Thursday, March 20, 2008

I am not God - Neither are You

There are two points I want to make, and I have to begin by emphasizing that analogies are not perfect, but they can be valid without being perfect. When we humans discuss the affairs of God, it should not surprise us that we do not understand everything. Despite all the recent hype, we are NOT gods, much less God. Expecting a human being to not only comprehend the thoughts and will of God, but to be competent to judge Him on His work and behavior, is far more absurd than expecting a 1st-grader to correct Stephen Hawking’s calculations. Yet that human arrogance is quite common. How many times do we hear some snot-nosed slacker voice an opinion about his boss which comes from no experience, training, or relevent data, yet he feels his professional opinion is superior to the man who does have the data, training, and experience? Many students imagine they are smarter than their teachers and professors, again even though they have never collected the knowledge and experience their teacher possesses. And many children imagine they are wiser and smarter than their parents. And on and on and on.

When I was very young, I mentally criticized my parents for various things, but as I grew older and saw something of Life I began to realize that they were right, and in those cases where they were wrong in the facts, they were nonetheless right in the practice. The advantage I have in that perception, is that I was able to grow to a point where I reached where my parents had been before. It is, again, a very false presumption for any human to imagine he or she has learned and experienced enough, to speak as an equal to God. I know that moves against the popular philosophy these days, of doing as you please and blaming whatever happens on God, but there it is.

The second point involves the Bible. I don’t just mean the New Testament, though as you may expect I do believe it is true. I mean the Old Testament, which the Jews call the Tanakh. One thing which always impressed me about the ancient writings, is that they had no sugar-coating. Even the good people made mistakes, sometimes said and did bad things. And even the bad people often had some worthy traits. And many things happened, bad and good, when seemed to make no sense. Which brings me to the Book of ‘Job’. Job was decribed as a very good man, almost perfect, so good that when Satan came around God’s court for whatever reason he did that, God bragged on Job to Satan. Well, you know the rest. Scholars have been trying to answer ever since, why God would let Satan do what he did to Job. The answer, I think, whether or not you think Job was a real person or not, is because we know these things really do happen. Evil men prosper while the good and innocent suffer. A lot of petty and bitter people just unload on God and never ask why he might have done that. That is, if God is who we always heard He is, the source of all goodness and hope, then why would He let these sorts of things happen? Instead, they default to the small-minded assumption that God does not exist, or if he does exist then He’s either an incompetent liar who can’t do the job, or a cruel monster who tortures his kids. None of those descriptions, however, makes sense when you think them through, at least I don’t see it that way.

What I mean is, if everything has a source and I believe that is so, then Goodness and Evil have a source. SOMETHING brought goodness into being, and to do so that SOMETHING must have been perfect in its goodness, because otherwise perfection could not exist. If we accept that, then there must of right be some entity who is wholly good, and it makes sense that this source would be God. You see, everything has a source, and we know that good and evil oppose each other. We can also see by examination, that goodness matters more than evil, if only because we encourage goodness; it is in our nature to seek out goodness. That being so, our Creator must also be good, since good and evil oppose, and therefore our Lord is the Good Lord. The whole defense takes muchg longer but would convince no one anyway whose heart was evil and dark, so I simply put it there for this point; God of right is good and loves us. Therefore there must be a purpose to allowing evil and suffering, which is beyond our comprehension.

Going back to my analogy, there are many things we experience as children and young people, which makes little sense until we are grown enough. The first step to comprehension is acceptance of a fact we do not like, but recognize as a fact. And here the first step is accepting that while God does allow bad to happen, it is somehow because He is good that this is so, and in the end it will prove wise, even necessary so we will become full in our promise.

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