One of the most influential beings of our time if not the most influential being of our time is God. God is known my several names including: Allah, Yahweh, The Holy Trinity, Jah, Maasai, Ishvara, Baquan, Kisaski, of course there are many other but these are the majority of names. “We find the idea of God equally in ancient Israelite folk religion, Christian theology, modern philosophy of religion, and in the recent debates about the “intelligent design” that the world supposedly manifests. (Talkreason, 2007). In Western culture, the word God refers to one superlative holy being, the divine unity of definitive realism and of decisive righteousness. God is understood to have created the complete universe, to rule over it, and to bring it to its completion. The belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation and belief in the existence of a god or gods is the definition of Theism and begins the history of God.
In the Old Testament, God was called “YHWH, pronounced Yahweh by most scholars; the exact pronunciation of the name was lost because it was rarely enunciated” (God, 2007). Before Jesus the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks believed in many gods also people used to make sacrifices to God until Jesus came along. The sacrifices included burnt offerings and monetary but Jesus came along and He was the ultimate sacrifice; he was God in flesh but also God’s son.
God went from being viewed a great deal like some feared law giver “obey me or else” to the Christian view of God is Love. The character of God has never changed but man’s view has. God has always loved us like crazy and if He did not this world would not exist. Throughout narration certain recurring questions have been answered in dissimilar theological and philosophical terms. Perhaps the most debated question has been whether God is to be known by reason, by faith, or by experience. Every clarification has had influential and persuasive adherents. Those who argue that God can be known by reason offer one version or another of the classical proofs of God’s existence: the cosmological proof from the existence of the world; the teleological proof from the order of the finite world; the ontological proof from the implications of the very concept of God as a perfect and necessary being; and the moral proof from the implications of moral experience. They argue that any theology intellectually respectable enough to speak to modern, intelligent men and women must be grounded in rational philosophy.
Those who believe God can be known only by faith tend to be skeptical of such philosophical proofs and possess a perhaps more transcendent image of God. For them, the God of rational theology, proved and tailored by thinking processes, is merely the creature of humanity’s own wayward wisdom. God himself must speak to humankind if he is to be known rightly, or even at all, and therefore faith, as a response to divine Revelation, is the only path to a true knowledge of God. Finally, there are those who assert that God can be known neither by reason nor by faith but only by direct experience. (God, 2007) God is an infinite, personal spiritual being that created the universe. He transcends the universe yet he is also immanent in it. God is to believe to intervene in the universe. His interventions are called miracles. In the bible Jesus explained to the Samaritian woman why she should worship God in spirit and in truth. God is spirit (John 4:24). As spirit, God is invisible. No one has ever seen God or ever will (1 Tim. 6:16). A spirit does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). As spirit, furthermore, God is personal. Ever since man sinned in the Garden, he has been running away from God.
The message of the Bible, from book to book, is that God is running after us, trying to bring us back into a oneness relationship with Him, while we are running away. We are running away from God for two key reasons. One of them being we are afraid of Him. Through shame, we feel we somehow could not measure up to some standard of holiness or righteousness we perceive we must attain. Sin separates us from God the Scripture says. It does so because first God is Holy, and secondly, it does a work in our hearts that make us want to ‘separate’ ourselves.
In our running away from God, getting back to your question, we begin to have a more and distorted image of whom God is. So the longer I run away from Him, the more I will view Him with darkened eyes. That is, my understanding of Him will get darker and darker. This is what is happening, and has happened over history. What you have today with Religions of the world, is the ripened fruit (outcome/harvest) of eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In the beginning, God wanted Adam and Eve to simply be preoccupied with being in His presence, and having that intimate relationship with Him.
You and I will desire to please the ones we love. With Religion, the emphasis has become trying to gain the acceptance of some deity by what we do – our works. While on the other hand, that is not what God created us for. He loves us, and as we receive His love, we naturally will desire to please Him. Over history we have become spiritually blinded to the character, and love of God. As such, our understanding has become darkened (Ephesians 4:18). Life -true living is in knowing God (John 17:3). Having the, “… yes of your understanding being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18). As Jesus said in John 10:23-24 (Truly this is what the love of God is all about). In the beginning of time men worshipped goddesses. Then he worshipped multiple gods which is Polytheism and that is the belief in and worship of many gods. Today he worships one God and that is Monotheism which is the belief in a single deity. “In polytheistic belief, gods are perceived as complex personages of greater or lesser status, with individual skills, needs, desires and histories.
These gods are not always portrayed in mythology as being omnipotent or omniscient; rather, they are often portrayed as similar to humans in their personality traits, but with additional powers, abilities, knowledge or perceptions. ” (Wikipedia, 2007) “The belief in a multitude of distinct and separate deities. It is formally contrasted with pantheism, the belief in an impersonal God identical with the universe, although the two doctrines can sometimes be found in the same religious tradition.
Polytheism is distinguished from theism, also called monotheism, on the basis of polytheism’s claim that divinity, while personal and distinguished from the universe, is many rather than one. Except for the great monotheisms of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the world’s religions are overwhelmingly polytheistic. Polytheism characterizes Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism in the East, also contemporary African tribal religions. In the ancient world Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians worshipped a plurality of deities, as did the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse.
Belief in several distinct deities serves to provide a focus for popular religious devotion when the official deity or deities of the religion are remote from the common person. ” (Polytheism, 2007) References God. Retrieved, February 2, 2007, http://www. talkreason. org/articles/God. pdf Names of God. Retrieved, February 2, 2007, http://christianity. wikia. com/wiki/God Polytheism. Retrieved, February 4, 2007, http://mb-soft. com/believe/txo/polythei. htm God. Retrieved, February 2, 2007, http://mb-soft. com/believe/text/god. htm Polytheism. Retrieved, February 4, 2007, http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Polytheism