Tag: humanity

Secularism and the problem of humanity

DSC_0057I am not surprised. The news that broke this week about Planned Parenthood is a natural outgrowth of secular thought. Just as superiority of a certain ethnicity is an outgrowth of evolutionary thought. Treating aborted babies as a cash crop is consistent. Stating the alternative of just throwing ‘it’ away a dry juxtaposition on an empty system. We must realize that secularism is not morally neutral.

Religion as a whole has its problems. Though by religion in North America people usually mean Christianity. After all, the voice of the church was not loud when slavery was around, though there were Christians and churches that decried the barbarism. The ills of the past are often thrown in Christianity’s face. Such misses the point of Christianity, but that is for another day. In reality the problem is not religion specific, but of the marriage of church and state that is the issue. What is often decried as “church” was really “state” in past history.

That is the past, let us focus on recent history. In the 20th century secularism took on greater vigor. As evolutionary thought exploded and theologically conservative Christians (unwisely) abandoned centers of cultural influence, secularism blossomed with greater speed. Along with the explosion of secularism was the political movement of socialism/communism/fascism. Society formed a spectrum of tolerance whereby religion was either forbidden, ‘tolerated to a point,’ or said to only be placed in one’s private life, not the public square. The premise of this form of thought is fairness, justice, and what is best for society as a whole. Humanity paid a price.

Racism now had scientific backing, not just a mere political/colonialism one. In the name of the greater good and the shelving to outright forbidding religion the human soul was lost. Religion was no longer to “force” it’s views on morality, though morals were being forced on everyone through secular society: Conform or be labeled and destroyed. In this seemingly progressive period of history, racism fell out of favor, though the strongest supporters of secularism and racism still had cards to play: government and “best for society.”

The slavery of the confederacy was outlawed, and the KKK type things were formed. These too slowly fell out of favor, but eugenics and then the abortion issue came into vogue as KKK types lost favor. Social safety nets also formed under the nobility of the “war on poverty.” Going against the wisdom or the effectiveness of such social help programs is to be going against the poor. Going against abortion is to be on the wrong side of the war on women. Standing for morality based on a religious premise is to be like the racists of the past, except such people are not.

In the United States, slavery, the Confederacy, the KKK, Socialism, Secularism, and Planned Parenthood have one common ancestor. Globally secular and evolutionary thought pays a common price. In recent history secularism slaughtered millions. In the name of the common good or even choice a terrible price was paid: people can be less than human. And when people are less then human, discarding such lesser beings is consistent both scientifically or for the common good. Harvesting human body parts from abortions instead of dumping them in the trash is not unreasonable. The wretchedness of such a juxtaposition is lost upon secularism. Gone (maybe, doubtfully) is the racism, but the pillar of racism isn’t: that a group of people can be less than human.

Secularism is not the answer, for in it we have more people slaughtered than any event in history of mankind, minus the flood. If avoiding religion brings the slaughter of millions, and the abuse of religion brought on its own tragedies, what then is the solution? For humanity could not live up to the ideals of religion, nor could humanity live up to its own ideals in secularism. Racism is bad, that is nearly universal now, but abortion kills more African Americans than any other type of death, bar none. Our social safety nets have destroyed families and heaped upon us the problem of absent fathers. Fatherless homes have a massive impact on crime, mental health, the economy, and education. We now live in the mess created in large measure by secularism. What, then, is the solution?

The misunderstanding of Christianity is that the church is perfect. The church is not perfect, but it is about being perfected by the only one who can change us. The good news, known as the Gospel, is that Jesus showed us a better way to solve problems: Loving sacrifice. Jesus demonstrated this by dying on a cross, though he is innocent, for our sins, though we are guilty. The concept of freedom comes from God and specifically the person of Jesus. For freedom’s sake Christ set us free. Government or secularism cannot solve humanities ills, nor can religion.

Can there be good and nobel secularists? Yes. But, there cannot be a good and noble secular society. Secularism is not morally neutral and has it’s own sins to atone for. But justice and the good of society cannot come at the price of our humanity. We bear the image of God. All people of all ethnicities do. If this were not true, than why did Jesus say go into all the world and preach the Gospel? The greatest mark of equality is not by law, but by Jesus. The only answer for religion and secularism’s ills is the forgiveness that Jesus already provided. There is no other way to balance the scales of justice. Humanity’s sin is too great.

