God Blog

Approaching God One Thought At A Time

Two things a man should never be angry at: what he can help, and what he cannot help.
- Thomas Fuller

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Issues with God

Issues with God can be touchy subjects. Consciously or not we all have them. Whether our unanswered questions, laments and complaints are on our minds and evident in our behavior, or hidden buried in the recesses our soul, they shape our world view and affect the course of our lives. Few have the courage to open such an emotional "can of worms" and examine the deep and universal challenges to faith.

Billions feel trying to understand or relate to
Omnity's an impossible assignment and any effort to do is waisted or worse, adding further insult to injury. Others protest God transcends human judgement, placing the subject of disappointment with God out of bounds. Thankfully God continues to extend His gracious offer to all of mankind, "Come let us reason together..."

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

- 1 Peter 5:7 NLV

Dealing with people is difficult. Relating to the intangible Creator of the cosmos even more so. Again, the problem arises not merely from Divinity’s vastly differing
nature but viewpoint. God alone enjoys an eternal state of Omnity within the perfection of Heaven. Needless to say, our fleeting earthly lives are quite different.

Christ intersects our relationship crises. Quantumly God and man, Jesus exquisitely epitomizes both. In Him dwells all the fullness of God
and the best of man:

  • “For in Christ there is all of God in a human body; so you have everything when you have Christ, and you are filled with God through your union with Christ. He is the highest Ruler, with authority over every other power.” Colossians 2:9-10 Living Bible.

  • “Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4:14-16 The Message
It’s the perfect plan. Creator becoming Redeemer. Lord becoming Savior. What could possibly go wrong?

Apparently, just about everything.

Of course, not from Heaven’s vantage point. From the glorious vista of eternity, throngs enjoy God’s favor, having been forever rescued from the pains of mortal life on our
besieged planet. Over the course of human history, when including miscarriage and abortion, just the redeemed souls of children could easily number in the tens of billions. Little wonder Jesus assured “for such is the kingdom of heaven.”

While comforting beyond measure, such a blessed hope nevertheless raises concerns for the rest of us to whom Jesus warned:

  • “Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 Living Bible
Herein lies our dilemma. By nature and costly atonement, Christ is clearly the model mediator between a Holy God and sinful man. Nevertheless, humanity frequently fails to recognize, much less meet, the necessary conditions to receive the free gift’s Jesus graciously offers. Consider the contemporary rendering of the most beloved passage in all of Scripture:

  • “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.” John 3:16-17 The Message
Great so far. But finish the passage, as few are want to do, and a problem becomes clear:

  • “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” John 3:19-21 The Message
Humanity “ran for the darkness.” Why? “Because they were not really interested in pleasing God.” Why not?

Issues with God can be touchy subjects. Consciously or not we all have them. Our
unanswered questions, sorrows and complaints may be clearly on our minds and evident in our behavior, or buried in the recesses our soul. They shape our relationships and worldview, influencing the course of all our lives. Few have the courage to open such a can of worms and examine deep and universal challenges to faith. Billions feel trying to understand or relate to Omnity's already such an impossible assignment, any additional effort is a waist.

Billions of others appear to justify God in word and
song, all the while living lifestyles suggesting their hearts are actually far from Him. Still others protest God transcends human experience, rendering the subject of disappointment with God moot. Thankfully God continues to extend His gracious offer to all of mankind, “Come now, and let us reason together..."

There are several explanations for the mass exodus of
belief and obedience to God as represented by Scripture. The single greatest underlying cause is dissatisfaction and intolerance with Omnity's apparent silence and distance. Further complicating matters is a resurgence of the original sin of entitlement. Ironically, that fact that modern life's filled with unprecedented blessings, the likes of which our ancestors could hardly have dreamt, seems to actually be hurting rather than helping God's cause.

Taken together, the one-two punch of disillusionment and entitlement has faith reeling, if not on the ropes.
Modern Christianity has seen holiness and spiritual disciplines plummet. Biblical ignorance is pandemic. Even among regular church attenders. The average believer dedicates less than ten minutes a day to serious prayer. Unbelief, disobedience and immorality within the church is quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception.

In only a few decades, the rapid advance of science and technology has increased the modern standard of living a hundred fold. Given such opulent lifestyles,
worldliness is on the rise, having all but replaced Christian spirituality. It's far easier and instantly gratifying to surf the web or flick through hundreds of HDTV channels, than exert the time and effort to carefully examine the nature of our existence. Much less the weightier claims of Scripture. Billions of cars, planes and trains, TV's, computers and smart phones, daily vie for our attention. In the face of such a quantity and quality of distractions, serving God diligently's simply no longer in vogue.

Even so, the challenges of pain and heartache persist. Life's journey inevitably leads to wrestling with
loneliness and depression, bitterness and loss, illness and disease, financial distress and finally death. For those discipled in faith and trained in the art of prayer, such seasons can deepen the desire to know God. Unfortunately, most accustomed to turning a blind eye to their need to pursue the Creator, grow even more hardened.

