I went for my church cell group meeting this afternoon. My church cell group rarely meet up these days because everyone is tied down to their respective commitments and issues, but I decided that I shall take some initiative to get people together since I am feeling a little better these days. Today’s turn-out at cell group was small, and we had sharing session with one another.
A cell group member that I shall call Jim was giving something like a mini-sermon to a fellow cell group member who is new to the Christian faith. Jim was saying that he had friends who thought that Jesus’ love for humanity by dying himself is not all that superior because they might choose to die as well if their death saved other people. Jim said that God’s love is different from just the death of a human being to save others because God chose to come down to earth to be a human being, even though he was God, and that he died for the undeserving people like us who are sinners. The new member said at the end of Jim’s talk that he would like to read more of the bible to find out about what Jim said.
I didn’t say anything while Jim was giving his evangelical sermon, because I didn’t want to turn the session into a pedantic theological debate; certainly not when there is a new Christian around where I can think that there is a greater purpose to help him in his faith. But since I am with myself now blogging this post, I shall write about the thoughts I have regarding what Jim said.
What Jim said is not something that I would find unfamiliar amongst Christians of my evangelistical circles. They are trying to draw out God’s superiority compared to human beings, even on traits such as love. But I am at the point of time in my life where I am full of doubts of God’s love, and am somewhat cynical and skeptical about some of these assertions made by fellow Christians. Why should God be considered superior in his expression of love just because he is God when he choose to die for humanity? It is not a fair evaluation in my opinion, because someone may choose a similar action if he or she were God as well. Is it unthinkable to ask the question what one would do if he or she were placed in God’s position? Which brings me to my second point of reflection – What makes God God? I wonder whether God asks such a question to himself – “Why am I God instead of something else?” My point is that we as human beings find ourselves bornt into an existence as human beings, not by our will, but simply as how reality would have it. Isn’t God subject to such a mystery of his own existence as well? That he finds himself a superior spiritual entity by virtue of simply ‘being’.
I encountered a matchmaking question on a dating website which is relevant to the point I made above. That question asks what you would do if one day, God were to tell you that he would like to trade position with you as a human being for a day because he needs to be a human for some reason or another. Would you give ‘God’ his position back after the day has ended? There are some really interesting multiple choice responses that you can choose to this question. One such answer is “Yes, because I have no right to usurp the position of God.” Another is “No, I would make an awesome God.” Yet another is “No, I probably can’t do much worse as a God anyway.”
I have always wished that God was more interventionistic in solving the ills of the world and in my life, but I admit that I don’t really know whether such actions would necessarily be good. I believe that there is a movie with a similar theme about playing God titled Bruce Almighty starring Jim Carrey. The storyline is about a man who gets to play God by God. I haven’t watched it yet, but I have read a synopsis on it, and it seems to feature a moral of the story that one might make things worse rather than better even though one thinks he is using his power as God for the better. And there is that oft quoted pronouncement by Lord Acton that “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I wonder whether that applies to someone as God as well. Yet, I also wonder sometimes, at the risk of sounding heretical, whether I can do some things for the world better than God if I were in his position.