Book Review: Onward by Howard Schultz

 “Starbucks never set out to be cool. We set out to be relevant!” p. 159

Starbucks always fascinated me. I picked up a book “The Starbucks Experience” and read about the amazing organization. Starbucks produces the perfect cup of what I call liquid love. I found Starbucks stores around the area did not follow what was written in the book. This took place at the start of Onward’s story. Onward is an excellent book on leadership. It offers a transformational plan of hope that doesn’t forget the human side of things.

The perfect cup
The book talks about the romance of coffee. While this may not seem to have anything to do with leadership, as you read you’ll see it has everything to do with it. For Starbucks coffee is the main thing. It is easy for organizations to get off the main thing. I picked the book up at Starbucks. As I read I found myself sipping my grande vanilla latte triple shot with whip cream, day dreaming about my first cup of Starbucks. In the business of life I forgot how much I enjoyed coffee. Organizations can forget the romance of what they’re about.

Growth can distract
One key thing I discovered is rapid growth can knock you off the main thing. Growth becomes the objective and not your core. Growth is a good thing. It’s key to many organizations. When growth dominates losing the main thing is very quick and subtle. I became stuck on good coffee after a month of drinking nothing but Starbucks. Coffee went from a drink to an experience. When I got back home, I put in the ‘current brand’ of I used at the time. I took a sip. I spat it out and visited my first Starbucks store. When an organization loses what’s core, it’s not palatable.

The right tools
A proverb my Grandpa often said: “If you want the job done right you need to give people the right tools.” Starbuck’s rapid growth masked a venti sized whole… infrastructure. The discussion on equipping people with the right tools and supporting the team was critical to Starbucks turn around. Infrastructure and the right tools places a foundation to sustain growth.

“The volume and duration of our partners’ jubilation exceeded anything we had heard or seen that day, providing proof of just how desperately our managers needed better resources and how hungry they were to do a better job.” p. 206

Humanity
The most refreshing thing about Onward is something so vitally missing from our culture: humanity. Howard Schultz should be commended for running a business that does not forget humanity over profit, humanity over difficult decisions and humanity over what’s best for each store. This stood out most in the discussion on why Starbucks offers healthcare to even part time employees. Howard’s love for his dad was evident. Never forget where you came from. It would be a different world if organizations helped people didn’t just use them.

The Abstract
Abstract aspects that detail number cruncher types cannot wrap their minds around came up often. I’m not criticizing these types of people, they’re important. It is difficult to lead the ‘numbers types’ when you’re a dreamer. Onward will help you greatly in navigating this challenge in building your team and organization.

The bottom line:
Onward by Howard Schultz is a must read leadership book. It combines all the essential elements for leadership. It also offers hope. Even when an organization loses its way, it can turn around and get back on target. And, in that turn around it, organizations can embrace humanity in the process.

Why I stayed in church

I’ve constantly dealt with the question of why 20’s and early 30’s were leaving the church. I never asked why I didn’t leave. Here is a first attempt at answering the question. It revolves around one key thing: God.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 1:6

Religion is a crutch
True. We do not need a crutch, we need a savior. We don’t need help or an aid, we need something that will radically change us. The biggest thing to me about the church is the Gospel. The central message of the Gospel is death to life; sin to righteousness. This isn’t found by a right of passage or a self-help crutch. It is founded on Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

Christians are just hypocrites
True. We’re also liars, thieves, fornicators, cheats, gossips, gluttons, drunkards, murderers, slanders, etc. Funny thing is, as I look across the human experience, I see the same thing. The church isn’t made of perfect people, and if it were, we’d at least be liars according to 1 John. Church is family. We’re not perfect, but being perfect is not the point. Again, it comes down to the central message of the Gospel. Church is filled with redeemed people not perfect people.

Church doesn’t meet my needs
True. Here is the paradox of church: If everyone comes to church focused on meeting everyone’s needs, everyone’s needs gets met. Church is not about what you can get, it is about what you can give to others. Why would someone join something that is not about them is a bit crazy. This goes back to the central message of the Gospel: Jesus gave Himself on our behalf. His focus was on our needs and the Father’s will, not Himself.

