The wrong God.
November 7, 2013
You’ll never believe the awful story I read this morning. A parent – someone who should know better – put a very dangerous, but enticing, object in the middle of a playground, and told the kids “don’t touch it or you’ll die.” Well, kids are kids. And you can imagine what happened next! Yep, the kids not only touched it, but sure enough they died. The parents’ response? “I warned them. They got what they deserved.” You can read it here: Genesis 2:17, Genesis 3
Okay, so if you went to the link you realize it’s a Bible story. But it’s one that forms the basis for our views of God and man. If a human parent were to do what God is said to have done in that story, he could very likely go to jail. And should. Yet we are willing to attribute some very awful qualities to the Almighty that we wouldn’t tolerate in ourselves. Why is that?
Job asks, “Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?” (chapter 4:17) If we truly believe that God is the cruel and arbitrary ruler portrayed in that Scriptural tale, what can our answer be to Job’s question?
The Apostle John tells us that God is love. (I John 4:8) And James describes “the Father of lights” as having “no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (chapter 1:17) Jesus assures his followers that his heavenly Father “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matt 5:44) James again declares, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (chapter 1:13)
That story in Genesis (which is only an allegory, by the way) is not the only version of the creation of man. In the very first chapter of Genesis is a more enlightened viewpoint. One that presents both God and man as more in keeping with spiritual reality. Here, man is said to be made in the image and likeness of a God that knows, sees, and creates only good. That’s certainly not the case with the second story. And both stories can’t be true.
When we look around at destruction and violence and ask “why would God allow that?” we’re thinking of the Adam and Eve God who punishes and condemns. But the real God, the God that actually loves His creation and cares for it without variableness, the God Jesus knew and followed, is not the creator of evil nor the tempter of man.
Mary Baker Eddy explains in Science and Health “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.” (page 390) This is a straightforward and doable means – a prayer-filled and heartfelt way – of redeeming both the situation and our viewpoint of the divine. And it heals.
Don’t let the wrong God govern you. There is only one God and He is good, infinitely good. You are the image and likeness of invariable Love.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.