Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Our Unpopular Deity
An atheist has been very upset with me because I’ve argued that it’s perfectly legitimate for God to do whatever He wishes with his creation, especially if His creation has turned against Him. I used the example of my clay pot, claiming that I have the right to do whatever I wish with my pot, even to destroy it.
The atheist responded, “A clay pot is not a sentient being. No-one can do wrong to a clay pot. [Destroying a human is an entirely different matter!]”
Here’s my response:
“Evidently, you respect my right to destroy my clay pot. Would you still respect my right if my clay pot would continually spill its contents out upon my lap and even spit in my face? Would this not give me even more reason to destroy it? Do you think that I would be charmed by such a clay pot? Would I have a greater responsibility toward it because it treats me so poorly? Certainly not! Should God, therefore, tolerate our disdainful rejection of Him?”
I don’t think that my answer will satisfy him. Our preferences and comforts do more to determine what we’ll believe than will reason and logic, especially if that logic points to an uncomfortable, inconvenient truth.
The idea of a God-of-Judgment is out of favor in the West. We tend to see ourselves as good people who deserve to be treated in good ways, although in actuality, we were His “enemies” (Romans 5:8-10). Therefore, the Biblical God is simply not trendy or appetizing, but I don’t think that this means that we ought to apologize for Him or to present Him as a soft and fuzzy God. He is what He is, and we have to accept that about Him.