The Gospel
I did not quit because I believe Jesus died and rose again. Believing this means being a part of a community of people who also hold that belief and seek to proclaim the message of death to life. The Gospel is central. Church is not about what I get, but as Jesus modeled, church is about what I give. The hardest principle to get is realizing the church is not about me, it’s about Him.

The Church
I embrace the church because it is Jesus’ most prized possession. In pursuing Christ and helping others, ultimately our own needs get met. In getting the focus off ourselves we gain depth and a spirituality that can only come from the grace of the Cross. In church we realize the greatest need of all mankind and the only solution. We’re messed up, and knowing that fully, Jesus still reached out to us.

The bottom line:
I did not quit church because Jesus did not quit on me, those in the church, or those who still have not heard the Gospel. The church isn’t perfect and neither am I, and that’s ok. Christ is the one who makes us complete and perfect. The problems of church become less and when I pursue God and help others more.

Unspiritual warfare…

The Bible teaches about spiritual warfare and depravity. Both are important to keep in mind, but we tend to ignore depravity. Often we view that good things are blessing from God and bad things are from Satan. This puts us in a seemingly innocent place. Satan can “bless” (the Bible often speaks to the unrighteous prospering) and God can be the source of “bad” (the Bible also speaks of trials and testing that God allows in our lives). It is dangerous to ignore our depravity.

The path to sin

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when list has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” ~ James 1:14-15

Lust is a desire that we have: hunger, thirst, sex, acknowledgment, etc. God designed us with certain appetites. He did not create us as unemotional beings. Being tempted is not a sin. Desiring is not a sin per se, but there are frequent times when our own lust carries us away to sin. This is not a spiritual battle, this is our own self we’re talking about. We often choose to sin because we want the sin that is before us.

The reality of sin

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” ~ 1 John 1:8-10

John’s letter was written to Christians. He gives us a reality check: we sin. While in Christ we are saints, the reality of our current condition is we will sin. To ignore this fact is to miss the mark. This is not a spiritual condition, it is a human one. We are depraved. But, in Christ we have forgiveness. While Christ covers all our sin, there are sins we need to scrub out of our lives. This is not a tragedy, it is a reality. Christ took the tragedy upon himself so you and I can be forgiven. We can be clean.

The choice to sin

“Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” ~ Romans 6:12-13

In Christ we have the freedom of choice. We can choose to be righteous. We can choose to sin. The power of being in Christ is that sin does not have power over us. Christ broke the bondage of sin. God does not describe this as an easy choice. He knows that we often desire the sins before us. When sin reigns in us, it’s because we let it. The power of Christ gives us the only way out.

The bottom line:
We avoid the fact that we are depraved as it leads to what we loath even more, responsibility. To ignore our depravity is to ignore the power of the Gospel. Christ on the cross broke the bondage of sin. Reality is we will struggle until we see Christ face to face. Depravity is the greatest equalizer we are all guilty, but in Christ everything changes; not making us better than others, but making us free.

In Christ we are: a new creation, saved, sanctified, cleansed, an heir, family, royalty, a crown, alive and righteous. In Christ we are saints. If we ignore our depravity we forget that we are nothing without the Gospel. If we ignore it, we can lose sight of the hope that is to come: a time when there will be no more sin. In Christ we are free. After all, He won!

Dream: Living the dream

Faith discovers great dreams. Living the dream is not about amusement, fantasy or having all the answers. Dreams require pursuit to be lived. Living the dream is living by faith. It is the bedrock for both the great and small.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” ~ Hebrews 11:1-2

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” ~ Hebrews 11:6

Will happen, not might
We live for our dream because it will happen. This is not a gamble, this is a reality. It fully understands adversity, but adversity is couched in certainty. As people of history and now passionately pursued God, they know that what is to come will. Dreams exist not in vapors, but in stone. “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” ~ Hebrews 11:15-16

Define great
Living the dream is not about having great things, but doing great things with what you have. Jesus tells a parable of a master who gave his servants Talents (money). To one he gave 5, another 2 and a third 1. The master judged the servants based on what they did with what they had. The servants with 5 and 2 Talents doubled and were blessed. The servant with 1 Talent nothing with it. This angered the master. Everyone will not be great in how society views greatness, but we can all do  great things! (We’re expected to.) Think growth, instead of achievement.

