Part of an advertisement for a fancy thermostat: “Instant readings are available within 10 seconds.”
My immediate reaction was how can it be both? It is either instant or it is within ten seconds.
Of course, there’s “instant” and then there’s “real quick.” When I was a kid, we used to play outside (those were different times) and, come suppertime or bedtime my mother would say, “Come inside this instant!” “We’re coming!” we’d reply…but we weren’t doing any such thing. We were still playing. We were going to squeeze every bit possible out of the interval between her expectation and our compliance. She wanted instant action; we wanted to delay her desire in favor of ours for as long as we could. It was a delicate balance between what she wanted and what we thought we could get away with.
When my wife (who, incidentally, is a gourmet cook whose culinary creations are not to be missed) tells me “Dinner is ready,” I know she means that I should stop studying, writing, carving or gardening, and wash my hands, a process taking up to five minutes or so. It really means, “Dinner will be ready about the time you have finished getting ready to come to the table.” We have that understanding developed in our nearly fifty years of marriage.
So, I’ll give you all of that but I still don’t understand how something can be “instant” with the possibility of a ten-second delay. Sorry, advertising agency, I can’t let you get away with such a contradictory claim. You might call it nitpicking. You can feel free to express that in the comment section and I will instantly give you my reply sometime.
“For they said to me, ‘Make a god for us…’” (Exodus 32:23)
It is folly to construct a God out of our imagination and prejudice then, on that basis, to reject Him. It only seems fair that if one is going to reject God that one rejects the real one.
Your image of God may be like the one on the roof of the Sistine Chapel…a man-like creature complete with long, flowing beard. That image (in spite of the proscription against making images of God — Deuteronomy 4:23) came out of the mind of Mr. Michelangelo. It was his construction, a product of his imagination and prejudice.
You can construct your straw god and rail against it, beat it to chaff and burn it. Since, however, it is not the real God, it accomplishes little other than a release of anger and frustration. It might make you feel better and earn the cheers of your ignorant companions and, if that’s what satisfies you, so be it.
If, on the other hand, you want to reject the God of believers then go to Scripture. That’s the one we believe in, not your straw god. And don’t quit when you find something about Him you don’t like. There are some things the real God does that none of us understand or even applaud. Nonetheless, they are part of the real God. Once you have looked at all his attributes, you are in a position to make an informed decision. He’s not a man, limited by space and time; He is spirit, existing outside of the constraints of time in eternity, permeating all of space, dwelling in the gaps between the atoms and the void between the galaxies.
What atheists reject seems to be a composite god constructed of ignorance, misinformation, supposition and a prejudiced reading of the King James Version of the Bible. May I suggest a more honest approach? With an open mind, read an accurate modern language translation (not a commentary like The Message) and gather your understanding of God from it. Then make a decision about acceptance or rejection based on valid information.