A Narcissist God?
One recent person accused God of being a narcissist. She said in a comment:
“…and believing in god ( your higher power) is stupid because he paints a superior image of himself. when really all he is is a narcissist.”
This is an understandable accusation – and people like John Piper (and other Reformed people) have been accused about worshiping a narcissist God. The reformed people, in line with the Reformed tradition – teach that “the chief end of man is to glorify God.”
Piper also teaches that God seeks his glory with passion (see especially Isaiah 48:9-11, but there are many other texts). Therefore – isn’t it logical to portray this God of the Bible as a narcissist?? On the surface it seems so – especially if we judge God as if He was a man. But, that is exactly where the problem starts.
GOD IS NOT A MAN. YES – any man that would seek his glory primarily would be narcissistic and self-centered. But this does not apply to God.
Why? Because God is the most grandiose and glorious thing in the Universe and He is the Creator. And God created human beings to be satisfied only when He is glorified. If human beings give glory to someone or something other than God – they are committing idolatry, and that is why they are not satisfied.
Since God wants them to be satisfied (and only God can satisfy deeply and eternally) – he commands human beings to glorify Him. This is not because God has a low self-esteem, or because God cannot live without the praise of man.
It is because He is the greatest Being in the Universe – and He is the only one that can satisfy.
A discussion of this very problem is tackled by Ben Witherington. His take is different than that of Piper and the Reformers. However, his article and the comments that follow are well worth reading if you have questions about God.
God is most glorified when we are most satified in Him. And he commands what he commands because He want us to have genuine and everlasting joy.
For a response by Piper see: