Sunday, February 08, 2009

"God's ways are higher"

Where have I been? It's been a busy year, and I haven't spent much time on this blog. Several have written emails to me in the past year, but I have not yet responded. Let's get back to some of your concerns.

One person observes:

I also was brought up in a very devout Mennonite family and have recently found myself having questions about God, creation, the Bible, my life. You name it - I have questions about it.

I am basing what I am writing on the belief that there is a God and He is Creator.

As I read through the articles on your website I was struck by a thought - if we could understand everything about the way the earth was created, human nature, science, the mind, etc... through human intellect and reasoning wouldn't that, in itself, nullify God. It seems to me that one of the attributes of God is that God's ways are higher than our ways and God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts. If we could figure everything out using our human mind and understanding that would mean we are equal to God - just as intelligent as He is. Is that possible?

I am grappling within myself about the questions I have about God: How did the earth come to be? Why are there so many, what seem to be, inconsistencies in creation, the Bible, theology - just as you have written?

But then I think of my own experience and how I have felt God's presence in such remarkable ways. I have seen miraculous things happen. Is that just my emotions, my mind, nature? It is written that we are to walk by faith and not by sight. Where is faith in all of this?

Could it be that God has left things unanswered - not all aspects of things - but that perfect connection, the perfect answer, the one thing that nails down the theory for the very fact that it requires faith to believe in Him? I don't know. I'm just putting it out there.

Right now, I hold to my belief in God, not because I have all the answers, but precisely because I don't.

Thanks for listening,

Could it be that God's ways are higher than ours, and that we really can't understand him. Sure! That is certainly possible. In fact, if a God did create this world, then it seems obvious that his ways would be higher than ours.

If God's ways are higher than ours, does this prove that this person has the correct religion? I think not. For if this person could prove he is right, since God is unknowable, then religions that radically differed with her could make the same claim. But religions differ greatly. Can all be proved to be right by using this argument? Can you see that an argument that leads to the conclusion that all religions are right cannot be a valid argument?

If God is not fully knowable, doesn't that lead us to the position of agnostism? If God's ways are above us, and we can't fully know those ways, then what is wrong with saying, "I don't know?" Why "nail down the theory" of one faith by accepting it on faith, when you know that you would be "nailing down the theory" of another faith if you were in different circumstances, with everyone around you nailing down another theory?

The writer speaks of feeling God's presence, but how can she be sure of what she felt? For if God's ways are unknowable, and she feels comfort, how can she know God comforts? If she feels guidance, how can she know God guides? To assume that these feeling come directly from God implies that we know what God wants to convey to us. But if God's ways are above us, and we can't understand them, how can we make definitive statements about how Gop wants us to feel? And if we can't know how God wants us to feel, how can we be sure that a particular feeling was caused by a direct intervention from God?

So no, I don't understand that the argument that our ignorance about God proves that a certain religion is right about God. That conclusion just doesn't follow.

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