Tag Archive: WHERE IS GOD?


You stub your toe on a table leg. You passionately address the table, and perhaps even the gods who you may not believe in, with certain derogatory words and accusations which your mother would never have approved of…

You wonder why the gods allowed your throbbing toe to make contact with such a solid object at all. Couldn’t they have moved the table aside one second before contact?

Why does the Biblical God allow us to suffer? Isn’t he a God of love? Why, if He’s omnipresent and omnipotent, isn’t he one step ahead of us, preventing all the terrible things which happen in our world every day? There are a number of answers to this, which none of us like. We can’t know them all, but we can know some of them…

First of all, God created a physical universe for physical beings to live in, and a physical universe must have natural laws to govern it. Why would God create a physical universe, and then negate its natural laws? If you drop a concrete slab, you can be sure that gravity will rapidly draw it with some considerable force and momentum towards your toe, already bruised and throbbing after its connection with the table leg.

We don’t know whether Adam and Eve, before the Fall, were susceptible to concrete slabs dropping on their toes. We do know, however, that once they began to rebel, they were susceptible to anything including death:

“For in the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”

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Something happened when Adam disobeyed God, and he began to die, just as God had warned him he would. It took him a long time to die, but die he did, as a direct consequence of his disobedience. His disobedience, and later our own, led to our downfall also. It doesn’t take us so long to die as it took him, because he was still a fresh and extremely healthy creation. We Christians-those of us who believe the Bible-talk about the Fall of man and of nature, at which time humans and all of creation became subject to adverse events and circumstances. When Cain struck down Abel, God didn’t stop him…God let Cain do it. Why did he? Why didn’t God say, “Hey Abel! Look out-your brother has a knife!” Why didn’t he make whatever weapon Cain used turn to dust before it could do the dirty deed?

Since the Fall God has intentionally allowed us to face consequences: consequences of our own actions and of others’ actions; consequences of natural laws such as gravity, and consequences of the fall of nature, so that our bodies degrade and become ill. There can only be one alternative to perfect health forever, and that’s illness, decline and death. God refuses to allow fallen man-in rebellion and disobedience-to live forever, or to live without natural consequences.

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Free will is an amazing gift to us from God, as a vital part of His creation. God wants man to have his own mind and spirit, and to choose to love Him and each other, rather than creating him with robotic compliance. However, free will comes at a price. It’s the driving force behind all the hatred, unrest, unhappiness and evil we see playing out in our world. If God had turned Cain’s weapon to dust before it killed Abel, Cain would no longer have free will. If God froze our tongue moments before we made our feelings clear to someone, in the process hurting them, we would no longer have free will.

In suffering we learn and grow. If there were no consequences to our actions and our words, we would not learn to control them. We would not mature. We would remain like children in our character.

Perhaps the hardest lesson for us all to learn is that it’s God’s will that we suffer, in this world. He-not the devil- instituted the Curse. The Curse is one of those natural laws that God created. It affects all of creation. He’s able to negate those laws when he sees fit (in what we call a “miracle”) but for the most part, it’s His will that we endure suffering. How we respond to that suffering and those challenges is of great interest to God. It’s how God, and everyone else, finds out what we’re really made of. Even Jesus Christ was sent into the wilderness, by the Holy Spirit of God, to be tempted. In the Bible the words “tempt” and “test” are interchangeable.

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To that end, God even allows that rebellious spirit-Satan-to test us. You only need to read the story of Job to see that. Satan is able to afflict us physically and to sorely test us mentally and spiritually-if he receives permission from God to do so. While Satan probably doesn’t afflict all of us directly (he has his own minions) his hateful exploits have devastating affects on our world. But the most important message of Job’s story is that God-and Satan-were vitally interested in how Job would react to his suffering. What was he really like inside? What were his real motives for acting as he did, and for claiming to care about his creator? Did he really love God? Would he maintain his humility before God? Had he really only been following the Lord because life had been rich and trouble-free, or was it because he saw the Lord as his Master, for better or for worse? In marriage our love for our spouse is put to the test and seen for what it really is when we have problems and disagreements, not when all is going well.

God knows that human nature is contrary to His, and that even if He made sure that everything went smoothly for us, we would not feel the need to seek Him. In fact, in many or most cases we humans will only seek God, and humble ourselves to him, when we are suffering or struggling in some way. Somehow, God knows that we grow spiritually under adverse conditions.

