Christ alone to have atoned for their sin on the cross.
If you know someone who worships a designer god, I hope you’ll make an attempt to lead him or her to the truth. Your efforts may not be appreciated, at least not now. But some may end up being eternally grateful that you cared enough to introduce them to the One who is the way, the truth and the life.