I get in a lot of theological conversations with people. It’s my job. I rely heavily hypothetical questions as a tool to get Christians off of the script and begin thinking with their logic centers as opposed to memory centers.
Usually from there we end up at some sticking point. A theological of philosophical principal which is unsupported, but fiercely protected often to a believers detriment.
Calvinism is a big one for a lot of believers, they feel that if God sends people to hell he is unfair, and he would cease to be God. On the other side of the issue there are some 5 Point Calvinists who think that if God didn’t choose and foreknow, then he must be only partly sovereign, and partly knowing and would therefore cease to be God.
For some people it’s not Calvinism at all, I spoke to a person recently who’s sticking point was comprehensibility. He kept saying “But God’s logical, he made logic” as he struggled wit the idea that something might be true of God that he didn’t understand yet, because in his mind if God stopped making sense he would cease to be God.
Sometimes the sticking point will find me. “Omnipotence doesn’t mean God can do anything” said one person “For instance: he can’t lie”. Sure God can lie. I can lie, God could totally lie! He doesn’t and I’m very thankful for that, but if he chose to what would stop him? “If God lied he would cease to be God”…no…
We get very defensive over these sticking points, we dig our feet into the ground and won’t budge, there’s a lot of fear involved. Sometimes this fear leads us to stay around toxic people or churches despite our better judgment, or to push away newer more mature ideas and fear learning because it may cause us to doubt. In short, fear leads to dogmatism
I’m going to go out on a limb and say I think I know where all this fear is coming from. I think it’s this ceasing to be God business.
Where did we get the idea that any number of things would cause God to cease to be God?
Where did we get the idea that anything would cause God to cease to be God?
Is God Mr. Mxyzptlk, where if you can get him to say his name backwards he loses his powers?
God is not in danger of ceasing. Honestly, Not even close! There are no other qualified applicants for the position. God could spend all day being Calvinic, Arminian, Illogical, and Dishonest all at the same time if he wanted to and he would still be God. This one time, God totally DIED and he’s still God after that. God became a baby and pooped his pants while still retaining the fullness of the godhead bodily.
If God were to stop being God it would be his greatest miracle yet I assure you. It would not be a side affect of anything. I don’t know when we started thinking it sounded smart to say that, but please let’s stop. I think it’s hurting us.
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters»
A Fear of Whalesby Ryan Gaffney