Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Everyone gets to be God except God

I’m confused.

I understand atheists who say there is no God. I don’t agree with them. But if they choose to hold a position contrary to what the Bible says, they’re free to do so.

I understand Muslims who say Allah is god and Mohammed is his prophet. Again, I don’t agree with them. Still, if they choose to hold a position contrary to what the Bible says, they’re also free to do so.

And I understand Jewish believers who say the promised Messiah has not yet come the first time. Once again, I don’t agree with them, given the mountain of evidence found in their Scriptures (what Christians call the Old Testament) and the fulfilled prophecy recorded in the New Testament. But if they choose not to believe what their own Bible says, that’s their choice.

What I don’t understand is when a professing Christian seminary denigrates the Christian faith by equating the creation with the Creator, and still claims to be Christian.

Did you miss it last week?

Prayers to Plants

Union Theological Seminary in New York City recently held an event in which seminary students prayed and confessed the sins of humanity…to plants. Yes, you read that right. They prayed to plants.

Think I’m making this up or perhaps exaggerating? Here’s the announcement on their official Twitter account:

“Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.”

When that announcement caused a backlash, the Administration dug in even deeper, defending the chapel service in a series of additional tweets.

I began by saying I’m confused. But a more accurate statement would be that my heart is breaking over their confusion.

I get it. Overall, humanity has not been a good steward of the creation that was entrusted to us. We bear the guilt and shame of such irresponsibility. But the shame is in our failure to obey the Creator, not His creation.

Still, there’s a bigger issue here than a rogue seminary. It’s the issue of letting God be God. These days it seems anyone or anything can be worshipped as God except for the God of the Bible.

Everyone Gets to be God Except God

Want to be your own god? Go right ahead. Believe in Allah? Have at it. Want to believe God is not separate from creation, aka pantheism, or as someone has said, “God is everything and everything is God”? You’ve got lots of company.

But dare to claim God the Father redeemed humanity through God the Son, Jesus Christ, and then applied this salvation by indwelling Christ-followers with God the Holy Spirit. Such a statement is vilified as bigoted, narrow-minded, and uneducated.

Everyone gets to be God except God.

  • We can confess our sins to plants, but not to God.
  • Morality is fine, as long as we’re the ones who define it, instead of God.
  • Science is the altar at which humanity worships…until science itself becomes inconvenient:

> Ultrasounds reveal the baby in the womb, so don’t look.

> Biology reveals two genders: male and female, so let’s dismiss the evidence of our own eyes.

The bottom line? The only god we want to worship is ourselves. And once again everyone gets to be God except God.

It Was Predicted

Ironically, the very Bible dismissed by our culture predicted this would happen.

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.”
~ Romans 1:21-22

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.” ~ Romans 1:25 NIV

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
~ II Timothy 4:3 NIV

How sad that these things have come. And how sad that those who chase these pursuits fail to recognize their ultimate end. Stephen Covey once said, “We are free to choose our actions, but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions.”

Does it break your heart to hear these things? Are you shedding tears at the folly that will have eternal consequences? Don’t rejoice that such people are facing the torment of eternal separation from their Creator. Instead, pray for softened hearts. Plead for eyes to be opened. And always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have, doing it with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15).

Regardless of what the world does, in your own life will you let God be God?

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  1. Barb Haley

    Even Christians often put God in a box, whether knowingly or not. We want to figure God out. Follow a formula so our prayers will be answered in the way we think best. God, please forgive us. May we rejoice in creation because you have made it. May we see you in the variety of life. May the very wonder of creation lead us closer to You.

  2. Ava Pennington

    Yes and Amen, Barb!

  3. Melissa Henderson

    We are called to worship God not ourselves or anything else. I pray we remember His love and sacrifice.

  4. Karen Friday

    Wow, Ava. This is both troubling and sad…so sad! I was not aware of this. But I agree with your words here 100%. We have failed to take care of the creation the Creator entrusted to us. Yet, we owe no confession to creation, only to the One true God who created all things including us! When I first started reading your post, Romans 1 immediately came to mind, so I’m glad you quote that powerful truth in God’s Word.

  5. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Karen.

  6. Marcie Cramsey

    This is so sad, Ava. It breaks my heart that so many people are falling away from God and pursuing such ridiculous things like praying to plants. But you are correct, God warned us this would happen. One of the biggest reasons I think this is happening in the American church at large stopped preaching Word as it was meant to be – teaching the whole counsel of God. Now churches pick and choose, reframing the truth. Very sad. It’s a call for us to pray and be bolds with the truth as you have done well here in your article.

  7. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Marcie.

  8. Nancy E. Head

    And what did the ficus say?

    So sad.

  9. Melinda Viergever Inman

    That’s so sad. We’ve gone the way of ancient Israel, who turned from their God and embraced paganism and pantheism, even offering their children to those idols, just as we are in the US.

  10. Jessica Brodie

    From 2 Samuel 22:32-34 NIV, “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.”

  11. Beth Bingaman

    This is so sad and it has gone public so people are warned about this seminary. I fear we have many more that have fallen away from teaching the “whole counsel of God” but are not exposed. May God reveal the truth of these places so His people are protected from the false teachers. I too pray He will enlighten the leaders and convict them of their errors.

  12. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Melissa. Even more sad is the fact that some will choose this seminary BECAUSE of this activity.
    May our hearts break for what breaks the heart of God!

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