Sunday, 4 October 2015

My issue with God is His perfection.

My issue with God is His perfection. That's the ferret in my theological pants. You see, he can do no wrong. He is flawless. He is unerring. He is simply perfection personified or embodied. While human judges can charge, try and convict an offender, and society can name and shame social deviants, they can’t do it with God. In other words, you cannot haul perfection to Court, make Him take the plea, and then try Him for allegations of misdeeds. It is unthinkable, even nonsensical. 

With God, the treatment is substantially different. His innocence is already written in the singularity of time way before creation. He cannot be faulted. He has preempted us by virtue of being our God. He is untouchable. Imagine a variant-type of presidential immunity and apply it to God for an eternity and you get the picture of his unassailable perfection.

With God, the default position is to look elsewhere for the culprit. The blame game does not apply to Him. For how can God be God if He is guilty like us right? For this reason, God’s actions or inactions cannot be questioned. They are readily defensible. They are sacrosanct, unimpeachable. They are also for a purpose that only God himself is privy to. And it is for a purpose that is always justified whatever the circumstances, place and time. A few examples can be cited here.

Think about Noah and the flood. Genesis 6:6 reads, “the Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” (NIV) Notwithstanding the many interpretations of what is meant by “the Lord regretted”, God cannot be faulted for creating mankind and deciding subsequently to wipe almost all of them out of the face of the earth for the unspeakable evil they are guilty of.

Given that God is perfect, the question here would be: How can he ever be wrong for creating and then destroying the human race right? It is just oxymoronic to say that God being perfect and blameless has committed a mistake by creating humanity and then watching them fight, kill, rape and destroy each other. Surely, the fault must lie somewhere else. It must lie with mankind for rising up in sheer rebellion against what is moral, pure and good. It must lie with the devil for his tireless instigation to ensure that we constantly stray from the path of righteousness. Ultimately, we are the author of our own misfortune. We have brought the destruction upon ourselves.

This fault actually has an unfortunate beginning. It all started in a bejeweled garden of eternal bliss. And mind you, it did not originate before creation, but after that when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command and fell out of grace and favor. From there, it’s all downhill. From there, everything is man’s (and the devil’s) fault. In other words, there is really nothing original about the Original Sin. It is hornbook theology that man had sinned and it is in their inherited nature to be corrupt, corrupted and corruptible.

Another example is in the puzzling Old Testament account of the many God-sanctioned massacres and purging of women, children and old folks. The Canaanites comes to mind here. Just as the days of Noah, the people of Canaan were wicked beyond words and their wholesale and indiscriminate destruction sanctioned by God himself was both absolutely necessary and also largely deserving. The Canaanites had it coming and God’s sovereignty over them cannot be questioned. His divine commands were simply beyond reproach. For how can anyone doubt the kill-order from perfection Himself?

And because God is perfect, it is again nonsensical to hint to the possibility that He may have been remotely responsible for the deplorable state of the Canaanite affair. It is simply a non-starter to pursue that argument because perfection means blamelessness. It also means unerring, unblemished and unfailing.

My last example is to fast forward to the state of our world today. For me, the disease of modernity is the many gilded excuses humanity give for enriching themselves at the expense of their impoverished neighbors. This enrichment comes at a high moral price, but its perpetrators are too preoccupied with amassing, hording and accumulating to care even an iota. If the days of Noah and the Canaanites are any indication, then it would not be too farfetched to say that this modern world is just as evil. One does not need to go far to look for examples. The unspeakable acts of ISIS is proof enough of what deluded men are capable of. And the reality is that many of them will go unpunished while the innocent will suffer a fate far worse than death.

Here, one is tempted to plead with God for a reprieve for these poor souls. One is tempted to beg for mercy to grant them either a swift, painless and early death to end the suffering or a timely rescue by whatever means possible, miraculous or otherwise. Preferably the latter of course. However, putting aside redemptive suffering, prayers for immediate deliverance here often have a limited reach if the macabre (and savage) history of mankind is anything to go by.

I know it is difficult for any devout believer to admit to this but the reality almost seems like God is most likely going to let this one (and many others) slip by. In other words, He is going to remain silent about it and bring all evildoers to account only on Judgment Day. This divinely-inspired posture I call "eschatological stoicism" of course cannot be faulted because God knows best I guess. In any event, He is perfect…remember?

So, I am back to where I first started. I have returned full circle. My issue with God somehow remains as before. God’s perfection is simply beyond me. His perfection is beyond questioning. I know I can never understand it. I would just have to accept it with a constant vaccination of faith, hope and trust at timed intervals of my walk with Him. However unresolved my heart feels, I would just have to let God be God and man be man and let the issue I have with Him slide this side of heaven. Cheerz.

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