Have you ever been mistaken for someone else? In 2006, Guy Gowe showed up at the BBC for a job interview. Guy is an accountant. An intern showed up in the lobby, looked at him and said, “Guy?”
Since that was his name, Guy followed the intern. Then someone started putting makeup on him and put him in a chair.
Watch as Guy suddenly finds himself on live TV, being interviewed about a recent Apple court case. You can see the moment he realizes they’ve got the wrong Guy (literally).
I love this video for so many reasons. I love the look on Guy’s face when he realizes what’s happening. He doesn’t have time to figure out why he’s being interviewed about something he’s probably only heard about on the news. He just jumps right in. Game face!
How many of us would’ve been that cool under pressure? Able to offer such coherent responses? Not me. Guy took that case of mistaken identity and rolled with it.
I kept thinking about mistaken identity in getting ready for today because today we’re going to be talking about God. And the danger in talking about God is that ‘god’ is a generic, three letter word. In a pew study conducted last year, 80% of Americans said they believed in God. Of that 80%, only 56% of the total said they believed in God as described in the Bible.
And it gets more complicated, because they asked the people who answered No if they believe in some other force that’s not the God described in the Bible and 9 of the 20% answered Yes. Include that with the 23% who claimed to believe in God but not the God described in the Bible and you have about a third of Americans who believe in a God other than the God of the Bible.
Plus, the Pew pollsters didn’t explain “God as described in the Bible;” they left it open-ended. I can tell you from personal experience that ‘as described in the Bible’ is essentially worthless as a descriptor. I know dozens of folks personally who would claim to believe in the God of the Bible but can’t accurately list any of God’s attributes as described in the Bible, let alone wade into the complicated nuances of theological discussion that ensue.
So when someone tells me they believe in God… well, it doesn’t actually tell me very much. Because when it comes to the divine, God’s far too often the victim of mistaken identity.