MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Creator = Owner

January 15th, 2008 Visited 1885 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series God on Trial

Young Photographer

To come to the topic of God and justice, we first must define who God is– what is His standing. I know that this will be philosophical and theological, but hang with me, because it’s important that we think through these things.

Who does God claim that He is? Of the many things, one that stands out as important to our discussion is that He claims to be the Creator of all that is. In Genesis 1:1 we read that God created the Heavens and the Earth– He spoke them into existence.

God Being Creator Means that God is the Owner

If the girl above takes a picture– who owns it? She does.

If she chooses to delete the picture that she put on the camera, is it within her rights? Yes, because she is the creator and owner of the picture.

If she chooses to print out the picture and light it on fire, is she within her rights to do so? Yes, because she is the creator and the owner of the picture.

Just as the girl above owns any pictures that she would create, God is the owner of all of His creation, and is therefore just in anything He would do with His creation. This includes destroying His creation.

God is Not Just, He is Justice

There is a subtle but important difference here. If God were just, it would imply that there are laws outside of God that God must abide by. (This is the key to the whole “could God create a rock so big that He could not lift it?) God is justice– everything He does is just because of the nature of who He is.

Therefore, it is impossible for God to be brought to trial and to be subject to some higher law, because He is the highest law. He is the yardstick against all is measured.

God is Not Guilty of Criminal Negligence

Steve made the following argument on a previous post:

[I]f you or I did what the supposed God of the universe was alleged to have done and with his foreknowledge and knew that man would sin and let him do that and create an eternal train wreck when we could have reasonable stopped it, we would be charged with criminal negligence. Then I can only conclude, the Judeo/Christian God is guilty of Criminal negligence…

First, Steve neglects to take into account the Ownership of God– an owner has the right to do whatever He wants with His property.

Second, Steve implies that justice is outside of God– that God should be held to a standard. So, he creates his own strawman and then defeats it to try to deflate believers.

What do I mean? He created a god that didn’t fulfil the qualities of God– a god that is not owner and therefore is subject to a law outside of himself. This is anyone but the Christian God, but I can see why this argument is thrown out there to try to make Christians look bad.

So, Why Would God Create Beings Who Would Sin and Then Punish Them?

Asking a why question about God is always tricky, but I’ll do my best. God created all beings, and He wanted to create beings that would love Him for who He was.

It’s interesting that I was reading just the other day that some scientists are expecting us to create robots that people will eventually marry. If you could create a robot that did exactly what you wanted it to, would it truly love you? Yes, it would do the things that you wanted it to do, but it would not choose to love you– that’s a far greater love.

God chose to create beings that would have to choose to love Him– and He gave them the choice. Yes, He knew that they would sin, and that there would be a penalty for it. But He also made a way of escape– a way of love. He would have been just to let everyone burn. He would have been just to put any particular salvation criteria He wanted. Instead, He chose belief, faith, and love.

That’s the amazing God I serve– one that looked at my sinful state by my my own choice, and chose to love me anyway.

Series Navigation<< God on Trial

Comments

7 Comments

RSS
  • Amanda says on: January 15, 2008 at 11:14 am

     

    This is an interesting post. On one hand, I can see where you’re coming from, but on the other hand, there was something I have a problem with.
    First, Steve neglects to take into account the Ownership of God– an owner has the right to do whatever He wants with His property.
    This is true. But it’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re using it as a reason why God can’t be considered criminally negligent. It’s hard for me to swallow, and I worship God! I can only imagine how such a statement would be seen from other eyes. I’d be interested in having you elaborate on that concept.
     

  • MInTheGap says on: January 15, 2008 at 11:42 am

     

    The problem comes from a problem of perspective. We all tend to look at things from a human-centered perspective: my will, my decision, my rights, my choice, what can I do for God, boy does God love me… What needs to happen, instead, is to look at it from God’s perspective.

    He’s the creator, the owner, and He is justice. There is no law higher than him, he is the law.

    Let me illustrate. In baseball, there are a certain set of rules– rules for strikes, walks, safe, out, foul, fair, errors, etc. Yet, even though these are the rules, the umpire is the final rule– the final authority. If the umpire says that a foul ball was fair, it’s fair. Complaining about the call is meaningless, because the umpire is the rule. Even if they were to institute replay, the umpire would still be the one to change the call.

