Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way. —Psalm 25:8
I like to say… God is to Good as Water is to Wet. No matter what you do to water or what you mix it with, the water itself is always wet. Water can’t be anything but wet. In fact, if it isn’t wet… It isn’t water.
God is good, all the time. All the time God is good. Amen. No matter what you do to God he is good. No matter what we try to mix Him into, HE is always good. God can’t be anything but good. In fact if you see something that isn’t good, it isn’t God.
[All analogies breakdown. yes – I know that my analogy breaks down with ice. Hang with me here. ]
How many of you can think of time in your life when you really questioned God being good all the time?
Eve had one of those moments, didn’t she? “God knows that in the day you eat of [the fruit] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). The serpent tells her that a Good God wouldn’t put a tree in the garden that she couldn’t eat from. God was really just trying to keep her from having His power. In fact, God wasn’t really a god at all. Because if she would just eat that forbidden fruit she would be a god too.
God couldn’t be good if he was keeping her from being a god. He is selfish and controlling.
An article on http://www.religioustolerance.org/jr_01.htm had this to say.
Why does God’s opinion matter more than a human’s? …but think about it:
God is wise and powerful, OK. But no matter how wise and powerful a person becomes, they don’t have the right to dictate another person’s beliefs, so why should God?
God is our Creator, so we should obey him. Hey, if I clone a human being in a laboratory, I don’t have the right to do what I want with him (whether it’s slavery, rape, or murder) and he has full rights. That should clarify that just because you create something doesn’t mean you control it.
God has done so much good for us, we should obey him. So, God does all sorts of good things for us, but only because he wants 100% obedience, not out of any desire to help people? Does that sound like an all good God to you? God will send us all to Hell if we don’t accept his morals as the only true ones. I say this is the most logical, and most disturbing, reason I’ve heard for God being all good. However, this doesn’t make God good, it just makes him too frightening to argue against. Our personal beliefs still won’t define him as good.
That is the argument of those who either do not believe or believe that God is missing from our lives. He created us and left to watch.
April 6, 2006 a group of kids from Taylor University, a Christian College in Upland, Indiana, were riding in a van heading to the College. They were heading from the Fort Wayne Campus to the Upland campus after having worked there. As they were heading down the road a semi driver was coming the other way down I69. The semi crossed the median and when the smoke all cleared five students were killed. The family of Laura Van Ryn were called to their daughters side finding her comatose and in critical condition. The Cerak family held a funeral for their 18-year-old Whitney.
A month later Mrs. Cerak was awakened in the middle of the night to be told that her daughter was alive. The Van Ryn family who sat at the side of their daughter’s comatose body for a month was now told that their daughter had died a month ago and was buried by another family.
How can their God be good? How can a good God allow a van full of His children be destroyed by a man who falls asleep at the wheel and kill these kids?
Both families, note this at the back of a book chronicling their experience: “It is a horrible thing to lose a child. Yet even in the midst of the worst of tragedies, God reveals Himself. These are not just words we use to keep our spirits up during difficult days. We have experienced this revelation for ourselves. Above all things, this is the message we hope to convey. This is a story about God’s grace and His love for us that transcends the worst this world can dish out.”
How can they say that?
This is the greatest of questions for God or the believers in God.
It’s called “the problem of evil” or the $64,000 theological word “theodicy”
Tells of the book “Handbook of Christian Apologetics”. According to Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli’s the problem can be summed up by the apparent contradiction between the following four propositions:
· God exists
· God is all good
· God is all powerful
· Evil exists
The authors offer four possible solutions:
· Atheism solves the problem by denying proposition one, that God exists.
· Pantheism, the belief that God is everything and that everything is God, denies proposition two and allows that God could be both good and evil.
· Polytheism, the belief in many gods, denies proposition three, and reduces God to just one of many gods.
· Idealism, the belief that reality is a product of the mind, rejects proposition four and states that evil is just an illusion.
· Christianity, on the other hand, affirms all four principles and denies that there is any inherent contradiction between them.
But isn’t there?
Here is the predicament. When we think of evil what do we mean? Do you mean someone who does something that’s wrong? Do they have to know that it is wrong for it to be evil? So we’re not talking about mistakes right? That is a whole new question. Let’s stay here… What is evil. Evil implies that someone made a choice to do the wrong thing. Morally objectionable behavior. Evil
To a Christian, God is God and He determines what He will do.
