IMG_4633.JPG - Version 2I think one of the struggles that Christians and non-Christians share is understanding how God, who says He is the embodiment of love, allows the horrors we see around us virtually every day. I’ve heard many Believers say it’s the question they intend to “confront” God with when they get to heaven.

It’s an honest question, the answer to which our finite minds can’t yet grasp. I confess I wrestle with it, too. Often. Whether or not it’s what will jump immediately to mind once we encounter the over-whelming majesty of God…we’ll see. I doubt it.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that the first thing I’ll be doing is to hit the ground face down, awestruck, trembling with the beyond-my-imagination glory of God’s face. And I’ll stay there for quite awhile. I won’t be alone.

When I do get up, perhaps a few rapture-filled centuries later, the question will no longer matter. With my new awareness of the larger picture, the question won’t even make sense.

In the mean time, I appreciate this comment from Mike Mason the author of The Gospel According to Job: “People would not be people if they were entirely reasonable, and so it is with God. How reasonable is grace? Or love? Many cannot believe in God because they cannot stomach His whims. But to allow the Lord His whimsicalness—and more than that, to bless him for it—is faith.” p. 38

Lord, I believe. Help me with my unbelief.

Can you relate?

6 Comments

  1. Yep, can totally relate. My question: Why would you bow to something in your own mind isn’t entirely good, or possibly not good at all. Isn’t it more noble to stand if you’re own morals, no matter how weak, are better. If a tyrant told you that your mind is just to small to understand his ways and you should just bow, would you?

    • Hi, Sam! Good to hear from you. Yeah, good questions, and admittedly I don’t have air tight answers. I don’t think anyone does; that’s where faith kicks in. We all take a step of faith toward something. Even the great theologian, Bob Dylan, said, “Everybody’s gotta believe somethin'”. So in response to your question, my position is that I don’t assume that I have all the information yet. I don’t think the evidence is all in, and that it proves God is a tyrant. I choose to believe that there is a higher power, that he is good, and that there is a much larger reality going on than I’m aware of. Yes, this either looks like foolishness or faith. I believe it’s faith. I don’t say that arrogantly; in fact, the opposite. I say it with a growing recognition that the older I get, and the more broken the world looks, the more mystery there is wrapped around the concept of who God is, and the less I “get” him. I agree with the authors I know of (Richard Rohr, Henri Nouwen, John Ortberg, Parker Palmer, David Benner) all of whom would say a willingness to embrace and live with mystery is an indication of growing spiritual maturity. It’s those who insist that they have it all figured out, and they know all the answers (Christians are notoriously among the worst at this) who just might be most insecure in their beliefs.

      Thanks for adding to the conversation, Sam. I respect your brain. 😉

  2. Nice one, Craig. Yes, I can relate!

  3. In the first year of two years at Literature Crusades we had a class that dealt with the seven problems non Christians have with the Christian faith. I believe the class was taught by the author of the book but it was a long time ago and I could be wrong on that point. I had just spent two years traveling with the carnival and if God was not the answer I was ready to go back to my old life and leave the boring Christian life behind. Most of the seven problems had to do with the horrors we witness in our every day life. I found all seven answers woefully inadequate. It did not seem to bother the other young adults. I was bothered to the point that I went back to the group house and told my house mother I was out of there. She was very relieved as she had had enough of me as well. I told her I was going down to my room to read my Bible one more time. If I didn’t find the answer I would be packing and would not waist my time with the Bible again. I (randomly) opened my Bible to Job. It seemed he was having his own major problem with God. He had done it all right and as far as he new, God had just wiped him out. God’s answer to Job was the answer to all my questions. It was my misunderstanding of who God is. Sorry house mom, I stayed.

    • Fred! What a story; I’ve never heard it before. I’m so glad you stayed. So are Beryl, John, Greg, Dennis, Barry and many people in Eastern Europe. I wonder if your life might be different if you had gone back to being a carnie. Man, I’m glad you opened that Book and stayed!

  4. I think the problem comes down to the lack of teaching on sin in many churches these days. Grace is good so we focus on that but without an understanding of sin we live unbalanced as Christians. If we say to ourselves I could never do something terrible (like what Deon had done in the other post) we have lost the awareness of our sinful nature that remains even though we are saved. Horrors will continue until Christ returns. It’s a tough truth but a truth just the same

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