Throughout my life, I’ve heard countless people attempt to philosophize about God. And I’ve noticed a very similar thread through most of the arguments.
People say, “If there is a God, I’d walk right up to Him and say, ‘How dare you!? Children suffering? Natural disasters? Constant death all over the world?’ Either this God is evil or He is just awful at His job. Why would I want any part of that?”
The consistent sentiment is that God is either:
- or Incompetent
The core of this perspective is emotion.
People tend to equate what they feel intensely about with what is most important.
For example, in the context of intense physical feelings, if you break your leg, suddenly, nothing else in the world is as important as the pain you are feeling in that moment and the desire to make it stop.
Removed from those feelings of pain, if you had to stop and write down a list of what is most important to humanity, your broken leg wouldn’t be very high on the list. But in the moment, with all the intense feelings involved in your accident, nothing else seems nearly as important as getting your leg taken care of.
We were designed with the instincts required to survive, and this danger-pain-response system is part of that design.
But it works identically on an emotional level. When you see an image of a mutilated child or a video about sex trafficking around the world, there is often such an intense emotional response that you feel in the moment that these issues are the most important tragedies of our time.
You may not have thought twice about it yesterday, but in this moment, looking at those children, everything else seems unimportant.
Whether Christian or non-Christian, we feel intensely about something and equate that feeling with importance.
As a result, the common thread I hear when people philosophize about God is:
- This thing makes me emotional.
- God isn’t fixing it.
- God must be evil, uncaring, or incompetent.
Thousands of people will give this exact response, and it absolutely blows my mind.
When philosophizing about a limitless Being, how could someone possibly imagine that he/she gets to not only assign this Being a job, but also determine the criteria for success?
I mean, first of all, they are philosophizing about god, not debating theology. They are not limited to a Judeo-Christian view of God, and yet, they can’t imagine a limitless Being without automatically attempting to lock that Being into an arbitrarily defined role.
Even more illogical, that arbitrary role is based entirely on whatever the philosopher is most emotional about.
I mean, seriously, if there was a god who created an infinite universe, full of countless planets and species, why would that god care about the opinion of some individual from that one species on that one spec of a planet?
It’s frankly ludicrous.
And yet, I think our God is a very emotional being. For whatever reason, He has chosen to make us His sons and daughters, and thus, given us influence with Himself and that is decidedly illogical.
But here’s my point.
As God, He holds a 20/20 vantage point, and I think it’s safe to say He sees things more accurately than we do. I think God cares deeply for what makes us emotional – like death or suffering – but I think He also sees these things far differently than we do.
God lives in reality. He dictates reality. What we see and experience is a facade. We catch glimpses of what is real, but only glimpses. He sees our lives from true reality, and thus, He understands what is truly important.
I think the emotion we feel towards the negative things in life is a result of our being made in His image. Emotion so often equates to motivation, and it drives us to pursue what’s on His heart.
But let’s not be ignorant to the understanding that He sees what we cannot see. He understands what is real and what is important.
What makes us most emotional isn’t always what’s most important.