Our universe is temporary, and this physical, limited world we live in is a proving ground for all of us. In time, we will be judged for our responses and actions. The most relevant fact that we need to respond positively to is that God has provided his own Son as a sacrifice, so that we can know Him. If we accept God’s gift of his Son, we can escape the limitations of our mortal, temporary bodies in the future, when he will restore all of nature to a state of perfection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Atheists mock Christians for worshiping a God who can’t be seen. He isn’t peeping out from behind the clouds, he isn’t sitting on the church roof, he’s never been to university and he doesn’t stop people stealing from little old ladies. August 2013 010

He isn’t hob-nobbing in the White House or even in the Vatican, and you can’t put a piece of him under a scanning electron microscope. He refuses to show up at the lab to be examined or interviewed. Therefore, according to the wisdom of man, God obviously does not exist.

While the world’s atheists tell us how clever they are and how moronic anyone who believes in an invisible Creator is, secular scientists tell us that most of the matter and energy in the universe is “dark”: it can’t be seen, felt, bottled or analyzed, and nobody knows what it’s made of. They “know” it’s there somewhere-they just haven’t seen it yet. According to NASA:

“It turns out that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest – everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the Universe.” (note 1).

While no one’s ever yet seen any dark matter, scientists believe it exists because of the behavior of visible objects in its vicinity.

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Similarly, the “singularity”-that initial blob of mass and energy which evolutionists believe brought our universe into being-was not observed or filmed by anyone at all, and you wouldn’t even be able to see it if you were there to…ah…not see it:

“It is impossible to see the singularity or the actual Big Bang itself, as time and space did not exist inside the singularity” (NOTE 2).

If time and space didn’t exist, exactly where did this object exist, and where did it come from?

Many things which are believed by secular scientists and by atheists-and I use that word “believe” intentionally-have not been observed by any of them. I recently reported on the theory that chloroplasts-vital for all life on earth-came into existence when a large molecule enslaved a “simple” bacterium. This event, confessed the scientist, has never been observed, and neither is there any fossil evidence of the transformation. It’s believed because the chloroplast had to come from somewhere, right?

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Similarly, a scientist I heard speaking about the origin of the sun, admitted that the generally accepted theory is “conjecture” because it was not observed, although they think they can surmise its beginnings from what they are convinced (not know) is going on in other parts of the universe now.

We draw valid conclusions about many properties of nature from their affects or just from reason alone. The problem for us is that atheists and evolutionists, with the help of nominal Christians, have led the majority of people to think that any scientifically sound fact disproves God. Science and “religion” are incompatible, they say. This view assumes that a universe-creator would not have any practical, scientific or mathematical mind-rather like saying that a world-class soccer player obviously doesn’t have any idea how to kick a ball.

Evolutionists and scientists draw conclusions about nature using observation driven by what they prefer to believe and what they’ve been taught to believe, and by their own set of pre-conceived notions, all of which intentionally exclude God. We who believe in an invisible creator do so and draw conclusions about him from what we prefer to believe, from our own world-view, and from what we see and experience in our tangible universe. To us the evidence for God is all around us, and in us. As Paul wrote:

…what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse (Romans 1:19-20 ESV).

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You can read some of my own observations in this regard in my “Acronyms” posts (note 3).

SEEING GOD

In the New Testament we read that John said, “No one has ever seen God” (1 John 4:12).

So if there’s a God, why is it that no one has seen him? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that:

“God is spirit” (John 4:24), and that

“…what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

One good reason no one has seen God is that we are physical, mortal, finite, three-dimensional beings (four counting time) in a fixed and very limited existence, whereas the God who created this physical universe is an immortal, eternal, infinite, multi-dimensional and pan-dimensional being. We cannot see him with our very finite and limited physical eyes, but we can see what he has made, and how amazingly intelligent and powerful he is.

More than that, we can “see” in our mind’s eye, or in our soul, what God is like from what he’s told us in his Word. We can see from Scripture that he is a loving and merciful God. We can see that he has incredible power and unfathomable aesthetic creativity. We can also see what his character is like when we think about Jesus. The apostle John said:

“No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:18).

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It’s clear who this “one and only” is that John spoke of, because the entire gospel is about Jesus, and John, in the same passage, said:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Jesus Christ came to earth as a man to show the world what God is like. Paul said that Jesus Christ is:

“The image of the invisible God…” (Colossians 1:15).

When you look at Jesus, you see as much of God as any human can see.

