Tuesday, 4 March 2014

If I Was God

If I was God I wouldn't waste any more time. The world has too many horrible things in it for my liking. If I was God I'd be removing tyrants from power, teleporting murderers onto island prisons, destroying gun factories, curing cancer, and cancelling debts. There is too much evil in the world. Today would be judgement day.

If I was God...

This kind of wish fulfilment fantasy reveals something about God. God either can't or won't do those things. The Christian claim about God is that God is love, so "won't" is out of the question. But what about "can't?"

For a long time we've allowed our understanding of God to be defined by ideas of earthly power. Power is the ability to force our will, we've said. So we say that divine power must be the ability to force divine will. But what if divine power is not an infinite version of human power? What if our own ideas of power are if a different kind of power to God's power?

God showed us divine power in Jesus. Look at the way he treated people, even his enemies. It is weak in the eyes of the world. It is a different kind of power to Caesar's power. Caesar's power puts its enemies on a cross for all the world to mock. Jesus' power goes against social expectations and has a meal with the outcasts. Jesus' power rejects the crown and accepts the marginalised.

Even in the midst of cleansing the temple, Jesus did not hit anyone. He used a whip to drive out the animals (John 2). Matthew, Mark, and Luke don't mention a whip, only that he drove them out. In Matthew, the very next thing that happens is the excluded people (the blind and the lame) come in to the temple and are healed.

The truth is that if I was God I wouldn't bring judgement day today. No. If I was actually like God - even just a little bit - I'd be more interested in lifting up the lowly than I would in punishing the guilty. If I was God I'd be a better man than I am today.

If I was God...

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