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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Does God really care about our conclusions regarding him/her/it?

Down through the ages, many folks have conceived of God as a jealous, angry and vindictive Deity. They believe that God demands acknowledgment, recognition and worship from everyone; but is such a view consistent with logic? Would a being of supreme intelligence, authority and power need our approval or praise? In short, does it make sense that the Creator of the universe would demand such recognition from the inferior entities who owe their very existence to him/her/it? Is God's ego so fragile that it needs continual reinforcement from us?

Doesn't it make more sense to imagine a God that is self-assured? What did God do before we existed to acknowledge and praise him/her/it? Is it reasonable to suppose that our belief or disbelief affects God's existence or somehow detracts from his/her/its enjoyment of that existence? If God doesn't want us to contemplate "His" existence and character, why hasn't "He" fully revealed "Himself" to everyone? Is it possible that God derives some pleasure and satisfaction from our contemplation of the Divine? Is it possible that God encourages and enjoys our exploration, cogitation and learning? If there is in fact a God, isn't it reasonable to suppose that our desire to explore, think and learn originated in him/her/it?

How does an individual determination that there is no God affect him? "Well, didn't the author of Hebrews say that those who come to God must believe that 'He' exists, and that 'He' is a 'rewarder' of those who diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) Yes, but does that apply to those who don't come to him? "Well, then they're lost!" Are they? Is it reasonable to imagine that a God of love and mercy would condemn someone who has never known him? Would that be a God worthy of anyone's worship or praise? In fact, doesn't the Bible state that it is God's decision as to when "He" chooses to reveal himself to some individual? (John 6:44) Didn't James suggest that each one of us is responsible for what he/she knows? (James 4:17)

One more thing, how can we say that an imperfect or false understanding of God is superior to disbelief in God? If we imagine God to be something that "He" is not, how is that better than having no conception of God? Isn't it more plausible to believe that God will someday reveal him/her/itself to everyone? In the end, how could a just God condemn someone for something that is "His" responsibility?

By the way, I'm not advocating that we stop discussing/debating this topic - How would that further learning and understanding?However, maybe we should refrain from judging each other's views on the subject of God? (That might even sound Biblical) And for those of us who believe in God, maybe we should trust in him/her/it for the outcome? What do you think?

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