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I LOVE God, I have been married for 5 years to a wonderful woman, I am a recent college graduate of Lakeland college with a degree in Religious Studies,I have currently foregone going to Seminary, but feel called to work with teens and young adults and do so at my local church, Vineyard CC, in Grafton, WI.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"I hate this argument"

Just a few minutes ago I posted a twitter " I hate the argument: 'I hope there isn't a God, because the he is a CRUEL son-of-a-bitch!'" Little did I know that this post would lead me into one of the best conversations I have had on twitter and strike up two of the most concerned Facebook posts I have received in awhile. This left me the idea to discuss where this post came from in a blog.

The first thing I need to point out, I most recently heard this argument on a TV show I am watching called "Jeremiah." It is a post-apocalyptic show with strong theological themes and in one scene a woman who was crippled, due to broken bones, something that wouldn't have happened before the big death, was having a conversation and blamed God for everything using my quote from above. The kicker, even in this show the virus that killed everybody was not something natural like MRSA, but instead it was an engineered virus created in a lab that got away from containment. So, even in this it was mans decision not God's, but God did spare the children from the great death and like moses and Noah a few chosen adults were spared as well.

That should give you enough detail about the show to continue this blog, without bogging it down in great detail. I also believe that this sets up why that argument is one of my pet peeves. It does not accept human culpability for our actions.

God gave us this world and created us in God's image. This means a lot of different things, but for this discussion I am speaking about our ability to create. Part of our creativity is a responsibility to our creations. Unlike God, there are limits to our creativity. However, we both have the ability to create community, which means we are responsible to each other. To continue my logic puzzle we learn from physics and observation that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, but that reaction is not a simple mirror reflection. Using this imagery, its like looking into a mirror and seeing someone else's reflection back. Where God has autonomy we do not, even though God does not choose to act in that manner. Consequently, our actions will never be autonomous, unless we place ourselves into a vacuum.

So, when someone says that they hope God does not exist because then God would be a mean son-of-a-bitch, they are saying that God is responsible for every action that man takes, taking away our free will. This is not my experience of God or an interpretation that I mesh well with. I have experienced the evils of humanity and know that even in the darkest hour it is still brighter with God then it is when I gave up on God. In those dark days I tried going at it alone and I learned that it was not God who allowed bad things to happen but our actions that have negative consequences.

I know that some have things happen to them that are outside their control. Others made decisions that effected them or a natural disaster happens and their life is decimated. I know how easy it is to blame God or an understanding of God that we have come to know, but there are many different images of God and our understandings of those images are partly shaped by our experiences.

I am always moved when I see survivors of a natural disaster come together, help each other, and rebuild what they have lost. I am moved even more when they are thankful for their lives instead of condemning their creator for what they have lost. it takes a long way back from tragedy and no one can be expected to be happy with God in the face of negative circumstances but to put so much fault on God does not remove human culpability.

Finally, I was reminded about Job's story during my twitter-sation. I was reminded not to be one of his friends and I had to stop and think if that was what i was being. I was happy to be able to say that I can continue to boast being someone who is least likely to be accused of that. I have many a time raged at God for the hand I get dealt and I also know my God is big enough to take it and loving enough to comfort my pain. In Job, God did let the opposer do major harm to Job. what i believe we should take away from that story is that God wanted Job to get angry. even in his anger Job never forgot who his God was and said that to his friends. I don't expect you to go to worship and praise a God you are angry at, I would even suggest stay away if you are not in the right frame of mind to worship, but you should TALK  to God and you should talk to friends who can just be and be there for you.

I also like to remember that the uniqueness of the Christian perspective is that Jesus means that we do not have to live or fail alone and that God is always there, even if we have top deal with the consequences of someone else's actions.

As always -peace and God's many blessings

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