It is popular in today’s society for people to form their own religious beliefs and define their own personal spirituality. On the surface this seems right, fair, and appropriately open-minded. It is the epitome of tolerance and acceptance. It is also dangerous.
If I decide that there is no hell, does that mean it doesn’t exist, thereby keeping me from it? If I decide that doing good things can earn God’s attention and eternal favor, does that negate the punishment I deserve for the wrong things that I do and the need to be made right with the creator?
In a more down-to-earth example, what if I determine that there is a justifiable reason (that is, “extenuating circumstances”) to speed, does that protect me from a speeding ticket or remove the consequences for the accident that I may cause? Of course not!
Too many people take a bit of this religion and that religion, stir in some popular opinion, and top it off with their logic and self-interest. The result is not a bona fide religion or cohesive belief system, but false hope in a false belief, which produces only good feelings and nothing else.
In essence, this popular approach is an effort to make God in our image. We forget that he created us in his image.
[See Psalms 100:3 in The Message]