God is to Good as Water is to Wet. No matter what you do to water or what you mix it with, the water itself is always wet. Water can’t be anything but wet. In fact, if it isn’t wet… It isn’t water.
For some reason God has decided to let us have the ability to think for ourselves. He has given us chaises. So, the Christian says, “that must be a good”. But wait… What did the guy who denied God is good say, “no matter how wise and powerful a person becomes, they don’t have the right to dictate another person’s beliefs, so why should God?”
Oh and he said, “just because you create something doesn’t mean you control it”
He says God will, “send us all to Hell if we don’t accept his morals as the only true ones”
God doesn’t make the choice for anyone to spend eternity without Him. They do.
Here is the predicament. If you are God and you have created gravity as a basic law of the universe. When you got done you have said, “It is good”. It keeps planets close to the sun. It keep you and me on the planet.
A man you created to walk the planet and gave dominion over that planet, chooses to pack a parachute. Then that man chooses to stand on a 20 story building and jump off with a parachute. As he descends he enjoys the freedom he was given as he flies fast and furious toward the ground. He throws he release chute and it fails. No time left he falls to his death.
Did God do that?
He created the gravity, the earth, the material used for the sidewalk that crushed the man’s head.
What if as he is falling there are people walking on the side walk? What if one of them is a child whose parents tried for years to have a child and now cannot have anymore? What if the child dies from the injury? What if her family is that family that cleans the Church, teaches Sunday School, and volunteers at the mission?
Did God do that? Is it God’s fault?
But God should have stopped it! At what point does my freewill become the responsibility of God?
If we are to listen to our “God isn’t Good friend” then “just because you create something doesn’t mean you control it”
You see the predicament we really have here is that we can’t have it both ways. God either did or did not give us free will.
That fact that we can’t figure out when He chooses to intervene or not to intervene then becomes a human emotion problem. Not an oppressive God problem. This isn’t an intellectual problem. The logic works just fine. The issue is that we get angry because God doesn’t do things the way we see fit. Oddly enough, He has the audacity to think He is God.
If we had a God who felt He could dictate our beliefs, if we had a God who felt He could control us, then we could blame Him for the choice of a man to drive for hours without sleeping, then finally succumb to the urge to sleep, cross the median, and kill five people. If he is all controlling then we can blame Him for a coroner who is so distraught and sickened by what he sees that he makes a hasty identification and sends a dead girl to the wrong family. We can blame Him as two families get to experience the death of a child, but one only after spending a month comforting the wrong child.
By the standards of man God cannot win… If He controls our every move then we are puppets on His manipulative string. If He gives us freewill then we wonder how he can possibly let us be hurt like this. Here’s the thing… Thankfully He behaves by His standards.
But why is the wrong choice one of the choices?
You know what I’m saying? Why can’t the choice be Cake or Pie? Cadillac or Lincoln?
When we look back at Eve’s predicament I gotta ask; except for the one forbidden tree how many trees was she allowed to eat from? All of them. So for her where did God go wrong?
· To many choices
· Choices at all
· Choosing to limit her at all
Who stopped her from eating of the fruit? Who stopped Adam? No one. So it seems our real issue isn’t that He has stopped us from making a choice, but that He has given us the choice. Is that evil?
So what is the answer that is offered? Tough toenails? Keep a stiff upper lip? Keep your sunny side up? No God does offer an answer. Let’s look back at the answers from others.
Atheism solves the problem by denying proposition that God exists. How does that change the problem or offer any solution. It in fact simply removes any solution by explaining that people will do what people will do, then they die to become a piece of meat. Why care about anything other than those things that benefit you and die alone and cold.
God to allows that people will do what people will do. God on the other hand offers hope that if we will follow His path we will not only live life but live it abundantly. If we will follow His path we will live eternally and our reward will be to live it with Him in Heaven. God only wants to live out eternity with those who want to be with him.
Hell… C.S. Lewis speaks about Hell in his book, “The Great Divorce”. In the book his vision of Hell is being far apart from God. You see the God I serve doesn’t put anyone in Hell. It is one more choice He has allowed.
How rude of Him. J
You see the problem of evil is that it is our evil. The evil we choose over God’s perfect plan because we value choice over anything. Even eternal life.
God has offered us a solution in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived in this world and suffered unspeakable torture and death so that we might have a path to be forgiven for our evil. He has offered His undying love to the worst and most despicable. The ones who needed love. The ones who do not need His love are welcome to be without it.
John 3:16-18 (The Message)
16-18″This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.