Friday, March 04, 2005

Is God Playing with Us?

UPDATE 3/9/05: As I knew he would, my Evangelical friend AJM devoted numerous paragraphs to this. See for yourself. I find some of it satisfying. Perhaps I should send my further questions on a note in a bottle out to sea. Perhaps I'll write a post later.


I know at least one person out there will attempt to answer this question, because he's the only person who ever reads this drivel.

Let's assume the following:

1) God created humans.
2) God gave them free will.
3) God knows the past, the present, and the future and is without time, space or any other pesky physical or 4th-dimensional encumbrance.
4) Humans sin.
5) God told Moses (and others through other mechanisms) that sin is bad.
6) Sin is offensive to God.
7) Redemption of sin is the only way to God.


If we accept all those as true, then isn't it also true that God knew when giving humans free will that humans would sin? Of course. So isn't it true he created not only humans with free will but also humans-as-sinners? Yes.

So, why is God offended by sin? He made us sinners.

One possible answer is that God gave us, in giving us free will, the opportunity NOT to sin. But no human is capable of that. So it is really NOT an opportunity, right? Every human sins.

So that leaves me with this: God made humans and everything else, and said "It is good." But humans were NEVER truly good, and NEVER can be. So was that really "good enough" for God? Otherwise, why would he say it?

Why should I believe that God hoped at any time before "The Fall" that humans COULD be good, i.e., sinless? He always knew we never could be. So he expected The Fall. Moreover, I suggest, because he could have limited our free will, it was planned. God knew it and could have done something about it, but didn't.

So He designed us to be sinners. To what end?

So He could delight in joining us/giving us His Son as an opt-out provision (or "opt-in" provision)? So He could "punish us" by denying us Him for being exactly what He made us if we don't accept Him?

By using the free will He gave us (which allows us some of the freedom He has), we actually find ourselves not only LESS like Him but also incapable of being either like or with him except THROUGH HIM (Christ)? Why?

Essentially without giving up the free will he gave us and letting Him guide/control us, we're nothing? So why give us free will at all? I've heard it's so our love for him came from an honest place. So. Why does God need to be loved? He has all the love the universe knows already, with or without us.

Isn't this like creating a child and teaching it--or in God's case, providing it the capability--both to love and to murder but hoping it only loves? To what end is teaching it--or giving it the opportunity--to murder? So that when it does not murder, God feels good? Why does He need to feel good? He is the ultimate Good, regardless of us and our feelings for him. Can't "feel" any better than that.

Chew on it.

UPDATE: Anonymous makes some good points. To her "caged bird" analogy, which I think is deftly on-point, I have to say: Why would God want or need our love anyway? What difference does it make to Him? As far as I can tell, He is the source of love. He created it. He has it all. So why does he need us to express it? To boost his "ego"?

Or, as I suspect, is it that through loving Him, we then are able to love other humans well?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A small point: let's assume not only that "3) without time, space or any other pesky physical or 4th-dimensional encumbrance," but is also liberated from any of the other 13 or so dimensions that we can barely fathom.

Bigger points:
"God gave us, in giving us free will, the opportunity NOT to sin. But no human is capable of that. So it is really NOT an opportunity, right? Every human sins." Isn't it rather a matter of degrees? Okay, so we're all sinners but there are the psychosociopaths and there's Mother Theresa. Mother Theresa 'took' lots of opportunities not to sin, wouldn't you say?

"By using the free will He gave us...we actually find ourselves...LESS like Him..." How do you figure? Wouldn't exercising our free will liken us to God, the ultimate Free Will?

On why bother giving us free will: There's a saying about letting a caged bird go free, something about how if it comes back it's yours and if it doesn't it never was to begin with. Love given freely is stronger than robotic obedience. Would you rather have a dog who responds to your commands and nuzzles up to you when you come home from work, or a mechanized toy that is programmed to perform tricks when you clap your hands?

Furthermore, faith is stronger when put to the test. Our free will allows us to examine our assumptions and God from every angle. This process presumably never ends but ideally will bring us closer to the truth, in this case, God.

9:57 PM  

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