Speaking to a christian, I encountered a great hurdle in thinking, a chasm of understanding between us.
After explaining that I was not a christian, that I rejected the claim that Jesus was the Christ, the promised anointed Davidic king, she still asked if I knew that God was three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Of course, I said rejected that notion stating that I only accept a singular God, not some three-ness.
But, out of morbid curiosity, I asked her if she believed that God became a man. She related to me that in the beginning was the word, the word being with God and being God and that this one took on flesh. I repeated my question a number of times just to be sure she believed God became a man, each time she gave the affirmative.
I then put it to her that, based on the Jewish Bible, God doesn’t sleep or slumber. She agreed but added the caveat that as a man he slept. I asked if God died if he’s ever-living. Again, as a man, he died (of course, he had to in order to save us from our sins, her words *chuckle*). And whenever I recounted her words to her in a direct fashion, for example, “So you said that God died,” she would have to add “as a man,” as if that changed what I said. Whatever I brought to her, God did it “as a man.” And when it seemed to contradict what the Jewish Bible teaches, I was told that it was all spiritual.
When she finished with her description of this man-like God, she asked me why I couldn’t accept it. And I told her: the thing that she is describing isn’t God. “God” means unlimited, outside of space and time, never growing old, never getting tired and much more. If you describe a man to me, then it isn’t God.
Now for many a christian, the simplicity of that concept alludes them. As long as they think that things that are not God can be God, then they are no different that a idolator who believes that the god resides in a tree or that he’s represented by a mountain or a small stone or wooden image. As long as they believe that God can both be God and not God at the same time, namely utter nonsense and foolishness, then they can never see that they substituted God for an idol.
It helps the christian cause a lot that many, if not most, christians are biblically illiterate, barely having deeply studied the Jewish Bible before they come to a faith that Jesus is both messiah and god. Many are indifferent to actually studying the words as opposed to having their spiritual experiences, becoming involved in prayer and revival. The thought of even studying Hebrew is as far from their passions as eating a lemon. Even studying the words of the translators is a chore. The God who they claim to worship and be devoted to is always kept at such as a distance so as to allow them to pour devotion on a man. And that lack of intimacy that leaves them susceptible to the idolatry they embrace.
Until they actually crave intimacy with the words of the Jewish Bible, there will always be a great divide between them and the one true God.