Humanity as a whole has serious and unreconciled
issues with God. Believers and unbelievers alike struggle with understanding how Omnity could allow global poverty and suffering. While the Bible clearly attributes much of earthly woes and the presence of evil to an Evil One, few find such an explanation palatable.

Even among Christians, belief in the
demonic, Satan and the Holy Spirit are in sharp decline. Fewer still grasp mankind's place in the history of eternity as revealed in Scripture. Most today imagine themselves too advanced to accept archaic religious constructs. Yet, only a fraction of a percentage have taken the time to study adequately what it is they're rejecting.

A generation raised on and continually distracted by sophisticated 24/7 amusements is ill prepared to ask and answer life's
ultimate questions. Most are content not to try. Failing to do so leaves billions shooting from the hip in regards to such issues as the existence and nature of the Creator. The meaning of life and relationship. The role of faith in experiencing the Kingdom of God. Eternal realities such as Heaven and Hell. Scripture warns that those failing to address such vital concerns lack the necessary wisdom to face the difficulties and trials of life. Not to mention the judgment of eternity.

Frustration and even
anger at or with God is nearly universal, accounting for the untenable arguments of the atheist and cynicism of the agnostic. Arising more from sorrow than science, many denying God's existence or relevance simply choose to ignore Him. Feeling turnabout's fair play, billions divert themselves with whatever distractions are at hand, fearing the pursuit of God's not worth the effort.

Like people and life in general, the simple truth is that God can and does disappoint. Still, rather than writing Omnity off without doing our due diligence, perhaps it would be wiser to attempt to decipher why God
seems to dissatisfy and for how long? When weighed against the possible gains of exploring and experiencing God, the risks are small. For most, simply diverting a tenth of the time being spent in various entertainments could increase their efforts to know God exponentially.

For those already passionately pursuing God, some encouragement may be in order. Perhaps investing more quality time in
prayer and fasting, learning to be still and practicing the presence of God would prove beneficial. For others, further dedication to understanding and implementation of the Bible might be what's missing. Genuine faith requires a heightened degree of honesty in determining what Scripture says and means. As well as the humble admission of what we don't know or understand.

Perspective is essential in piecing together the
big picture in regards to the spiritual nature of human existence. Shakespeare was more astute than he knew when penning Hamlet's words to Horatio, "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in you philosophy." Perhaps it's time we put down our smart phones and TV remotes and sought them out together.

The fleeting physical nature of our lives makes discerning spiritual truth difficult, but not impossible. Invisible's not synonymous with irrelevant. For millennia molecules and sub atomic particles, the very building blocks God used to create our universe, were unknown until diligent and honest research found them out. Advances in science and technology paint a phenomenal picture of Creation. From the
glory of galaxies to the beauty of the sea, the fingerprint of God is everywhere. From the birth of sons and daughters, to hope of salvation and eternal rewards, the blessings of Divine loving kindness overflow.

Omnity's plans are perfect our lives are anything but. So much so, that today's leading skeptics challenge God's very existence with increasing boldness. Perhaps the most famous work on the subject is a 2008 documentary, Ben Stein’s "Expelled: No Intellegence Allowed." As noted in Wikipedia: "The film contends that the mainstream science establishment suppresses academics who believe they see evidence of intelligent design in nature and who criticize evidence supporting Darwinian evolution and the modern evolutionary synthesis as a mainstream conspiracy to keep God out of science laboratories and classrooms."

While opponents found the film somewhat lacking in objectivity, the documentary nonetheless provides concise arguments from prominent professionals of both persuasions. Attitudes on and off screen also afford insight into the intellectual and emotional state of interviewees. The most telling was Ben Stein's discussion with noted atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins. Earning five doctorates and awarded five more, in Dr. Dawkins' book The God Delusion the world's leading skeptic reveals a quite unflattering opinion on the Judeo-Christian God:

  • The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
Dr. Dawkins' opinion regarding Christ's' costly atonement fares little better:

  • "I have described the atonement, the central doctrine of Christianity as vicious, sadomasochistic and repellant. We should also dismiss it as barking mad, but for it's ubiquitous familiarity having dulled our objectivity."
Such quotes shed some light on Dr. Dawkins predisposition against Divine Intelligent Design. Below is a partial transcript of Expelled: No Intellegence Allowed's final interview between Ben Stein and Richard Dawkins. See video.

