I’m not quite sure why but it seems many believers have a theologically compromised position in their defence of God. Possibly because they believe the bald reading of scripture or consider God to be capable of both good and evil. So much so that they end up portraying the Divine in the worst possible light – that is, a Deity who fluctuates between good and evil depending on Divine ‘whim’ (if there even is such a thing?)
We see this in Noah’s understanding that God was about to bring a Flood upon the earth from which only he, his family and the animals taken with him, would survive. So certain was Noah of this fact, that he presumed that only he and the family would be saved and was rather undone later on to find out that people (and not smaller undeveloped life-forms) continued to inhabit the earth long after the Flood waters abated. How confused was Noah at this outcome?!
At the core of Noah’s misunderstanding is his belief that the family and he were being singled out as lone saviours to the world. Why? Because he believed that God was for them and against others. Rather than seeing God’s instruction of making an ark to survive the Flood as pertaining to his own family’s survival, Noah presumed they were the only ones chosen and that everyone else would drown in the process, leaving them to repopulate the earth with ‘godly’ people – which is only possible if we don’t have freewill to choose!
However, what Noah and the gang didn’t understand was that God’s love would extend to all people, irrespective of whether they believed in God or not. How do we know this? well, because Jesus goes to the cross to take the sins of everyone and to make restitution for all who believe. Hence, why Noah presumed he and his family would be singled out for salvation/redemption while others would be condemned – rather like the Pharisees who years later would despise Jews (in Jesus’ time) for having withered limbs or being born blind or having leprosy or engaged in nefarious activities such as prostitution or didn’t adhere to working on the Sabbath (to name but a few!).
In short, religiosity and belief in their own self importance led many to the conclusion that God was for them and against everyone else when really, (as shown by Jesus who is God incarnate) the Divine loves all and does not have favourites – or least not in the sense of those being saved and others who are not.
Personally, I believe Christians would do better if they were to ‘Keep God Good’ in their conversations. To believe God is capable of dualistic outcomes – that is, destroying the innocent along with the guilty – is to misunderstand the Creator and sustainer of all things good and holy. It also perpetuates the idea that God is dualistic, capable of doing good and evil to bring about His Kingdom – and we know the latter is impossible.
Til next time…the gloves are off!