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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Inescapable Desire to Be God

We want to believe that we can control anything and everything. We can control the weather if we just get global climate change (formerly known as global warming) under control. We can control the economy if the Federal Reserve gets its act together (This was the reason for the Federal Reserve's creation, right?). We can control morality if we will just accurately preach the word of God.

I heard the latter attempt at complete control espoused at a political rally masked as a concern for morality in America. The sponsors of this rally invited preachers to a two day event in which they claimed our "sad state of morality" could be blamed on preachers not strongly preaching the word of God.

At first, I hung my head as if I hadn't done what God expected of me. It made sense if you didn't think too deeply. After all, wasn't my business responsible for preaching the word? Wasn't the word going to change the morality of those who listened? The short answer is "no."

The Holy Spirit works to convict people. He may use their hearing the word preached to do so. His conviction does not guarantee that they will comply.  For example, I heard that the red light cameras that were set up in France were torn down by the citizens. The country decided not to replace them. Every government relies on the compliance of the citizenry to comply with the laws. Anarchy will reign in any country when a majority of people cease obeying the laws. That is, of course, the definition of anarchy. Compliance, not knowledge of the law or even policing of the law, is the only way a law will be obeyed.

How do you explain Adam and Eve's rebellion? Did God not adequately "preach" the word to them? Is the fall of mankind ultimately God's fault? No, Adam and Eve decided not to comply. Their desire to be "like God" superseded their desire to live within God's will and fellowship.

Why should I believe that my preaching will be more powerful than God's? I can't and don't. I would first have to remove freewill. That is something that God is unwilling to do. That is something I am unable to do. I must preach the word but depend upon those who hear to comply. This is their own decision just as it is their decision to ignore the word. I can only be obedient for myself. I can't be obedient for another person.

Is it possible that we will learn that we will never be God? Our society has never gotten over the original sin of wanting to be Him. Our own religious climate agrees with the secular world: we are gods if we can control everything. This means we control morality as well as the physical world.

This means I must always be aware if I am trying to become God. The greatest parents have had grossly immoral children and blamed themselves. Those who have lived carefree with their finances win lotteries and have millions of dollars coming in every year. We cannot control the world. We can only do our part.

I, for one, believe wholly in doing my part. I, on the other hand, do not believe I can control my world. However, the desire to believe this never seems to leave.

Genesis 3:4-6 (ESV)
4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

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