Sidetracking to a Theological Issue

I know that “theology” doesn’t sound interesting. I could have aimed for a more “with it” title by saying this is a “God issue,” and that would be pretty accurate. But part of my underlying thought on the subject I want to discuss has to do with the disrespect we show God. Not intentionally. It’s more the casualness we talk about Him, as if He’s a good buddy, or would be if He would just toe the line and do what I know He’s capable of. After all, I believe in Him. You can do it, God, you can do it, I know you can. Yea, God!

Well, you get what I’m saying, I’m sure. That casual, even flip way of talking to and about God undoubtedly has a number of origins and may not be all bad, but it’s really only a fringe issue to the one I want to discuss.

Recently I’ve been made aware of a number of books that discuss being mad at God. As far back as 1988 Philip Yancey wrote Disappointment with God, and ever since, it seems we’ve escalated our reaction to things we don’t like. Now it manifests itself as anger toward God.

Please understand, I’m aware that a believer can go through a crisis of doubt, especially when difficulties arise, but the new thinking seems to be that to be mad at God is normal, even somehow healthy, and certainly understandable.

Today I came across a verse in Lamentations I had marked:

Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Offer complaint in view of his sin?
– Lamentations 3:39

In the margin of my Bible I wrote “Satan counters with his great lie—man is good so that gives the feel of justice in complaining to God.” Or against God. After all, if man is good, then he doesn’t deserve the consequences of sin he must live with—sickness, pollution, crime, cruelty, hatred, death. We are, instead, innocent victims of God’s inexplicable abuse of His omnipotence. And of course we should be mad about it.

That’s very much the way the people of Judah responded when they were conquered by Babylon and dragged into slavery. The people that were left ran back to their false gods, concluding that all the trouble they had experienced came because they had stopped worshipping those gods in the first place. Never mind that Jeremiah had been prophesying for years that God would bring judgment upon them because they had ignored and disobeyed Him.

God said from day one after Adam sinned that life would be hard and Man would die. We come along and act shocked and hurt and shake our fists at God and say, “Life is hard and people I love are dying. What’s more, I’m sick/aging and can only conclude, death is creeping up on me!”

What are we thinking? Life was hard for Jesus, for goodness sake, and He died.

Instead of this anger thing, we should be rejoicing that when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us.

Much more to say on the subject, but I’ll stop there for now.

Published in: on March 4, 2008 at 11:25 am  Comments (8)  
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