Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Redefining God

If God is sometimes perceived by some unbelievers, as well as believers, as not being as good as we'd like him to be, then we have to be as good as we think he should be. Sometimes we attribute to God partial blame for the unpleasant experiences we see all around us, e.g., suffering, death, hunger, poverty, etc. While it is true that he doesn't cause these terrible things, he allows them since he could prevent them if he wanted to. Or he could have avoided all of them by not creating the world and humanity in the first place.

I wouldn't save the entire human population--the good with the evil--if I were God, but I'd give them a million life times to make a decision in my favor. If after a million life times they still would not want to love me, I'd give them a million more chances. At some point they would tire out of having to do it all over again, and they would throw up their hands and say, "Okay, you win, I'm on your side, as well." 

On the other hand, I'd be unfeeling, in a sense, to allow someone who made some truly horrific mistakes in his or her lifetime, e.g., Hitler, Stalin, Nero, etc., to live again and again, with the possibility that they might well make the same kind of mistakes time after time. Perhaps there is some benevolence after all in letting individuals only live once and make a choice for good or evil.

On the other hand, I would never destroy what I have created. It would be an admission that I had made a mistake in creating mankind in the first place. And, of course, we know that God does not make mistakes. Otherwise he would not be God.

Or perhaps there are other explanations like the traditional Great Controversy theme that Joseph Bates developed and Ellen White wrote about in the book of the same name. In that explanation as to why there exists good and evil in this world, it boils down to man possessing freedom of choice. 

Another factor put forth in the Great Controversy theme is that the other created intelligences in heaven and other worlds need to know that God is a God of love and who will not destroy those he's created in his image. He provided a way out for those who rebelled against him by coming and suffering in their place the death that should have been theirs at a great risk to himself. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, could have failed in his mission to live a sinless life in place of sinful humanity. Had he failed it would have been an imaginable disaster on a cosmic scale:  the very creator of the universe doomed to eternal oblivion for violating his own moral law. Few mention this unthinkable potential result of Christ's sacrifice in becoming God with Us.

Other explanations as to why we live in an imperfect world have, no doubt, been put forward by philosophers, theologians and scientists, and by other individuals who are perplexed by the inconsistencies of life as we see it.

In spite of these observations, I still choose to live my life with a desire to know God and to seek his face. It's better than looking at reality through totally humanistic eyes.