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   All too often we get our information about the character of God from depictions of Him which are presented to us in our secular world. This truth is perhaps best illustrated by the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz”. In the movie, the four major characters spend almost the entire expanse of the story in a quest to fulfill the demands of the Wizard of Oz, an All Powerful Being who only existed in the imagination of a pathetic and feckless Human Wizard. When Dorothy’s little dog Toto exposed the Wizard’s fraudulent behavior, the Wizard can only counter with one of the most famous lines in cinematic history, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”  

    In the “Wizard of Oz”, the Wizard, who is a representation of God, is depicted as being capricious, impersonal, foreboding, and even mean-spirited. This is in direct contradiction to the merciful, kind, and loving God that is presented to us in Scripture:

        “…The Lord, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant

    in goodness and truth.” Exodus 34:6

        “O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endureth

    forever.” I Chronicles 16:34

        “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great


        The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:8,9

    All too often we as believers also acquire our own ideas about God and His Character from less than reliable human sources. Sadly, some of these less than reliable sources are the very people to whom we turn to teach us about the true Character of God, that being our Biblical Preachers and Theologians. Perhaps no where have these people “dropped the ball” so to speak in such a detrimental way to the Church at large than in their acceptance of the famous declaration from the Westminster Confession that teaches us that, “God’s purpose in creating mankind was for His own glorification.” 

    Jesus strictly warned His followers of the dangers of placing the “edicts of men” on the same level as Biblical Doctrine. He taught that in so doing, believers would be guaranteeing that their hearts would be separated from His, and that their worship of Him would be in vain (Matthew 15:8,9).

    The Westminster Confession states:

         “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.”

    This edict is largely based upon the proclamation of Isaiah which reads:

        “Even every one that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory, I

    have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Isaiah 43:7

    When the human writers of the Westminster Confession stated that “man’s chief and highest end was to glorify God”, they were implying that “the ultimate purpose for which God created man was to glorify Him.” In so doing, they were directly suggesting that God’s Judgment of mankind will primarily be based upon how well each individual person “glorified Him” while here on earth. In other words, how well each person fulfilled this specific purpose for which all of mankind has been created. 

    There are however not one but two questions that come into play when we are discussing the question of why God created man, they are:

  1. Why did God create man?
  2. For what purpose did God create man?                                                                                                                                                         

       The problem that the writers of the Westminster Confession created by stating that “the chief end of man is to glorify God”, based largely upon Isaiah 43:7, is the fact that: 

  1. Isaiah 43:7 was written to solely answer the first question (Why did God create man?), and not the second question (For what purpose did God create man?), and
  2. In so doing, they also misrepresented God’s Word by propagating an erroneous interpretation of Isaiah 43:7.

    For when we couple Paul’s explanation of why God created man from the Book of Romans with that found in the Book of Isaiah, a whole different interpretation of Isaiah 43:7 emerges. In Romans Paul writes:

        “And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, 

    which he had afore prepared unto glory, (Romans 9:23).

    What Paul was saying here in Romans was that God created man so that man might learn and experience and thereby appreciate and enjoy the riches of His Glory. 

    We see therefore that when Isaiah wrote, “for I have created him for My glory” and expand upon it with what Paul taught on the matter in the Book of Romans, Isaiah in Isaiah 43:7 was in essence stating that, “God created man in order that man might know, experience, and forever enjoy the full riches of His glory.” 

    This then leads us to the 2nd question, “For what purpose did God create man? This question is quite different than question number 1, because it implies a sense of duty or obligation on the part of man. The answer to this question is to be found not in the Book of Isaiah, but rather in the Book of Revelation, where the Apostle John informs us that God’s ultimate purpose in creating man was simply to “Please Him”: 

        “Thou art worthy O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast

    created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11

    We see then that man’s ultimate purpose in life should be that of “pleasing God”, and not of “glorifying God”, as is commonly taught by the adherents of this particular unscriptural aspect of the “Westminster Confession”. This holds tremendous theological significance in man’s understanding of the methodology of God’s Judgments. 

    It also provides the follower of Christ with the proper understanding of what the primary focus of his or her own life should be, that being, “the pleasing of God”.  This proper focus was taught by Jesus Himself, who when summarizing His own life stated categorically, “FOR I DO ALWAYS THOSE THINGS THAT PLEASE HIM” (John 8:29) (emphasis mine).

     It should be noted that any time we observe a person constantly performing any action on a repeated basis, it is evidence that they are indeed “focusing” on that particular action. 

    (It should also be noted that it therefore logically follows that, “If man had indeed been created for the purpose of “glorifying” God, Jesus would have stated, “For I do always those things that glorify Him.”)

    This also demonstrates the fact that believers should pay special attention to both the words of Jesus and to the doctrines and principles found within God’s Holy Word, and be especially wary of all decrees, creeds, and edicts of men. For when the edicts of men are not in perfect alignment with Scripture, they only serve to confuse the beautiful simplicity of God’s Holy Word, and ultimately separate the heart of the believer away from the heart of the Living God (Matthew 15:8,9).

     In other words, if the decrees of the Church and/or its preachers and teachers are not in strict harmony with the Word of God, then “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”  

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