  • Stein: Professor Dawkins, you seem so convinced that God doesn’t exist I wondered if you would be willing to put a number on it?
  • Dawkins: Well, it’s hard to put a figure on it, but I’d put it at something like ninety-nine percent against or something like that.
  • Stein: Well, how do you know it’s ninety-nine percent?
  • Dawkins: I don’t…
  • Stein: And not, say, ninety-seven percent?
  • Dawkins: You asked me to put a figure on it and I’m not comfortable putting a figure on it. I think it’s… I just think it’s very unlikely.
  • Stein: So it could be forty-nine percent?
  • Dawkins: Well, it would be… I mean I think it’s… it’s… it’s unlikely, but… but… I… and it’s quite far from fifty percent.
  • Stein: How do you know?
  • Dawkins: I don’t know, I mean, I put an argument in the book.
  • Stein: What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in evolution.
  • Dawkins: Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, an intriguing possibility. I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer. Um, and that designer could be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe. But that higher intelligence would itself would have to come about by some explicable or ultimately explicable process. It couldn't have just jumped into existence spontaneously. That's the point.
  • Stein: [VO] So professor Dawkins was not against intelligent design, just certain types of designers. Such as God.
  • Stein: So the Hebrew God, the God of the Old Testament. He doesn't exist in your view?
  • Dawkins: Certainly. That would be a very unpleasant prospect.
  • Stein: And the Holy Trinity of the New Testament?
  • Dawkins: Nothing like that.
  • Stein: Do you believe in any of the Hindu Gods? Like Vishnu?
  • Dawkins: How could you ask such a question? How could I? Why would I given I don't believe in any of the others?
  • Stein: You don't believe in the Muslim God?
  • Dawkins: No. And why do you even need to ask?
  • Stein: Well I just wanted to be sure. So you don't believe in any God anywhere?
  • Dawkins: Any God anywhere would be completely incompatible with anything I've said.
  • Stein: What if after you died you ran into God, and he says, what have you been doing, Richard? I mean what have you been doing? I've been trying to be nice to you. I gave you a multi-million dollar paycheck, over and over again with your book, and look what you did.
  • Dawkins: Bertrand Russell had that point put to him, and he said something like: “Sir, why did you take such pains to hide yourself?”
  • Stein: But, if the Intelligent Design people are right, he isn't hidden. We may even be able to encounter God through science, if we have the freedom to go there. What could be more intriguing than that?
Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is worth watching for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is to detect subtle, yet ever present hints at what has always been the greatest objection to attributing the existence of creation to a Creator. By accident or design, Expelled leaves on the cutting room floor all but trace evidence of mortal man's universal disappointment and resentment against God. Stein touches on the volatile subject only lightly, as when including Richard Dawkins final remarks when asked what response he might give should God ask the reason for his intense opposition to the existence of a Creator. Without missing a beat Dawkins immediately responds by quoting Bertrand Russell: "Sir, why did you take such pains to hide yourself?” Or as A.J. Ayer, of the Standard reported it, “God, I shall say, ‘God, why did you make the evidence for your existence so insufficient?”

Ben wryly points out the fallacious nature of such logic in regards to Intelligent Design. Yet, the astute must learn to see past facades. Scientific and otherwise. Surely, the most brilliant minds of modern times are capable of doing math as simple as 0 + 0 = 0. As previously explained, the existence of anything, much less everything so finely predisposed to human existence, is positive proof of Divine creation. Regardless of the form of argumentation, what is truly in debate is not God's existence, but absence. And its far reaching implications.

"The Devil's Advocate" Al Pacino makes this point loud and clear when maliciously accusing Omnity for appearing an "absentee Landlord." In the following partial transcript, Al Pacino plays John Milton (the Devil) and Keannu Reeves plays Kevin Lomax (the Devil’s son). The language is a little intense:

  • Keannu: Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. Is that it?
  • Pacino: Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections. I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist. Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha. While you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' His sick, fuckin' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!
Humanity definitely has some unresolved issues with God.

The hearts and minds of an entire generation are asking the same questions. Questions few Christian apologists seem capable of satisfactorily answering. That is other than offering
free will as an easy opt out. What mankind actually has is fleetingly frail and extremely limited will.

This is not to say that in eternity’s judgment we’re off the hook. Humanity is perfectly capable of loving one another and thus
fulfill the entire law. Furthermore, even should creation have free will, it’s hardly a rock too heavy for Omnity to lift. Given the Bible’s mandate to be prepared to give reasons for our faith, this oversimplification equates to an intellectual tragedy. Unwillingness to address such a universal concern is a well dressed spiritual cop-out, masquerading as devotion and piety. A failure of faith, creating an eternal pile up of casualties. We may encounter a thousand questions seeking the answers to life's ultimate concerns. Still, as we take the time to honestly work through them, Scripture repeatedly declares that as our Creator and Savior, God is the very definition of hope and love, mercy and faithfulness. To the extent that it would be the height of foolishness not to do everything in our power to assure that we ourselves, as well those we know and love, learn to "taste and see that the Lord is good."

Series Articles

While every series and article on this site is designed to carefully and insightfully address our issues with God, and vice versa, some do so more directly than others. The following are a few links for further consideration:

More information

In the Red Dropdown Icon you'll find resources that we hope will both stimulate and facilitate your pursuit of and understanding of the God of the Bible. To get started simply place your cursor on a category of interest and see where it leads. You can also join the discussion in a variety of ways including posting comments to God Blogs as well as making comments or asking questions by email or text.

For a hyperlink footnoted version of this article see eBook Quantum Christianity Introduction Volume 1

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