…that is, not the kind of God you’re thinking about.”
How often do we hear all sorts of complaints from people as reasons for not believing in the Almighty? If we enquire of them to gain a glimpse of their personal ideas and beliefs we usually find concepts of a divinity created out of a mixture of inaccuracies – no wonder they don’t believe in such oddball, mythical notions, and neither would I.
It is rare to find those possessing a clearly defined and well-instructed faith even among Christians! A surprising number have a poor grasp of theological basics, and can even presumptuously assume the holy character of their Maker and Redeemer will endorse their personal desires!
With this topic in mind let me share the more eloquent, analytical prose of two sisters in the Lord. First is that of Benedictine Sr Catherine Wybourne, aka Digital Nun.:
The God In Whom I Do Not Believe
People often tell me why they don’t believe in God: he has not answered their prayer; he has allowed someone close to die; he does not do away with all the evil and suffering in the world; the Church is full of abuses. I have to agree that I don’t believe in such a pathetic God, either. I don’t believe in someone who is merely there to rubber-stamp whatever I want; who doesn’t take me seriously enough to allow me free will but wants me to be a puppet on a string; who only has time for those who are good. I don’t believe in a God who is capricious, small-minded and mean; whose existence can be ‘proved’; who is as finite as I am.
You see, the arguments against the existence of God that many people use are actually rooted in unthinking petulance. I asked God for something, but he didn’t give it (question: why should God give you what you ask?); God took away someone I love (question: what kind of love desires what is good for itself rather than what is good for the other?); I want there to be nothing difficult or cruel in the world (question: what kind of world is that?); I want the Church to be full of saints (question: isn’t the Church meant for sinners in the process of becoming saints?)
The God in whom I believe is a Person of infinite tenderness and love, of breathtaking beauty and intellect. Eternity will not allow me to plumb the depths of God, how much less this brief life on earth! But this I can assert with absolute trust and confidence. Whatever I believe about God is so much less than the truth of God. ‘As the heavens are high above the earth, so are my thoughts above your thoughts.’
Ultimately, it is not a question of the God in whom you or I believe or don’t believe but of the God who is.
Oh the excellent simplicity in my sister’s thesis and conclusion, as published here. It deserves emphasis:
Ultimately, it is not a question of the God in whom we do or don’t believe but is purely a matter of the God who IS. We can know His nature and character because He has revealed Himself through His written Word and Jesus Christ – through Whom we have access to Father God’s throne room! A truly awesome privilege – thank you Jesus.
The second comes from an American sister who blogs at Your True Christian Journey and her forthright consideration may be read here > Why doesn’t God stop evil?