God’s Not Good Enough

Índios

What a bizarre statement—God’s not good enough—and yet that’s precisely what some people believe. Before he passed away, atheist Christopher Hitchens said if the Christian God did in fact exist, he would want no part of such a tyrant. Some time ago I read a comment stating we are better off outside Eden [away from God].

Why would anyone hold such an opinion? Then again, why would people say they thought they might be nicer than God? Why would others claiming to be Christians say the God of the Old Testament is murderous?

Last I checked, murder was a sin, as is wielding authority in a cruel way, and not being as “nice” as the creatures He created. So, apparently, God is under indictment by some, while others simply want nothing to do with Him.

And yet, there’s a sizable group who proclaim Humankind’s innocence. God might be a monster and society is seriously messed up, but humans are innocent bystanders who get caught up in the craziness.

That thinking is so flawed, it’s hard for me to grasp. Society is made up of people. The only way society could become messed up is if people are messed up.

And God is perfect—perfectly good, kind, loving, just, omniscient, powerful, merciful, sovereign, infinite, wise, and more.

Humans are imperfect. We all know it about ourselves and about every person we’ve ever met. We make mistakes, get facts wrong, forget, become confused, lie. And yet, we think humans see things correctly and God does not?

Especially spiritual things.

So when God says, all have sinned, there is none righteous, humans counter with, “What about the innocent who have never heard?”

Apparently, all have sinned, none are righteous now refers only to people in western culture because we are the people who are privileged to know and to hear. No longer are people groups who kill their enemies and ritualistically eat their flesh, considered sinful. They are the innocent who have been deprived of knowledge about the One who can save.

I don’t understand. I truly don’t understand. Romans 2 spells out that those not blessed with the written word of God, the Law, are responsible before Him for the law written on their consciences, so that “all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law” (Rom. 2:12a).

The only way, then, for a person to be considered innocent according to Scripture is for him to live a perfect life. And only One Individual in all time has done that.

Yet there’s still this idea that God would be unfair to judge those who have walked away from Him, who live in rebellion to Him, who rape and abuse and worship idols, because they haven’t been given “explicit knowledge” of Jesus, the Messiah.

Does God need to see them spit on Jesus to know they have rejected His Son? No! He is omniscient. Why is it we twenty-first century Christians have such a hard time believing that God actually knows what He’s doing? Or that He’s powerful enough to reach down among the “unreached,” and proclaim the gospel to them?

He found a way to turn the Apostle Paul 180 degrees, from a murderer to an evangelist. He found a way to bring the rebellious prophet Jonah to Nineveh to preach repentance so that they would turn to Him. He found a way to bring Paul to the isolated people on the island of Malta. He sent Philip to an Ethiopian and created an earthquake that led to the salvation of a jailer in Thyatira. What can’t God do to bring His gospel to all the world?

We act as His judge. We declare Him unfair, because we don’t know. There might be someone out there who wants to repent, we say, and it would be unfair for God to judge them without giving them a chance to know Him.

So we think God does NOT know whose hearts are His? That somehow His knowledge stops with western civilization?

The two greatest evils in our society are these: we think so little of God, and we think so much of ourselves.

But isn’t that really what the prophet Jeremiah said centuries ago (he in a more poetic way, to be sure):

For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
Broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13)

When we think we know better than God, we have forsaken Him. When we think what He’s told us in His word is unfair and do a tap dance around it to get to a more user-friendly position, we are digging our own leaky wells. We will not come up with the water we need.

The fact is, we are smaller than we think, and God is greater than we imagine.

This post is an edited version of one that first appeared here in May, 2014.

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. IF there is no god he can’t be good or evil.

    You know who’s really evil? The tooth fairy. I can’t stand her.

    Lol

    Like

  2. Back in 2008 or so, I had a “revelation” about the Christian God. It started with Westboro Baptist Church and the idea that “God Hates Fags”. Looking at the Bible, I realized, they weren’t wrong. This led to the following thought experiment (it’s essentially Pascal’s Wager):

    If the God of the Bible (WBC’s God) exists and wants me to hate gay people (and other people not like them), would I rather follow that God or love everyone? Would I choose to walk into Hell with my head held high rather than spend my life being a hateful bigot?

    I realized in that moment that I would be the best person regardless of the Bible’s rules. And this overwhelming sense of peace came over me (it still does when I think about this).

    I’ve found many passages in the Bible that show that God is an abusive. Abraham and Isaac, Psalms 103-7 (or there abouts). God decided God wasn’t getting enough attention and took that frustration out on humanity.

    During that time, I took a class on Chinese religion and learned about filial piety and Confucianism and nothing is more jarring than reading the story of Abraham and Isaac as a man, his son and the man’s mother. The family was poor and there wasn’t enough food, s o his mother told him to kill his son. while digging the grave for the boy (before killing him) he found a bag of money. He was rewarded for being willing to sacrifice his son to take care of his mother. God/mother, they’re both demanding a life as a show of loyalty.

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    • Catherine, I believe there’s a 3rd and better option: look at the clear teachings of Jesus who came not to abolish but to fulfill the Law of God (Matt 5:17), and ask if such people as WBC are obeying that clear command. Since they are not, there’s no need to follow their God. In following Jesus’ teaching of the Father, the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8), we find freedom to love everyone—even LGBTQ people.

      I think you’ve misinterpreted God’s motives and purposes. It’s easy to look at historical events apart from the context and character of God and come away perplexed, angered, etc. But the God of the Bible is good and just. If he says not to do something and never follows through with his warnings, he’s no better than a judge who lets off murderers or rapists because he wants to keep giving them another chance. The fact that all of us have lived this long in disobedience to God, yet without being judged, is a testament to his patience and love, desiring our repentance (Rom. 2:4).

      Liked by 1 person

    • *Clarification: We don’t need to follow the WBC’s view of God—their “god” isn’t the same as the one in the Bible. We’re taught to love our neighbors and our enemies, which obviously contradicts the phrase “God hates fags.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine, if you think the Westboro Baptist people worship the God of the Bible, you are not understanding the Bible. One of the main concepts in Scripture is “For God so loved the world…” I wrote an article that addresses this issue: https://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/gods-best-kept-secret/

      Better still, listen to Jackie Hill Perry talk about her own experience as a lesbian who became a Christian. She’s not shaking her fist at God and asking Him why He hated her. That caricature couldn’t be farther from the truth. Here’s the link to the first of three podcasts she did in interview style, telling her story. https://www.familylife.com/podcast/familylife-today/a-deliberate-rebellion/

      Becky

      Like

    • If you’d prefer a shorter version of Jackie’s story, here is a 7 min. video on YouTube.

      Becky

      Like

  3. You are right God is absolutely merciful, good, kind, healing all who need him and much more. He is there for us. People judge because they don’t know God and never read His Word.
    Thanks for your strong faith and witness.

    Liked by 1 person


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