By David Sprawls
"God created man in his own image. And man, being a gentleman, returned the favor." — Rousseau
I was watching a news story on television with my son. The story was from Southeast Asia and presented predictable issues: exploitation, abuse, oppression, injustice. My son said: "Dad, there's proof that there is no God." He is right.
There is no God who functions for the convenience of human beings.
There is no God who descends ex deus machina to set right that which we view as wrong.
There is no God who fulfills the job description humans create for God.
None of this is the same as saying there is no God. If anyone says this means there is no God worthy of our worship, attention or consideration, I cannot argue with them. If anyone says this means there is no God who could be relevant to them, I cannot argue with them. But what the insistence on a God who meets the believer's (non-believer's) criteria reflects is humanity's insatiable appetite for small gods. Insisting on a god who functions the way a human thinks the god should boils down to the human creating god, rather than the other way around.
Any rational human being should look at the evil, suffering and injustice in the world and doubt the existence of a just, loving, caring God. But denying the existence of such a God is myopic. It reflects mankind's endless, constant and irresistible quest for a small god. A god small enough to fit between our ears. A god who is comprehensible. A god who is without mystery.
The God whose existence I doubt but in whom I am convicted with faith is mysterious and incomprehensible. Although this God is almost a complete mystery to me, I am blessed with convictions regarding my relationship with this God, what that relationship calls me to do and how it calls me to live. This faith is a blessing. I am not under the illusion it is a personal virtue.