God, What?

We are taught from the beginning that God is perfect and that everything God does was and is good.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love God. I have issues with religion and religious people (funny, that, seeing as how I am a Christian pastor!) but I love God.

But this perfection thing…I wonder.

Why? Because of all of the imperfections I see in human beings. When babies are born with cleft palates, or with their intestines on the outside of their bodies, or with no brain, or no heart, I wonder. Would a perfect God be capable of an imperfect creation?

I think about the propensity of people to become addicted. People are addicted to all kinds of things, from sex to gambling to video games …not to mention alcohol and drugs. I find myself wondering what went wrong in the process of creation. If God is perfect, then what? Is it God’s prerogative to create imperfect human beings? I mean, doesn’t it seem that a perfect God would be able to wire this magnificent species called homo sapiens in such a way that we all came out perfect …and not inclined to fall into addiction?

This is outside the scope of Free Will. We have not an iota of say while we are in the process of “becoming.” I know heredity plays a part, meaning that one’s genetic makeup cannot be ignored. But heredity is only part of the answer. And I know environment plays a part. The environment of the woman who bears the egg that is fertilized by the man mixes with his environmental particularities.

But isn’t God supposed to be able to trump all of that? Does the perfect God not want to duplicate perfection as much as divinely possible?

This discussion leads me to theodicy, that discipline which tries to help humans understand this God. If God is good, then why do bad things happen to good people? Why did the 9 year old girl and five others die in Tucson, victims of a crazed gunman? Is God all good and all powerful? If God is good, then, in light of the “imperfections of creation” and other phenomena, such as the Tucson shooting, is God not all powerful? Or is God all powerful, but not really all good?

I have struggled enough with these questions over the years to gratefully say that in spite of the lack of perfection in creation, I still believe God is both all good and all powerful. I have also decided, though, that God is incomprehensible. Whoever wrote that God’s ways are as far from ours as the east is from the west was on point.

I will never “get” God.

But I am glad I have God, in spite of the fact that I look around sometimes, and say, “God, what?”

That’s a very personal candid observation.

3 thoughts on “God, What?

  1. I’ve come to realize that were God to create us “perfectly”, we would have no need for Him. Moreover, our capacity to grow and learn from each other would be severely limited. No matter how we despise imperfections, they strengthen character and force us in many ways to depend on each other. And I think ultimately, cause us to depend on God or at the very least question His existence.

  2. You sure are right. God does need us to need Him. And because of the imperfections, our need is definitely increased. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Yes the tension between theodicy and reality continues to plague humans who are striving to be in right relationship with God. A God that allows bad things to happen to good people can strain that relationship.

    But I have to remember that I cannot see ALL that goes into the “bad” that happens so when it does it is easy to use my limited gaze to “not get God”.

    For example the shooting in Tucson. With my limited gaze I will never “get” how God let those people be killed especially the 9 year old Christina. But what I cannot see is what happened in the life of the shooter Jared. Did he try to get help? Did the mental health system fail him? What about the school system? How about his friends and family? Was he left to figure out on his own how to deal with his “challenges”?
    or did they all do all they could and this young man was “sick” not “crazy” beyond what he could manage?

    If I were to take an aerial view of his life ( that would be the God angle) would I see that is was not really about God not doing something but more about the cumulative effect of humans exercising “free-will”?

    My heart breaks for the victims and their family and friends who were shot and for the shooter and his family and friends. There is enough pain in this to go around. But one thing I know, God even in the imperfection of free will, is faithful and shows up when it goes so terribly wrong with the Balm of Gilead to heal!

    My two cents…

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