Religion column: The foolishness of God
Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 27, 2019
By Fr. Jonathan Filkins
The very idea that, somehow, God has some form of deficit, is capable of some errors in judgement, runs counter to the very definition of the “perfect” creator. After all, if God is fallible, then upon what foundation does our belief system stand?
We have, over the millennia, attempted to create God in our own image; replete with the many foibles which mankind possesses. This contrasts markedly with the obverse, as we are told we were created in his image. Yet, we know our visage is imperfect. The Greeks and their theological cousins, the Romans, were quite eloquent in designing a polyglot of flawed deities; most of which served the state.
It all is rather complicated. Let us observe, even our own attempts to make ourselves, as God, are doomed in both design and execution. We seem to know this, but reliably and repetitively try, with a particular regularity.
If God is perfect, as Christians believe, then it must be blasphemy to purport there is any foolishness connected with any part of him. Yet, the examples of a seemingly poor judgement are all around us. In the Creation Story, God waited to the very last to create the most problematic entity: us. At first, we wandered around the Garden of Eden in our subline innocence, enjoying being with our Creator and in Paradise.
Being less than God, it was we who committed the error of sin and put ourselves in the place we are this day. This may be all well and good, but it does not explain away God’s lack of sound judgement in us. After all, it would have been far easier, and a lot less complicated, to not have created the heavens and the earth, the beasts, and lastly us in the first place. God could have made it all so much simpler without all of this drama.
Yet, in this thought process, we are ascribing our oh-so-human perceptions. We only have so much time and energy; we have only a limited intelligence, in spite of our gifts. God’s limitless powers are inconceivable to us. Never being tired, never running out of resources, and never running out of patience and understanding are, somehow, beyond our ken.
There is a lot we do not understand about God. In truth, we understand very little. In recent days, we celebrated the gift of the Son of God, our Savior Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice for us. What an extraordinarily strange and costly gift. While the benefit is clearly given for us, the loss of an only son is most profound. It may be in our milieu to question the soundness of the choice. In other words, to question God.
However, it is not for us to understand God’s purposes, but to readily, gratefully acknowledge his presence with us upon this earth and the promise of spending Eternity, with our Creator. With the Christ ascending into Heaven and the prophecies fulfilled, we have been instructed to wait, with all of the patience we can muster. It is so easy to run out of patience, and devise our own strictures to God’s plan. Consider this is the foolishness.