Hidden treasure is worthless
If a man hides a pot of gold and it is never found the gold is worth less than food scraps or dung. Food scraps and dung turns back to dirt and is usable. Such at least does something. Hidden gold does nothing. Living the dream has nothing to do with status or possessions, but everything to do with God. A better day is coming. Until then, what are you doing to pursue that?

Pursuit more than destination
The pursuit of the dream is more important than the destination. If we pursue God, He will lead. You can’t steer a still ship. If you want the dream you have to go for it. God gives to those who pursue. Pick a direction and pursue it. And, know that God will likely change your course. Or, He may not. Either way, we must move.

The Bottom Line:
Live the dream. Don’t worry about what to do or even where to start. Focus on pursuing God and working with what you have where you are at. God will lead. So dream, but don’t hide your ‘Talent.’ Reflect on this though:

“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” ~ John 3:21

Dream: You say that I’m a dreamer…

Dreamers pursue God. They are not inward focused, self-serving, trite or vengeful. Dreamers pursue reflecting who God is.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 1:6

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 3:13-14

The goal beyond self
We choose our attitude. The book of Philippians focuses on Paul’s attitude. This attitude, and the whole mindset of the book is a passionate pursuit of God. The book is an internal focused book. It is an attitude check. The goal Paul refers to is beyond self. The key is found in Phil 2:5- having the same attitude that was also in Christ Jesus.

Being is the focus

The best dreams are ones that focus on being, not doing. If there is any lesson that is crystal clear in the Bible it is this: we cannot earn favor with God. Doing, achieving, possessing means nothing if we fail to be who God wants us to be. Focusing on who we want to be will have greater impact on what we do. Our attitude affects everything. Dreamers need humility. Great leaders and people in life show this attitude. Focus on being humble. It works! Look at Christ.

God is the dream
Regardless of our history, our present or our future, we get to be with God. This is why our attitude and our focus on being is so important. No matter how good or bad, rich or poor, healthy or ill, we can posses our dream. This is why the best dreams are the ones that focus on being. A slave can be a dreamer. An alcoholic can be a dreamer. A murder can be a dreamer. A single mom can be a dreamer. An orphan can be a dreamer. Dreams are not about our situation but our destination. The Gospel forges our dreams in Christ, not our wishful thinking or our own power.

Why be a dreamer
There is more to life than now. There is more to life than our preferences and whims. Dreams move us beyond ourself. Dreamers pursue being the kind of person God designed us to be in the places He puts us. God did not create us as an afterthought. God does not save people to merely escape Hell. There is a story, a masterpiece that is your life. Pursuing God paints this work of art.

The Bottom Line:

In the craziness of life, no matter how upside down it us, we have a choice: we can pursue self or we can pursue God. God made us to reflect who He is. Perhaps it is time we take God seriously. There is a work that He wants to accomplish in our lives. It starts with an attitude change and a focus on being who He wants us to be. Reflect on this thought:

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” ~ Ephesians 3:20-12

Dream: Mr. Sandman…

God is the Sandman, the author and artist of a masterpiece that is you. Dreams are not fairy tales, events, or possessions. Dreams are reflections of God’s glory in and from your life.

“The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground…The Lord God fashioned into a women the rib which He had taken from the man…”
~ Genesis 2:7 & 22

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them male and female He created them. God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…’”
~ Genesis 1:27-28a

The God who fills things
We believe in the God who fills things. God filled creation, He filled the temple, He filled our days and He fills our very being. God is a designer, an artist, a musician, God is a dreamer. He thrives and exists in community. God is as poetic as He is just. The very concept of dream is rooted in the purposeful creation of you… ‘that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.’

God as creator
The order of creation mirrors and exhibits God’s desire to fill things. Days 1 through 3 God creates the space and then fills it days 4 through 6. Upon His good creation God placed the crown jewel: mankind. From the sand God made us, purposefully, artistically, in community. Mankind was not a blank slate of random chance, God made mankind the visible finite image of the infinite God. He blessed the human race. And God commanded mankind to fill the Earth.

