By Alex Aili
“I’ve tried to believe in God. I want to believe, I really do, but I just can’t. He…just wasn’t there.”
The silence of God is a problem for many. It is for me. I’d like to be confident that the One who created me is involved with my life. If this Christian thing is a “heaven or hell” deal, I’d expect to see some clear signposts or messages from God if he truly wants to save people.
But, as many ex-Christians will say, “God just wasn’t there.” Seriously, what kind of psychopath lays out the choice between Heaven or Hell that’s contingent on whether we believe or not, but then conceals himself to make it easier for people to disbelieve–and go to hell?
Obviously, I don’t assume to know God’s mind, but there’s a problem when we think God doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s a simple misunderstanding: if God made himself known in the ways many want him to, then that would require him to betray his intentions for us. According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, God didn’t make us like the animals who only do what comes naturally (Gen. 1:26-27); he gave us the capacity to relate with him (Psa. 8:4-6), but that inevitably means we can refuse if we so choose (and we did; Gen. 3:6-7). And whether it’s “easier for people to disbelieve” or not does not depend on God’s presence or absence, but on whether people love something else more than God. Sin is the problem, and God can’t give us himself unless its dealt with.
What would happen if God made himself known to us to the extent that doubts no longer exist? Would we believe, or die because of our sin? Would we retain our individuality, or would we be brainwashed and traumatized at the overwhelming presence of him? God wants us to be souls, not computer programs, but relating with him has become so much harder because of our sin. This issue isn’t simple. We’re free-willed, but we’re also finite (2 Cor. 4:7) and sinful. Put it all together and we simply can’t handle what we think we can.
If we could play God for a day, what realities would we create?…
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