Paul's Passing Thoughts

Evil’s Job One; Uncertainty About Who God is and His Works

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 23, 2017

ppt-jpeg4Everyone knows there’s a God, that’s not the biggest question; the biggest question is, “who is He?” Who God is and His purposes determine whether or not humanity and life itself is to be pitied. Who is this that has created us and brought us into the world?

What was God’s purpose in creation, and what is our purpose? Is God a sovereign God who created man to proclaim certain things about himself, and created man so man would know these things? Are some people destined for eternal despair according to God’s will? And if so, why would He do that? Who is God, and how should we experience life because of who He is? The Character of God defines existence.

As I have stated before and will continue to state, Christians are a long way from knowing the answers to these questions and will never know them until the collective laity seeks truth for itself. While the religions of the world vie for the biggest slice of humanity’s pie, their massive writings over the course of history offer no clear answers to these questions; in essence, the most important questions facing mankind.

What kind of God do most people want? I will answer this from my own present perspective on life. Perhaps many share the same desires framed in the same way. I want a God who loves me, and will teach me how to be happy. I want a God who offers hope, and a happy ending to life’s story. I, in fact, believe this to be true about God.

In contrast to my desires, it is not perplexing to me that many religions offer a theology of hopelessness and zero-sum life because ultimately, in every case, faithfulness to their institutions guarantee a free ticket to eternal utopia. Outside the institution is the uncertainty of what God has predetermined, and a dark worldview. One only needs to add institutional platitudes to their lives, and all will be well in the end. Degree of assurance is equal to the degree of religious authoritative intimidation that any given institution can muster. The glory of men waxing eloquent about the terror of God in splendid surroundings is our comfort and assurance. Their art for condemning us causes us to revere them all the more because of what their authority is saving us from. Supposedly. The only thing elitism wants us to be sure of is salvation by religious institution.

This post will suggest some starting points for understanding who God is, but much more work needs to be done through a collective effort of individuals who hold themselves accountable to their own consciences.

The account of creation starts with God’s following emphasis: His creation is good or “very good.” Evil is not introduced until the serpent approaches Eve. Evil was otherworldly, until the serpent introduces the knowledge of it. Of course, this is conjecture at this point, but at least one logical conclusion might be that the digestion of the forbidden fruit brought about a physiological change that enabled God’s creative beings to experience this evil resulting in seeing nakedness as shameful. Clearly, even in this day, well after the fact, what we digest can bring about a physiological change, and in some cases, what we think as well. For purposes of this post we will stop there as that’s a whole other body of philosophical thought by itself.

Then there is the whole theology of nakedness. Again, something created by God is deemed shameful or bad. God said to Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” I believe the Bible is full of untapped truths that could empower our lives for God’s glory, but remain untapped because of institutional religion. It’s knowledge that would set God’s people free from the tyranny of religious charlatans.

Why did God make an additional tree available in the garden to begin with? Adam was allowed to eat from any tree including the tree of life. Two tees where distinct and placed in the middle (?) of the garden. Curiously, Adam and Eve were banned from the garden after the deception to prevent them from eating from the tree of life and living forever in their present state. This is strange indeed, but it is safe to assume that overall, this gives, “You are what you eat” profound meaning.

A couple of safe points follow: God intervened to prevent Adam and Eve from living forever. If they ate from the tree of life after eating from the tree of knowledge (good and evil), God was going to accept their eternal state. This is why He intervened. Secondly, freewill was an important aspect, or was foundational to their relationship with God. This tree of life shows up at the end in the book of Revelation with more details about it. Trust me, the trees are a vast study that would lead to the answering of many profound questions about reality and life.

The book of Genesis, I believe, establishes God’s mode of operation on some very important points. I believe freewill is one of God’s metaphysical pillars of reality, and probably the bases of true love. Love is not love without an ability to choose. Is God loved only by those He predetermines to love Him? If this is true, mankind has no abilty to really love, and God’s created beings are unable to love God from an individual heart.

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Therefore, we can begin to establish some key points for this post. First, man operates in a freewill reality, but God intervenes to guarantee an ending of the story that He desires. Secondly, freewill is foundation to true love between more than one person.

Thirdly, what God originally created as good remains good. The curse is weakness, not total depravity. Therefore, “redemption” is the saving from weakness (curse).

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,”

Because what God originally created is good and remains good, He redeems it. We reject the idea that something God created is subject to a complete fall resulting in utter worthlessness.

This leads into the fifth point: life, though expressed in weakness in many different ways, has infinite value. Our response to various forms of weakness shows what we believe about the value of life whether it is a past life, present life, or future life. A corpse, though separated from the spirit, is not only still part of God’s creation, but representative of a person’s life. Hence, all will be resurrected. Historically, especially among God’s people, funerals dignify life, and posthumous activity reveals our real hearts concerning how much we value life. This does not even escape people of the baser sort. The Bible is replete with information about how God’s people eulogize the past lives of others.

Another mode of operation by God involves His response to evil. Rather than the predetermination of evil, like love, evil comes from the heart and according to freewill. God responds by bringing good or something better from the evil act. The best example is the garden deception. Adam and Eve were created beings, but after the deception, God used the reconciliation process to make mankind His very family.

Yet, though God brings good out of every tragic act for those who love Him, and perhaps those who don’t as well, we find in Revelation that these interventions by God are “bittersweet.” In this age, we learn to be happy in God while overcoming the sting of the curse. However, the “new heavens and new earth” will vanquish everything that causes tears and the memories thereof.

Salvation of the soul is a finished work and one cannot be unborn. The doctrine of new birth empowers the individual as a child of God and is the tyrant’s worst nightmare. We are each high priests offering living sacrifices to God in our own temples (our bodies), and permanently indwelled by the same Holy Spirit that any other professing believer has. Don’t miss this: one of the fundamental disagreements Christ had with the religious leaders of that day was the subject of new birth.

Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,  and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!

In what sense are believers “gods”? We are literally born of God the Father and are the sons of God with Christ being “the Son” who brings “many sons to glory.” This is all family lingo.

While salvation is a plenary finished work, redemption of the material world is a process. Christ came to end sin, the Millennial Kingdom will end disease, and the last enemy to be defeated will be death at the new heavens and new earth.

Uncertainty about who God is, uncertainty about our eternal destiny, uncertainty about who we are, and uncertainty about God’s relationship to evil enslaves us to men consumed with control-lust. Control over others is one of sin’s metaphysical pillars (Genesis 4:6,7). Christianity is a laity affair, and these are the ones God will use to free His people from this present dark age.

This is completely evident if you examine who the Scriptures have been addressed to throughout the ages, and who Christ ministered to during His time here. If He came back today with any resemblance of His first coming, He would completely ignore the who’s who of religious elitism and appeal to the commoners of world.

This somehow completely escapes us: He wouldn’t check in with the Pope,  He wouldn’t check in with Albert Mohler, He wouldn’t check in with John Piper, or anyone else who brings God’s character and works into question. Yes, a theology that is constantly asking,

“Has God really said?”

paul

 

One Response

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  1. John said, on December 24, 2017 at 3:13 AM

    Thanks, Paul. This was an early Christmas read well worth my time.

    Like


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