A Just God?
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An anonymous individual wrote Talk Back 78 - Nowhere does the Bible say God is 'fair' to clear up what he or she considered to be misunderstandings in my perception of God. Perhaps I don't have the correct perception of God - after all, believers cannot agree amongst themselves on how God should be perceived. I don't have to select a single perception of God not to believe in. I can question all of them.
However, the writer believes that faith is a gift from God. If God is giving out gifts, I suggest that the author of Talk Back 78 ask God for the gift of courage so he or she can provide a name when proselytizing. After all, in the USA (based on IP address), no-one is placed in physical danger by professing a Christian faith. Why has this person chosen to be anonymous? It does not suggest that the writer possesses a strong faith in the message.
However, the character of the writer is not the main issue. Rather it is the message that he or she is trying to communicate.
Let us consider "faith as a gift from God." If that is the case, then God has chosen not to give this gift to most of the people in the world. God has not given it to atheists, agnostics, Confucians, or Buddhists. Presuming, based on the writer's reference to Ephesians that it is a Christian God, then that God has not given the gift to animists, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Baha'is, Jews or the followers of any other religion. And if the writer is considering only the God of those Christians who agree with the specific message of Talk Back 78, then most Christians did not get the gift either.
But that is God's decision. As the writer states, this gift of faith is given "as He sees fit." So, why is the writer going against God's decision by writing to me to change my mind? After all, God did not see fit to give me the gift of faith.
Now, if the writer is one of those Christians who believe that only those with faith go to Heaven, and the rest of us burn in Hell, why the claim that this God is just? Is it conceivably just that a God arbitrarily selects a few to believe in Him, and then rewards that few for being given belief?
According to my dictionary (Webster's)
- right or fair, equitable, impartial
- deserved, merited
The writer's God fails under all three definitions. The writer's God is not just by any reasonable definition. The writer's God is a vengeful, malicious, arbitrary, capricious, petty tyrant. This is more a judgement on the writer who chooses to believe in and worship such a pathetic deity than a judgement on the benevolent God so many other believers choose to follow.