Time to dream
Starting on Day 7 of Creation, God creates the Sabbath. Sabbath, meaning 7th day, also caries the concept of rest. It was time to stop and smell the roses. It was a time to reflect. It was a time to rest. Later in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy God institutes feasts where His people could celebrate, learn, reflect, teach, and ultimately enjoy Him. The Sabbath and celebrations focuses on one key thing: to remember God. In remembering God, He reminds us of who He wants us to be.

God is the Sandman
The danger of not dreaming is forgetting God. Lack of dreams is not a loss of purpose, a depletion of vision, an absence innovation, busyness or exhaustion. A lack of dream or dreams is forgetting who artistically sculpted you from dust. God forged dreams in the purpose for your life, for you carry His image. And, once in Christ, that purpose, that dream becomes crystal clear. You are not a mistake. God made you. He gave you a dream.

The Bottom Line:
Even with the confusion of life, we must remember God. A dream answers this question: How is my life to glorify God? How is my life to reflect who God is because I carry His image? Whether you naturally dream, are in limbo, are busy, are apathetic, or life has you exhausted, reflect on this thought:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10

Book Review: Switch by Chip & Dan Heath

Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, writers of Made To Stick, deal with “how to change things when change is hard.” The book shares encouraging stories and a helpful process for change.

Humanity not process
Switch develops a process around the most obvious fact: we’re human! Many change books view change from the perspective of process vs the perspective of people. Reality is, people make or break change more than a process. The greatest benefit of Switch is its process places our humanity into the equation.

Think holistically
The book takes a holistic view to the change process. Too often people like to segment things, avoiding how things connect. Left brain types (stereotypically men) fall into this category. If you’re an left brain type this book will greatly benefit how you enact change.

Elephant riding
Having a change process is more important than no process at all. The book has an interesting intersection of modern psychology and philosophy in is use of the Rider & Elephant metaphor. The metaphor is the foundation for the book and very helpful. Each section has helpful exercises to develop your elephant riding skills.

Style
While the content is solid and helpful, the style of the book is frustrating at best. There are no topic heading in each chapter, just numbers. If you want to use the book as a reference, mark it well. The stories read like a stream of conscious. It is good training and helpful to left brain bullet pointed types, but you will find it frustrating. Being a right brain stream of conscious type, it slightly annoyed me as well. For a book focused on a process of change, the layout and style is not helpful, almost to the extent of being a hindrance.

The stories are inspirational. They are worth reading through and will help you process how change. One thing I struggle with is whether or not the process is really a change process vs the book being about people who were creative in making change happen. This is a broader philosophical discussion but worth noting.

The Bottom line:
If you are left brained analytical type, Switch is a must read. If you are a right-brained creative type, a more analytical book would benefit you more. The book is solid and a change process is better than no process. The greatest strength Switch; it’s holistic. Too often humanity is left out of the equation. Change is as much art as it is science. In fact, I’d say its more art. We are human.

Faith is not the absence of doubt

At BBC there is the all holy seminary reading room. It’s a humorous title, it’s just the seminary room. One day we were brought into this room. I do not remember which professor it was, but I do remember the warning:

“Many of the books in this room were written by men who knew more about the Bible then some of you ever will, but they missed the point.”

It perplexed me that many of the Bible study tools we have today were built on the work of those ho actually doubted the Bible or doubted inspiration and inerrancy. How can doubt produce coldness to God in once sense, and bring others closer? I don’t know, and hence I’m perplexed.

I do not think scholarship, reason or doubt is the enemy. I do not think giving up these things in the name of faith, pragmatism or focusing on what is most important is biblical. Let me give an analogy for each:

Faith: We sit in many chairs without seeing them first verifying they will hold us up. I say that as I sat in my kitchen chair one day and it collapsed underneath me.

Pragmatism: There is nothing pragmatic about romance. ‘Nuff said.

The biggest thing: Coffee brings me great joy in life, but it’s not the meaning of life. (Though, enjoying it does help ponder the larger things in life.)

Often in churches we get very nervous when someone questions or doubts. We get more nervous when someone declares their doubts. In our quest for Christ likeness, do we forget Thomas- one of the foundation stones to the church. Saul was a doubter. The Roman centurion was not. Is one better than the other? I think not.

The Bible has stories of doubters. I do not think doubt is the enemy of faith, but squelching doubt is. The trial by fire for each human is different. For some it will be life circumstance, others pride, addictions to some and some it will be doubt. People will succeed or fail in these challenges.

