JESUS 101: Was God in Error? [part 1]

JESUS-101-003-w.jpg

The President of the Philippines paraphrased his version of the Adam and Eve story into his speech, after which he was bluntly colorful in his criticism of God. After he laid out how Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, the president stipulated that God basically set them up for failure. How? By putting in the garden dangerous elements such as the Serpent and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that would eventually tempt them to sin. Then, there is the commandment itself. Why would God give such a command? With these questions hanging unanswered, the president concluded with a question, “how can you rationalize a God like that?”

As a believer, I have to, at least, try to provide an answer.

First, allow me to tackle the president’s critism aspect on God’s being. This whole episode reminded me of another person who was critical of how God handled things. His name was Job.

Job was a wealthy man and was considered “blameless” and “upright” according to God. One day, the devil came before God where He boasted about Job’s goodness, but the devil argued that Job is only good because God had favoured him extravagantly. In the long run, after some cajoling by the devil, God had allowed the devil to put Job to the test to see after the devil’s torment if Job would turn and curse God. Job passed the first test, when after losing his business to marauders and all ten of his children to a devastating catastrophe, he still blessed God in his prayers. But then the second test was when the devil had inflicted upon his body with horrible dibilitating skin sores. At first, he seem to accept his circumstances, but after having a lengthy poetic discourse with what he thought were his friends, he bemoaned the injustice that God allowed evil people to prosper while he suffered. Job wanted to confront God and complain. Now, it would seem that Job may had gotten the upper hand of the argument, but God had a big lesson for him.

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said, “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” [Job 38:1-4]

So, what is the lesson for us? I don’t know about you, but if God decides to come to correct me in the midst of a whirlwind, there can only be two logical ways for me to face him, with fear and humility. Why? Fear is easy enough. Anyone capable of controlling the weather is worthy of fearful respect. As the Bible says, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…’ [Proverbs 9:10] As to humility, the question that God brought up about where was Job… or that matter, where was I or you… when He laid the earth’s foundation… well, you have to see the logic. It is arrogance of any of us to be critical of God, especially when first you don’t have His power and lack the experiential knowledge of Creation. Fortunately, Job learned his lesson and he was blessed beyond imagining.

Meanwhile, there are many people who still wonder whether God erred and why we are paying for it? We will tackle this in my next post.

Until then blessings to you,

Johann Q

Response to the Latest News on Duterte

Most times, I avoid making any online comments about political figures in the news. However, I felt I had to weigh-in on the latest controversial speech of the President of the Philippines when after he told of a paraphrased version of the Adam and Eve story, he said… well, let’s say that he was bluntly colorful in what he called God. [video link here] But my comments will not be on his use of language.

Instead, I read something more from his speech that should be a clear sign for Christians to pay attention. If you cut out the president’s colorful language which is not cool, he does bring up a very fundamental point especially in God’s character. After the President laid out how Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, he stipulated that God basically set them up for failure. How? By putting in the garden the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that would eventually tempt them to sin, after which he asked, “how can you rationalize a God like that?” I can appreciate his point of view because at one time in my early Christian days when I was reading and studying the book of Genesis, I asked a similar question, “Was God in error in putting the forbidden tree in the garden?” In my book, this is an honest question.

Of course, in truth, God does not make mistakes. But if someone asked you to show how you know this, would you be hard pressed to adequately explain? This is important, for the President had mirrored the world’s lack of truly knowing God. The Apostle Peter wrote, ‘Always be prepared to give an answer…’ (1 Peter 3:15) Christians, don’t waste time in emotional outcries. I encourage you to get yourself ready, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

For those of you who have questions about God, please put them in the comments below. I will post them in my blog. Then, in my JESUS 101 series, I and others will dedicate time and effort to guide you to an answer. How about it? Any takers?

Until my next post,

Johann Q

PS… look for my attempt to the answer the President’s underlying question in my next post – JESUS 101: Was God in Error?