Where is god? Has he gone into hiding? Is he having another rest like he did when he created the universe in 6 days? Here are 5 ways we can tell that god doesn’t care.
1. Abuse by his own representatives
If there was something that would anger any god, what would it be? What would cause god to intervene in our daily lives? Surely nothing would anger him more than those who use his name to gain the trust of others only to abuse that trust. If god can act (which according to scripture he can and does) surely this would prompt action? Despite this we have seen various forms of abuse occur in the name of god.
- Slavery. Throughout history slavery has been justified by various religions. The Bible appears to do nothing to discourage it and actually tells readers how to treat their slaves.
- Oppression of women. Even today the scriptures are used to justify the roles of men and women in relationships. The abuse of women in Islam is regularly in the spotlight, but many other religions are not far behind in their treatment of women.
- Child abuse and sexual abuse. The movie Spotlight shows the horrendous prevalence of child abuse in the catholic church. However, there are plenty more examples like this.
- Financial abuse. The poor are regularly expected to pay tithes. On the other hand, many religious leaders use this money for their own enrichment and lavish lifestyles.
Just looking at the 10 commandments, you would expect to see a few that deal with these issues. Not only are they not dealt with but god was nowhere to be seen when people were being enslaved. He was silent whilst children were being abused. He was absent when poor people were giving their last pennies to a wealthy church.
2. War and famine
As stated in Matthew 17:20
“…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
and John 5:15
“…and if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
When millions of people are being effected by wars and famine, you would assume there is a proportionate amount of prayer. Think of parents praying for their hungry children, wives for their husbands at war. Think of all those popes, bishops, ministers, kings and queens who have prayed for this or that. If the prayer of ONE of these people could have stopped a war, why didn’t it? If one prayer could have stopped hundreds of children from starving, why did we not see god intervene?
In the Old Testament god seemed more than willing to get invovled in wars. God tormented the Egyptians and their armies to help Moses and the Israelites escape from Pharaoh. God stepped in to help Joshua conquer Jericho. He helped David and the Israelites beat the Philistines. Not only did he get his hands dirty in these wars but he left no doubt that he was involved . He didn’t hide. He parted seas, made walls fall and brought down the giant, Goliath, with a stone from a sling.
I'd like to add to this post now (2020) to include what has happened with Covid-19. How was god involved in this catastrophe? If he didn't create the epidemic (I thought god made everything?) then what has his involvement been in helping mankind through it? Was his intention to kill off the elderly? Did the prayers in one country help over the other? I think this would be research well worth doing. Maybe a future post! But it would appear that Covid has had the same impact wherever it went. It certainly does appear to have favoured Christians over Muslims or Hindus for example...
Where is god?
So why not now? Has he become lazy? Disinterested? Are people of our day not worth listening to? Do today’s problems (which happen on much grander scales due to sheer numbers) simply not matter? Are there no people with faith left on the planet? Nobody in all the billions who is able to speak to god like someone in the old testament?
For goodness sake, previously he was happy to make wine for a wedding. He shrivelled a fig tree. Gave the multitudes a buffet lunch. Were the 70+ million who died during World War II not worth a miracle?
Both of the above reasons lead to the third one. Silence. Where is the booming god of the scriptures? He previously never left people wondering when he was angry.
- Noah’s Ark. God was angry enough to destroy the world with a flood. No subtlety involved. No messing around. Just make it rain for 40 days and wipe everyone (apart from a lucky few high and dry on the ark) off the face of the earth.
- The Egyptians. The poor Egyptians got plagues. 10 of them! You would think that a few magic tricks would have worked? But no! The Nile was turned to blood. Then frogs, locusts, flies, pestilence and more. Last but not least god slaughtered every firstborn Egyptian (“thou shalt not kill” evidently doesn’t apply to god). Nice.
- Sodom and Gamorrah: A bunch of people were “misbehaving” and got blitzed with fire and brimstone.
- Christ’s death: As described in Matthew 27:50, when Christ died, graves opened and the dead walked the streets of Jerusalem. That’s a pretty good show from god right there. The zombie apocalypse.
Why do we not get to see these shows today? Maybe we should be thankful that we don’t but it would send a pretty impressive signal. Why has god stopped these clear shows of force? Has he stopped caring?
4. His Intellect
Humans have created gods in their own image. A little like a man (it’s almost always a male for some reason), just smarter. In reality we are talking about a being of immense complexity. We cannot even begin to comprehend such complexity. After all, this being created the universe, it’s rules, matter and life. Right?
Let’s picture for one minute, an advanced alien civilization. Say that this civilization created our universe, terra-formed our planet and dumped us here as an experiment.
Do you think they would expect (demand) to be loved by us? Is that what validates their existence? Do they watch our every move to make sure we’re being good. Are they worried about when, how and with whom we have sex. Are they judging us for the food we eat?, Do they expect sacrifices such as animals (and the odd child here and there)? Does this alien civilisation condemn those, who are living out their experiment, to eternal torment if they break a few rules? What about if they don’t believe in the aliens or that they created us?
Why would a being of this intellect care? What would make it demand to be loved? Why would it worry about some petty and ridiculous rules being followed? Men create gods in their own petty, small-minded image.
5. He Doesn't Exist
God doesn’t care because he doesn’t exist. The concept of a god provides humans with a sense of purpose. More than that, it cements our place in the universe as “the special ones”. People hang onto their religions because they think that there has to be something more. Well, there doesn’t. We aren’t entitled to a second chance like in a video game. Yes, the thought might not be the most comforting one, but then the universe doesn’t owe us comfort.
When it comes to faith in a higher power, my questions to believers are:
- Have you heard god talking to you? And I don’t mean in your head, in a sunset or by some sign. I mean the booming voice of the god of the scriptures. The god that talks from burning bushes. The one that tells Abraham to sacrifice his son. The god who tells Noah how to build the ark.
- Has god parted the seas for you? Have you seen him flood the wicked? Have you seen any zombies lately? I suspect none of the above. Has he done as much as move a single drop of water from its normal path? Made it fall upward for example?
- Have you asked yourself why not? God seemed willing to make regular appearances thousands of years ago. No task was too trivial. Why is god not popping in for tea anymore?
We have to then ask what is more likely:
- God has stopped visiting us for whatever reason. We’re not his chosen people or we’re not holy enough, maybe?
- God never visited us in the first place and people of the time created stories which grew into legends which grew into gods.
The answer to me is simple. There is no reason to believe in a god. It’s most likely that he doesn’t exist and even if he does, he certainly doesn’t care.