Truth is truth. If the Bible is fully truth, as I believe and I am convinced of, then in the end truth will prevail. And if we fear those who doubt, or worse question whether they are really saved in the first place, then we poison the situation. The Bible makes it very clear that salvation is solely a work of God and kept by God. The Bible makes very clear that humans will doubt.

Is our faith in God or in people who don’t doubt? Do we believe salvation is by faith or in people who do not sin? How we approach issues can prevent the ability to help or open the door to greater depths of our faith. Which is more important to us and God? Yes, God gets frustrated by doubt. God also gives them an answer in due time. The bigger issue is pursuing God.

The Bottom line:
Squelching doubt is an odd form of denying the power of God. Like any other challenge in life, we should treat doubters with love, patience and respect. Not from  superiority and they are wrong, but a human understanding that each person has their own trial by fire… Let’s be honest, we all at times have doubts. God knows that.

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13

God really is the answer:

Peace, harmony, and righteousness can only happen through submission, forgiveness, and humility at the cost of control, fairness and honor. As humans we crave and fight for control, fairness and honor to get peace, harmony and righteousness. Often this fight is couched in the terms of fairness or equality. God pursues peace, harmony and righteousness through submission, forgiveness, and humility. We demand our rights, God gave them up.

Equal and Distinct
Father, Son and Spirit are co-equal and co-eternal, yet they do not function that way. They are equally God, equally in power, equal in their knowledge, ability: they are God, and they are one. The mystery shouldn’t be all that difficult except for our distaste for one word: Submission.

We hate submission because we crave control. We hate submission because we crave and push for our equality. In various discussions on equality, I wonder how people can push for their equality and at the same time fully claim pursuing Christ? In such a pursuit, one is pursuing a right that Christ did not pursue. Christ submitted.

There can be no harmony without submission. I am not addressing one area, but this concept holds true for marriages, teacher-student relationships, teams, organizations, etc. Our demanding equality often comes at the cost of harmony.

Fair or Grace
Fair is Hell. Life is not fair. We so demand fairness, but it constantly alludes us. Good people can make stupid choices, while evil people succeed. It makes no sense, it is not fair. Viewed another way, was it fair to God for Adam and Eve to eat of the tree? Was it fair for Cain to kill Abel, even after God warned Cain not to? Is it fair to execute a perfectly just man?

We scream at (or ignore) God because being who He is, He allowed unfair things to happen. Some even think God gains some sick pleasure at watching people suffer. Does He? No and in turn gives graces. Grace and mercy are not fair. God would have been perfectly fair in destroying existence after the fall. He didn’t. God did what we value above nearly all virtues, He did not give up. God did not reject people, people reject God. As we demand, so often, fairness from God, we look in the mirror and find we, again so often, are not fair towards Him.

Grace, Mercy and Reconciliation by their very nature are not fair. You and I may wonder why God is taking so long to make things right, we must remember something: In waiting God gave you and I opportunity to reconcile with Him. The only fair thing is for all to suffer. God waits desiring non to suffer. God did what was most unfair: He forgave, He provided a way out by accepting what He most loathes and cannot tolerate.

Two conclusions:
1) It seems to me the total of human History is God proving without Him there is only pain, suffering and chaos.  After all our efforts, we cannot escape our own depravity. Put ourselves in God’s shoes: If we wanted to create something and have a relationship with it, but at the same time wanted to give our creation freedom of choice, would we allow the chance of rejection? If we didn’t, did we truly give freedom of choice? If rejected, what would our actions be? What would the result of our creation be?

2) We want all the goodness of God without the accountability. The greatest ‘crime’ for man to accept God’s existence is the accountability that results from it. For the God of the Bible to exist, there then also exits an external standard we are accountable to. We run from accountability because it destroys another thing we humans desperately crave: control. Ironic that God in creation gave up control and gave us choice.

The Bottom line:
Perhaps the Biblical God is right after all. Humans abuse religion in the name of God, government in the name of justice, and reason in the name of science. We cannot escape that we have a soul, that we are depraved, and that all our progress leaves us in the same plight. We really do want peace, harmony and righteousness. We just love control, fairness and honor more. Interesting Jesus’ words: “He who desires his life shall lose it” and “The meek shall inherit the Earth.”