When you think of God, what do you see?
That’s a question many Americans may be interested in answering.
According to a Harris Poll, 74 percent of Americans believe in God. And that’s apparently helping people lead better lives. Much has been written about how belief in God can strenghten a person's immune system and increase life expectancy.
Deseret News National reported in August on some different concepts and ideas for what heaven would look like. Some of those ideas include actual physical descriptions, while others focus on more abstract thoughts of what heaven could be.
So, naturally it would also be interesting to discuss what God looks like. God, after all, is the ruler of Heaven, as the story goes. And being that God has been placed in many movies, some TV shows and a plethora of books, there are a variety of ideas out there about what God looks like.
Here are 10 of those possibilities:
God looks like nothing we could comprehend
According to Got Questions, the Bible refers to God as something that people can't fully understand. For example, John 4:24 says God is a spirit, and as Exodus 33:20 points out, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
“As sinful human beings, we are incapable of seeing God in all his glory,” according to Got Questions. “His appearance is utterly unimaginable and too glorious to be safely perceived by sinful man.”
God looks like historical and fictional characters
People’s imaginations have run wild with what God looks like. An artist asked a variety of people what they thought God looked like when they were children, and The Jewish Daily Forward published an infographic of the findings. The image shows God dressed like Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln, Kenny Rogers and a plain old guy with an extremely large beard.
“He had supernovas for whiskers,” Steph, from Minnesota, told the artist.
God looks like rappers
Maybe only in their own minds.
That’s right, rappers tend to relate themselves to gods. According to Deseret News National, many rappers, like Kanye West, Eminem and Jay-Z, use the term “god” as a form of self-promotion.
“When hip-hop artists deploy the Christ image or story for their own purposes, they tap into a long history of everyday African-Americans trying to maintain belief in the Christian God with the realities of their oppression," said Edward Blum, associate professor at San Diego State University, to The Atlantic.
God looks like Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman played God in the 2003 film “Bruce Almighty,” appearing as both a homeless citizen and a man dressed up in a pure white suit. His booming voice and power was enough to make him God in that film.
But Freeman himself took that one step further. In an interview with The Blaze, Freeman said he was God — and it’s for two reasons. First, Freeman said humans are created by God, and are thus a reflection of him. Second, God is whatever people want him to be and what they interpret him as, and thus we are the makers of our own God.
God looks like an outline in the clouds
Back in August, The Huffington Post published a photo of what many thought to be God and an angel in the sky. People in the Cape Coral, Florida, area, where the cloud was first seen, likened the cloud’s vertical shape, with an outline that makes it look like a man in a robe, to the image of God.
“Still, no matter the answer, lots of us will continue to look to the sky, searching for life's deeper meaning,” HuffPost’s Fiona Finn wrote. “Or are we searching in vain, deluding ourselves while involving our senses that random images are actually miracles or signs from above?”
God looks like a face at sunset
The Blaze reported on a photo seen in the United Kingdom that allegedly had the face of God in it. With the sun’s beaming lights contrasting against dark stormy clouds, an image of a face appeared — one that many said looked like the face of God.
“I realized the image looked remarkably like a face of a man with a beard, so I took a number of shots on my phone. The face appeared to be looking back towards the shore,” Jeremy Fletcher, who took the photo, told the Daily Mail. “The obvious comment is that it looks like God, but it could also be Sean Connery or Karl Marx.”
God looks like a normal man
Two bible verses point to God looking more like a human than anything else, according to religious expert Hugh Mauck. Genesis 18:1-3 explained that God appeared to Abraham as a man, and in Ezekiel 1:26-28, it’s a similar scenario: “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it,” the verses state.
So, based on what the Bible says, God actually just looks like a regular guy.
God is everything
But God isn’t just a regular man, and he’s not a just cloud in the sky. As the Journal of Biblical Counseling pointed out, God is everything. An image of God isn’t what’s important when thinking about him, but rather it’s better to consider what he represents and brings to the world, the Journal explained.
“Christians respond to the physical and material aspects of life in our culture,” the Journal explained. “Paul, in Romans 1, remarks on this same issue. The gospel says our deepest needs exist in our hearts, not in our bodies. We must live as though our world is temporary; eternity holds our real home.”
God looks like Jesus
The Holy Trinity is God — the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. So, in that sense, God is actually Jesus, according to Christian Answers. “That Jesus, as the only-begotten Son of God, actually claimed to be God, equal with the Father, is clear from numerous scriptures,” Christian Answers explained.
What that means is that whatever Jesus looks like, God will look like, since they are one in the same.
God is a lot of things, not one thing specifically
King James Bible Online offered a number of images of God. The images include valleys, mountains and scenes from throughout the world that show God’s image and power. God can be a beautiful landscape across the orange plains of the Southwest, or he could be a mother and son working together to overcome a problem. God is the image he’s created, the website explained, and is someone you can see every day.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” James 1:17 reads, according to the King James Bible.