Yesterday I mentioned the possibility of constructing a conceptual idol. I think we would all agree that God is big, and many would go so far as to say that God has no boundaries.
So what happens when we create boundaries for God? What happens when we Live as if we have God all figured out, neatly assorted into systematic outlines, points A, B, and C?
The outlines can sometimes be helpful and they have their place, but it seems as though sometimes those outlines, which should serve to guide and direct, actual start to define something that was never intended to be concretely defined. And once we have concocted a definition we have to hold onto it, clench it, and protect that definition, and that particular concept because anything else is false and not of our God.
Conceptual idolatry is when a concept of God becomes God. We worship it, we proclaim it, and we feel the need to protect it. If anyone comes along and proposes something other than what has already been constructed, well they of course are false teachers and we end up getting defensive because our God (that we have at least partly constructed) needs someone to take a stand, a defender.
We often speak of God in absolutes when our best response should be, "it SEEMS good to the Holy Spirit and to us." The moment we define God the moment God isn't that definition, for God always transcends any claim we put on her. ;)