Can both God and Pain Exist? - April 29, 1994
Picture this: one year ago I would have said God was dead. Something happened to me. Kevin Foote wrote, "The truth is, that if there is a divine being, it stopped intervening the moment the big bang took place." That's a good thought, and one I myself used to have. Let's have fun spending a few moments thinking about that theory.
One theory about God is that he is the great domino maker. He spent time and energy setting up a fantastic domino display, and then hit the first one over which then hit the next and the next and the next and that's the universe. According to this theory, after starting the reaction, God was free to walk away, leaving His work alone.
There is a problem with this if one looks at it critically. The universe is not perfect. I think we can all agree on that. If God were the domino maker, He'd be the domino maker of an imperfect set of dominos. They would not all stand straight, and would not all line up perfectly, they would blow over the wrong direction and they would miss each other. Without Him being there constantly to realign the dominos, they would fall off tract and not fall in order anymore. You see, to "stop intervening" would not be an option for God.
Allow me this analogy. You ever have hamsters? Or did you have friends who had hamsters? Remember you got those plastic houses for them? There was a wheel for them to run in and you could connect more compartments by plastic tubes. If you were really cool you had a whole bunch connected together. Kinda like a universe, huh? If you put them together, then you're God of that little hamster universe. This is going somewhere, I promise.
Anyone who did have hamsters like these knows that if you were a God who "stopped intervening", this would not work out at all. Without you constantly being there to change the paper at the bottom, as well as regularly cleaning out the cage, you would find a gruesome little hamster disaster/chaos. It would fall apart, and so would our universe if God ever were not here constantly to "intervene."
I invite you again to walk outside on a dark night. See the stars? Beautiful, huh? Hey everyone, it's BIG out there. If you can live in this world and say that God is not near, then I congratulate you on your huge amount of faith. I myself, I place my faith rationally, I believe in God. Here's why.
As a used-to-be agnostic/atheist, I came to realize that I could know God personally, as I know my RA or as I know my best friend. God could be real to me. I could spend real quality-time with God. I could pray and he could hear me. I sought Him out and He found me. It's nice. I like God!
I tell you about this because I really do believe it intelligently. Jesus said to love the Lord with all your "heart, soul, and mind" (Matthew 22:37). God wants us to love Him with our "Mind." This is not a blind acceptance. We should think about it, research, ask questions, ponder.
I applaud Kevin for writing, "As a math major, my search in life is for truth." Jesus also said, "know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Kevin, and everyone reading this, seek out the truth, please. But seek it out with an open-mind. You may just get surprised. I did.
Also, one does not have to be "religious." I am not religious, I just love God. Religion is something man makes. Loving God is something from God. Let's not hide behind the big-bad "R" word.
I really do appreciate your concerns, Kevin, that the Bible has contradictions. I would love to talk to you about why I feel the Bible does not have any contradictions. To go into that here would be inappropriate and would take up pages and pages. But it's worth discussion. My phone number is 862-5302. Kevin, you're invited to call me, as is anyone who wants to discuss it rationally. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can contact me there also.
I want to thank Kevin for replying. I enjoy good conversation about this important subject: God. I respect Kevin very much. I respect him because he quoted scripture which says that he has read it, looked into it. He had very rational arguments. I take a different position than he does, but I am willing to sit down over coffee, my treat, and talk.
Honestly, the only thing I do not respect is when people say things about scripture without having read it with an open mind. I know that was the way I used to be. About a year ago I started to read the Bible to prove how stupid it was. I didn't get far into it before I realized how wrong I was and how powerful it is. God is way-cool, folks. He is real and present.
You ever wonder how there could be so much pain if God's here? Here's a possible
answer: God is our umbrella in the storm. If by your free-will you walk away
from the umbrella, expect to get drenched. And don't say, "hey, what happened
to the umbrella?" Instead, humble yourself, admit your need, and walk right
back under the umbrella. There's a nice warm place reserved just for you.