We don’t have the privilege of seeing Jesus physically, yet. But we can “see” him in the scriptures, thanks to men like John and Paul who gave their lives to tell us about him. Philip, one of the twelve disciples, said to Jesus one evening:

“Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus’ answer also speaks to us, nineteen hundred years later. He said:

“Don’t you know me Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9).

Not only can we see the witness of nature all around us, but when we read about Jesus-about his nature, his character and his attributes, we get a glimpse of God himself.

NOTES

1: http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/

2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initial_singularity

3: https://nickyfisher.com/2015/05/25/a-spiritual-defense-strategy/

https://nickyfisher.com/2015/06/14/a-spiritual-defense-strategy-acronym-2/

https://nickyfisher.com/2015/07/06/a-spiritual-defense-strategy-66-jell-wast-mush/

 

All ye who are weak and squeamish… all ye who are already teetering on the edge of that great chasm of despair…all ye who cannot bear to see truth in all its gory frightening detail…be warned! Herein lies your very own darkest nightmare! Enter ye not without strength, fortitude and courage…!

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Greetings, fellow travelers in time and space! I established in my last post the sense that even if God doesn’t have a “dark side” to his nature, it certainly seems like he has. Just look at the trouble and suffering we see all around us. Look at all the wars and commotion in the Bible. And why, in Heaven’s name, does God admit in Scripture to even causing some of the suffering directly? It’s enough to provide an excuse for millions to ignore God or pretend God doesn’t exist, and for many more to turn away from the faith or be weakened. Surely an all-powerful, all-loving God would stop us from suffering, wouldn’t he?

This human tendency to blame God for everything which isn’t according to our own plans and schemes is starkly conveyed in the Bible book of Job. For those who don’t know, Job was a good man, and also very prosperous. Satan accused God of spoiling Job. Surely if Job’s life was tougher, he reasoned, Job would turn against God. Job, claimed Satan, was “only in it for the money”. God then allowed Satan to give Job a very bad time in many tangible ways. Job seemed to be totally unaware of Satan’s involvement in his afflictions and even of Satan’s existence. He put the blame for his dire circumstances squarely on God, and felt like God had turned on him and viciously attacked him without a good reason.

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Here I must declare that I’m not one of those who thinks that anytime something goes wrong it’s the devil causing the problem. Neither does the devil make us do wrong. There are many reasons why we suffer: I’ve written about some of them in my series “Why Do We Suffer”, and I’m convinced that most of our problems are not direct attacks from the truly “dark side” of the spirit world.

What I’ve never personally heard in any preaching or teaching on the story of Job is this question, or any answer to it: Why did God draw Satan’s attention to Job in the first place? Couldn’t God have just kept Satan’s attention away from Job? Or then, once Satan’s sick and dastardly ire was aroused, couldn’t God have just told Satan exactly where he could go, i.e. the Lake of Fire? But instead, God called Satan’s attention to Job-virtually inviting him to pick on the poor guy, and then gave Satan the go-ahead to seriously afflict Job and his entire family, to see what Job’s reaction would be.

I hate to say this, but we could probably spot many similar situations in the Bible. And such questions apply to our own lives and times, don’t they? They’re the same questions, essentially, as I outlined in the first paragraph.

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But this is dark stuff indeed! This is where many or most Christian ministers fear to tread, as do most believers. This, dear reader, is one of those matters we all refuse to even consider for a moment, because it’s just too horrible. It’s like Luke having to face Darth Vader while being trained by Yoda, or Rey having to face the truth about her parents and herself while being trained by Luke. Yes, we’re back to the Star Wars analogy!

How can we even imagine that a God who we are told is both “Love” and “Light” would allow or even encourage the most evil creature in the universe to put any of us to the test! It seems almost like we as humans are the subject of some enormous game, or in a freak show, or that we’re entertainment for our cosmic spiritual masters!

Ah, but before you believers give up on me and dismiss me as a snake in the grass, and accuse me of pouring discouragement upon you, I will here clearly state that I’m certain that “God is Love” and that “God is Light”. There is an ultimate resolution-an ultimate and entirely good “balance” to all things. Here we are considering the great paradox-the problem and the question all humans at one time or another wrestle with: God loves his world and his creation, yet also allows the dark side of our existence to take its course.

There is a way through (but not around) the dark side of our universe, and there will be a time when Light and light alone will prevail. There is an answer to our problems, and no, God is not both light and darkness. However, I’m sorry to say that the resolution will not be discussed today! Come back for part three!

 

 

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