Sacred Musings ~How Good Is God?
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
How good is God? I grew up believing that my every breath came from God and it was the same for all his creation and that God proclaimed, at one time anyway, that all of His creation was good. I also believe the bible says man is fearfully (miraculously) and wonderfully made. Paradoxically, I also believed man fell from grace and fell into sin. I believed we needed help desperately to be saved from our evil hearts. And I also believed God gave us free will to choose him or not. If we didn’t believe him the consequences were disastrous.
So, I am wondering did God goof when He gave us free will? Was it His plan to test His human creation? Was it His plan to allow His creation to freely choose to plunge head first into eternal fire or live eternally in heaven?
According to my early theology those unbelieving humans had freely chosen ETERNAL FIRE, FLAMES AND TORTURE, the consequences of not confessing faith in Jesus.
Does this make sense to any of you? I am just trying to understand with my finite understanding, how a gracious, all loving, kind and good God could leave the ETERNAL DESTINY of men’s souls in finite man's own spiritual limitations while giving man supreme power of choice? It seems the deck is stacked against us. Consider those born in foreign lands that have a religious heritage built into their culture. It isn’t easy to believe in a Christian view of God coming from such a different perspective. If you think not, try seeing yourself as a Buddhist or as a Jew. It isn’t a fair question you say because they have it all wrong, 'you say'. What about the kid growing up in the inner city of Detroit? The outlaw gang might very well be your family if you were born in the inner city of Detroit and holiness and righteousness are not common words in their vocabulary. Still inner city kids know more about a Christian God than the other half of the world. Does any of this seem just or fair to you?
Free will is a very big deal. We have free will to do exactly what? Did you choose to be born? Or did you choose to be a boy or a girl? Or which country did you choose to be born in? I guess most people, if given a choice, would pick a developed nation like the United States or a European country for modern convenience, education, and opportunities to be prosperous. But that isn’t how it works is it.
Let’s explore free will. Let's begin at the beginning, Genesis 1, and not at the 'fall of man'. What happens if I believe God's pronouncement that everything is good and then I look to see in Genesis chapter 3 that everything went wrong? In the beginning Adam and Eve were made in the express image of God, they were already PERFECT - as God. They were His offspring. Is it possible to come from perfection and be less than perfect? 😀 The reality was ‘they were perfect, just like their creator God - their ‘Father.’ They chose, by free will, to believe the lie that ‘they were not like God’. This was not true, not reality, a figment of their imaginations. But since they were made just like their creator God they could create it! They chose (free will) to create their world using their imagination powered by a lie instead of the truth. Hence they projected (believed) hardship, hate and fear into their ‘created’ world experience. But it wasn’t true then and it isn’t true today.
Change your thinking and you change your world.
Jesus said, only believe, all things are possible to him who believes. Believe what? Believe the truth that you and I are made in God’s image, we always have been but we believed a lie, an untruth. Believe God is good. How good? That's what we are trying to discover.
“The apples do not fall far from the tree ~ Like father like son” ~
We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are meant for Paradise. Paradise is ours now - only believe. And what about the serpent, heck who was the serpent anyway? Does it really matter? If God has all power, as He says He does, then how much power does the devil have? Metaphorically speaking some psychologists believe the emotion of SHAME entangles itself around our organs and throughout our body’s like a snake entangles itself around its prey. Persons ensnared in personal shame, failure to keep the law, failure to please God, believing they are worthless sinners, worms, will destroy any sense of well being, peace, love or joy, ultimately opening the door to dis- ease. (lack of rest) But what happens during this life time doesn’t change what is eternally true, we are HIS KIDS. Remember Jesus taught parabolically and with metaphors. Jesus even said He was as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove and we were to be like him.
I think we need to re-think our thinking. Let us put on the mind of Christ and renew our minds so we can prove the good, acceptable and PERFECT will of God.