24 August 2010

There IS No Box

It seems to me we try so hard to put God in a box.
“What do you mean, ‘we’, Joe?”
I mean all of us to one extent or another. If a particular example does not apply to you or if none of this applies to you – very good! But I bet you still try to put God in a box in some other way…

First, we literally build boxes in which we want God to exist. We call them churches. Some are simple, some are worn down, some are big and bright and shiny. Some have awesome sound systems and very comfortable seats. Some even have coffee bars and restaurants! Surely God would be happy in such a box!

Many of us expect to see God in those specified boxes but we really don’t want to see Him elsewhere – like when we are at work, or hanging out with our buddies, or driving in rush hour traffic. No, no, it just would not DO to see God outside of His box.

We also build boxes of expectations. God will do this if only we…pray hard enough, act good enough, worship reverently enough. Or, God expects our best – and look what he decided to wear to church today – has he no tie? Or for those who don’t wear ties to church – Doesn’t he have a nicer shirt than that to come to God’s house in? We expect God to bless some people and withhold His blessing from others. We expect God to answer our prayers the way WE want them answered or in OUR time.

We build boxes of rules we are just sure God would approve of. Indeed, we know that if our rules (we intimate they are actually His rules) are not followed by some then they are not truly walking with the Lord. “We don’t play musical instruments.” “TRUE worship requires musical instruments”; “we raise our hands in praise” “We are reverent in His house” “Christ drank wine”; “No, He didn’t” “One is only truly saved when one…”
…..Us, Them. They don’t do it right so they are “outside”. We understand completely so we are “inside”.


Our God is an Awesome God.
MY God is an Awesome God.

I think He laughs at the boxes we build to try and contain Him.
I think He may also weep…

God Loves You – and so do I,

Who certainly does not have it all figured out


  1. Joe,

    I tried a couple of times yesterday to share some thoughts, but couldn't get either attempt to post. To summarize both attempts, I believe that "we" tend to prefer God in a box because it seems safer. The OT equivalent would be idols, which were attempts to control the divine. I think religion (as a man made collection of principles doctrines, traditions, and customs) generally is structured to attempt the same thing. A list of fixed principles,etc no matter how difficult to follow is at least predictable, something we can still be in control of. CS Lewis catches how much wilder it is trying to follow the real person of God in his portraying Christ as a the Lion Aslan in the Narina stories. "Is he say? Of course he's not safe, he's a lion, but he is good". Religion allows us to feel safe with boxes of tradition, etc. so we can be in charge of figuring out the way to live, but Christ says I am the Way. Boxes are for dead things, Father calls us to life. That tends to be scary, after all life is never safe but it can be glorious.

  2. Joe, very happy to see you building this blog, and I will add it to my blog list of blogs to keep an eye on.

    God gave us 10 rules to live by, and His Son added one, "Love one another like I have loved you". Those are the rules we all should live by, and by which we should focus our lives on. Loving one another, helping one another, doing our best for Christ, as He would do it for us. (And does do it for us.)

    There is a need for community in Christ though, as stated in the Bible. Community is important, and they need to be on the same sheet of music so to say.

    In Christ,