Someone once told me he knew there was no God because there was too much evil in the world. Another, who had suffered horrible abuse at the hands of a “Christian” man, believed God Himself was evil. I’ve heard many say God is too busy to take care of everyone so He has a chosen few and that’s that. Many others believe He put the wheels into motion and then just left us to our own devices. Modern philosophy says truth is relative; there is no absolute truth—choose a truth that makes you happy.
I was accused once of stealing from an employer whom I thought was my friend and one who trusted me. She chose to believe a truth that was a lie. I had an absolute truth. I did not steal anything from my employer. Only after she was confronted with all the facts did she accept the truth that I had been her friend and I was trustworthy. Even when she found out the truth, there was no apology. She hurriedly buried it in a pretense to retain lost ignorance. The absolute truth was unpalatable, too hurtful to actually entertain, the consequences too much to bear. Is it possible there is an absolute truth regarding the existence and character of God?
You can say God has kept a diary—a collection of books, songs and letters gathered into one volume we call the Bible. It’s His diary concerning the age of man’s quest for the knowledge of good and evil. God’s story seems to get lost in a seeming conflict of history and science. His name is hi-jacked by people using His credentials to lie, cheat, steal, and abuse. His character doesn’t come into question because He is assumed guilty or non-existent. I suggest we look to His hand-written record to search out who He is. I like the way Captain Mal of the Serenity puts it–“Let’s suss out the truth.”
First we must accept the Bible as more than a nice collection of stories. The pros and cons can be found all over the internet. This is your first choice. What do you choose to believe? If you choose to reject the Bible, the search is over before it began. Not only must you reject the authenticity of the Bible but all books written about the Bible and all theological discussions that begin with the Bible. Something that has no value should not be given any thought or time or energy. A fake Picasso is not offered up for debate in an auction house. It is not given press or validation of any kind.
I believe so much is written to dispute the Bible because it is a threat to those who want to control our choices. It is no accident that it is outlawed in many countries, including North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan, where these governments hold their citizens in an iron grip. People who believe the Bible to be truth don’t lock unbelievers in jail or behead them for preaching against it or blackball them from their jobs when the Bible is belittled and Jesus maligned. The very vehemence of the attacks against the Bible and Bible believers give the Bible credentials.
Choice is given to each person by God. Jesus says He knocks on the door; He doesn’t break down the door or crash through a window. He knocks. Jesus is never an uninvited guest. He doesn’t browbeat, coerce or blackmail. When we refuse to look honestly at the Bible, we degrade the value of choice.
God didn’t want gingerbread men; He designed us to be His companions. Before Adam hid in the garden, he walked with God in the cool of the evening. I like thinking about those walks. God made Adam the garden as a pattern for the world, a visual aide to inspire Adam in the work God gave him. There is no reason to assume Adam never left the garden. What if he and God walked along the beach? What if they hiked a mountain? Did they talk about Adam’s new idea for the valley below? Did they pet the bears and panthers? Did they feed the squirrels sitting on their shoulders? What was the world like before Adam chose death over life?
God is not responsible for evil. Evil was a choice. God valued Adam’s choice more than the perfection of His creation. If God’s character was that of a man’s, He would have snapped His fingers and vaporized Adam and Eve right then. The marvel of God’s character is realized in how He read between lines. He loved Adam despite Adam’s cowardly accusations; He sympathized with Eve’s seduction by the serpent and He called out a gloating Satan for the trap he had set.
Before the foundation of the world, God determined what Adam’s creation would cost and Jesus agreed to pay the price. Everything about our world was done with intention. Somehow, we’ve come to believe that we have the right to understand all the ins and outs and how comes and why thats. We don’t want to believe there’s Anyone or anything bigger, smarter, wiser and more beautiful than us. The funny thing is, we fight to be in control when God has already given us control. He gave us choice. The truth that our choices overlap and crash into and destroy each other’s choices is a consequence of believing we don’t need an absolute truth to help us choose life and not death.
God told Adam to choose life (Gen 1:16-17). He called Abraham to come to a new land for life (Gen 12). Joseph told his brothers that God was behind everything that happened to preserve life (Gen 45). God urges the new found nation of Israel to choose life (Deut 32:44-47). Jesus preached from the mountain, “You cannot choose two masters.” (Matt 6:24) The remainder of the chapter is about how to live your life. He is telling us that any choice that does not bring us into a life-relationship with God leads to death.
I know we all pass from this dimension, this time, this earth into eternity. What’s on the other side is our choice. God doesn’t want gingerbread men in heaven. He doesn’t kidnap and take us where we don’t want to go. He wants all who want to be with Him to be with Him forever continuing an eternal life we choose when we choose Life.