"How Can God...?"
“How can God…?” that is the phrase that starts out many problems people have with God’s personality traits. This thought process usually ends with allowing something to happen (inaction) or something they tie directly to God (action) and often is based on what they think they would do if they were God (hint: you aren’t).
In the debate over God being the same in both Testaments of the Bible I saw good arguments for Jesus being the God of the Old Testament, which would mean He is the God of the New Testament, meaning they are one in the same. I almost wrote a blog depicting this but I believe others have done a good job and I was not sure I could do it justice in a blog, but here is a short article on proving Jesus is God when comparing Bible verses.
I first want to say that I do not claim to know what God should and should not do or what God is going to do beyond the glorious moment of those who love Him being reunited with Him in heaven. To propose that my morality is some how more developed than the perfectly just God that I believe in is absurd, yet that is often how we act.
I feel as though we expect God to be like the Greek gods who were basically super people who made mistakes, reproduced, and died. But the Bible describes a much different type of god. God in the Bible is transcendent (which is why we have deists) yet also relational to the creation that He made. Many other gods aren't even the creators of anything and come from a long power struggle of gods eating each other. God doesn't make mistakes and realistically has no power struggle. God is God and that’s the way it is. People don’t like that.
We believe we know how God should act based on our understanding of morals. When He does not act in that way people have a crisis of faith because “my God can’t be like that.” You are right, your god can’t be, but the real one apparently is.
Let me ask you a question: do you like being able to make choices? Do you like being able to mess up? (I don’t, I wish someone would make all the hard choices for me) If you do, then you have to allow God to allow things you don't like. He’s not just going to let you do whatever you want but then make everyone else do what you want. Now I can’t explain why everyone isn't healed or saved from a tragic accident while others are, I just can’t, so I won’t give you some fool of an answer. I know that God does not like the current state of affairs but I know He allows it to continue on for a reason:
- The idea of God’s justice being delayed is an interesting one. If one believes in the severity of sin and the depravity of man then we should not exist at all except by His mercy we continue to live. But what is the curse? “Original sin” is the sin of Adam and Eve that is representative of all of humanity disobeying God and that sin resulted in God changing how the world worked. so if we live in a world that is cursed by God, how is that not judgment? We’ll it sounds like judgment to me but I guess the only explanation I have is that the judgment is not over. Could it be said that we are out on bail and await trial? Maybe, because there will be a final judgment. The prosecution and defense are collecting evidence; Christians are to tell others about the deal they can make with the Judge’s Son.
- God knows how it all ends. Is this an “ends justify the means” situation? I don't know. I don't think so. I think when we try to explain God’s end game when He is outside of time, it ends up sounding as if it is, but I believe that God’s plan is good and the end result is good; with no compromise between the start and finish. If we look at only one Testament or current events without looking at the whole picture, our picture of God is flawed and incomplete.
When people raise the idea of the problem of evil it stems from the idea that we could do it better. “How could God let *insert tragic event here*?” says that we could do it better. Some how we forget that we already thought we could do it better in the garden and we didn’t, but apparently God thought it fitting to let us try. God created humanity for His pleasure through creation and relationship, apparently we're worth it.
So how can God? It’s already over and it ended perfectly. That’s how.