"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another Flawed Concept of God--or--What's It All About, Adam?

      God doesn't allow suffering lightly, and he certainly doesn't cause it. Suffering is the natural consequence of sin. The great tragedy is how the relatively innocent must suffer for others' sin. It's that "free moral agent" thing.
      He gave Adam, and through him, us, the ultimate gift of volition. That is the greatest part of our likeness to him. What Adam did with that gift is a matter of record, and if Adam hadn't put his foot in it, I would have.
      I've thought a lot about this "meaning of life" thing, and I've tried to view all the religionists' neat Bible interpretations within the correct context: they are just as fallen as I am, and put their pants on one leg at a time ... unlike me. I usually can't find 'em.
      God didn't create heaven for himself. He created it for us, as a place where we could have the most intimate fellowship with him for eternity. For that to happen, he had to make us, as much as possible, like himself: He is tri-une, or three-in-one. As God is Father(intellect), Son(physical), and Holy Spirit(duh), we too have a cognitive, self-aware mind, a physical body and a spirit. The three are interrelated, interdependent, inseparable.
      He is self-existent and eternal. Since he created us, we are obviously not self-existent, but to live with him for eternity, we must be eternal. Eternity has no past/present/future sequence. It's all "now." As temporal beings, our perspective is restricted to time, so eternity doesn't make sense to us. But when God takes us out of time, we'll understand eternity.
      He is infinite. We can only understand infinity in the mathematical sense, but God is infinite in scope. If there are other times, he is there. If there are other universes, he is there. If there are other dimensions, he is there. If there are other realities, he is there. While we aren't infinite, our minds are nearly so. Witness the proliferation of Sci-Fi/Fantasy stories floating around. If there is a limit to our corporate imagination, we haven't approached it as yet.
      That takes us to a characteristic that is, for us, related. To have created all the universes, God must be absolutely creative. He gave us creativity as well. We too can create universes, albeit not literally. We create them in our minds. We can literally create things that lie within our scope; the arts and sciences are our tools.
      He is absolutely knowledgeable. He knows all that is and all that is not. He knows all that happens, all that could happen, and because he is eternal, he knows all that will happen and all that will not happen. We too are knowledgeable, but not on the infinite, eternal scale of our creator. Who knows what we would know if we had not begun the process of genetic entropy by defying God?
      All the energy in the universe is only a spark compared to his infinite power. He gave us power as well, but sometimes we have to look for it. We have mental, spiritual and physical power to accomplish things. We have strength of character, strength of will and strength of intellect.
      Combine his eternity, his infinity and his unlimited knowledge and power, and we see that he is everywhere, doing everything he does, simultaneously. Talk about multitasking!
      God's other attributes propel his wisdom. He simply knows what's best, without regard to shifting circumstances. Humans have a sort of wisdom, and it gets us into more trouble than our stupidity. When we temper our natural wisdom with God's eternal wisdom, things go right. Why don't more things go right? We so easily confuse worldly wisdom with God's divine wisdom that only by knowing his word, our source for his wisdom, can we live right.
      The Bible says, "God is love." We might have a capacity for various forms of love, but we are certainly not love. In fact, God's brand of love confuses us no end. To us, love is a transient feeling often generated by hormones and unmet needs. Even when we work to understand the Biblical concept of God's love, we seldom get it right. God doesn't love us for anything we are or do. He loves us because it is his nature to love. The Bible says, "we love because he first loved us." Only by his example can we ever get it right, and the only way we can profit by his example is if we open our minds and search for his works.
      We have to distinguish between God's various attributes to discuss them, but like his triunity, all his attributes are interrelated, interdependent and inseparable. Like all the elements that go to into making a complete human being, God's attributes combine into the perfect person that he is. Each of God's attributes is perfect and absolute, but he is not the sum of them. He is the synergism of them.

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