    This is an imperfect illustration of God. He is justice– unlike the umpire who is calling plays imperfectly– God is never unjust. Does that help?

    Again, back to the whole concept of ownership. God can create anything He wants for whatever purpose He wants. The Bible states that He creates some “vessels” to honor and others to dishonor. We only have a problem with it because of our perspective– our pride, arrogance, and the view that somehow we are more just than God. God can’t be considered criminally negligent because 1) it’s not possible, because He is the final authority and 2) you’d have to prove that it’s not in the Creator’s rights to do whatever He wants with His creation.

    Look at it from a different angle… If we were talking about other planets and some were created and destroyed, is He not just in creating and destroying them? Even if He knew from the beginning that they would be created or destroyed? How about the flowers in the fields– God created plants and knew that we would have to consume them… is He unjust for creating things to be consumed?

    The problem comes into play when we think about the fact that souls are more permanent than animals, plants and planets, and yet even then, God has the rights as Creator to do whatever He wants with His creation.

    Another illustration: Many times when you have children around the house you’ll hear the expression, “but it’s not fair!” and they’re right. Life is not fair. We have no expectation of fairness, regardless how hard parents will try to be fair. We can hope to expect justice, but not fairness. Same thing when it comes to Creation– God is just, and yet He gives some people talents in one place, some people He allows to attain greatness, others monetary gain, and some are born with birth defects. We are tempted to scream “You’re not fair, God!”, but we are reminded that all are created to serve a purpose He has.

    The disciples asked Jesus why the man that was born blind from birth– and Jesus answered that it wasn’t because of his sin or his parent’s sin, but that God could receive the glory.

    Ultimately, it all boils down to this concept. We’re all created as we are so that He can receive glory. Pharoah’s heart was hardened and he rejected God so that God could receive glory. We need to look at things from His perspective.

  • Amanda says on: January 15, 2008 at 12:39 pm

     

    You’re right – I was too busy looking at it from my all too human perspective. Thanks for pointing out the bigger picture.

  • Leticia says on: January 15, 2008 at 2:42 pm

     

    God created us to have the freedom to choose Him or reject Him.  As a human, I want to do things my own way even though I know it is wrong, but my Spirit wants to only please, honor and glorify my heavenly Father.  I choose to give my life, my entire being to him freely and willingly. 
     
     

  • Stephen Kingston says on: January 24, 2008 at 9:17 am

     

    I think there is another aspect to this too. Steve may say that God is negligent to create a world when he knows people will sin, and yet God’s creation is filled with sin. So does that not make him the author of sin?But consider the multiplicity of ways in which God could have made creation. It is clear that a creation with no hope of salvation would be deficient. It is also clear that a creation of automatons, without the will to worship God – only to parrot back platitudes – is also deficient.But I believe that what God created was the most perfect creation that is possible. That is to say, he *had* to allow a creation where there would be sin, because no other creation could be as perfect as this one.And what makes this creation perfect and just is that the God who created the universe – who knew what he was getting into, and could clearly have turned away and created none of it, or destroyed it in a moment – it was that God who chose to take the punishment for our sin on himself, humbling himself before men and suffering for our sake.Without him we would not be here, but he made us because in dying for us he could also make his creation into the perfection that could be made no other way.Stephen

    Stephen Kingston’s last blog post..Happy Endings Spoof Foundation

  • Stephen Kingston says on: January 24, 2008 at 9:18 am

     

    oops. Forgot to click the notify button 🙂

    Stephen Kingston’s last blog post..Happy Endings Spoof Foundation

  • MInTheGap says on: January 24, 2008 at 11:10 am

     

    That’s an interesting way to look at it, Stephen. I’ve certainly heard the argument before that we need the possibility of sin in order to have the free will to choose. As well as the concept that if we have to choice but to worship, it’s not as great as choosing to worship. I had not thought through to the point of thinking that this is the most perfect Creation that He could make because of it.

    Interesting.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

%d bloggers like this: