I have been a believer for about 5 years and I thought I was making good progress; then, I watched the show West World on HBO. Some of you may be thinking, “he shouldn’t have watched such a filthy show.” My issue was not with appropriate and non-appropriate, but instead, I found myself really reconsidering God’s role as the creator. Why, if God loves us, would he create a situation and a world with so much devastation and hostility?
I know that the “what if?” game is not helpful, however, I can’t help but wonder why God has done what he has done and if I really even know this God I call Heavenly Father. We have Satan/ the devil because he is said to have rebelled against God due to his envy and jealousy. God is still in complete control though right? Christians answer, “yes, of course,” so if that’s true, God didn’t have to let him rule “the earthly realm” and instead he allowed it.
God could have created just heaven and not allowed for a fallen world (earth). Why angels in heaven and humans on earth? Why not angels and humans just in heaven? We could think that “well, it’s our fault because we rebelled.” Good old Adam and Eve! However, in Genesis, it talks about “We” creating. Christians think of this as the trinity. Jesus is thought to have always existed. With Jesus always existing, we can think of a premade timeline created by God. “I will create man, he will rebel, Jesus will have to be sacrificed, and then Jesus will come back and establish a new heaven and earth free of evil.” The story is already written and in that story, we sin because without it we wouldn’t need Christ.
As Christians, we take comfort in this and we take comfort in Christ. We renounce evil and sin and we just hold on tight and dearly to Christ. I am a Christian, but I’m not sure that I love God. In this life we have parents and there can’t be a child without a parent (however the sperm got to the egg as modern technology allows many ways). However, you do not have to love your parent (and yes, I have a good relationship with my parents). After everything the human race has been through, I cannot love God. I honor God and respect His authority just like I do with my parents. I do not deny his existence and I have faith in God being who he says he is; however, I can’t love Him precisely because of who he is.
I believe the Bible and I think it is an instruction manual that we should live by, but I can’t help but acknowledge that we are pawns in God’s game. God is all-powerful and no one can challenge him. We are born (into sin? If so, we never had a chance) and the only choice we have is to renounce ourselves and surrender to Christ. You have two options: “heaven or hell.” Is that really a choice? Will many people end up going the hell route because they are stubborn and for many reasons hate God? Yes. But if we think about it we don’t really have “free will.”
We have “free will” in a duality. “You can choose whatever you want, but at the end of the day its heaven or hell.” That is only two options. We think of free will as this huge open expanse of volition and as a blank canvas just waiting to be painted. It’s heaven or hell. From the beginning, the end was known. Is that really a story that excites us? Christians are just sitting around waiting to go to heaven and then worship God for eternity. Depending on your theology, something has to happen or so many people have to be saved, but at the end of the day, we believe that Christ will return and eternity will ensue.
I wish God would have created a third option where you go to just be. (Christians are thinking "He wants to be his own God! How dare him!) But wouldn’t it be nice if we could have an existence where we make choices based on learning and experience and relationships? An agnostic world where we make it however we all collectively decide to make it or struggle for ceratin “right ways” and “wrong ways” of doing. I am saying a world free of God and Satan. I imagine this is the world of the naturalist, but usually, they still fight against the idea of God. What if we didn’t have the idea of God or Satan to fight about?
In the Christian world, the answer is always God or Christ. Christ will save, heal, guide, inform, lead, perfect, and so on and so forth. That really takes out our role. A friend of mine likes to say “I can’t do anything for God, because he sustains himself.” We all believe this: that before there was a universe God existed and he didn’t need us, but he WANTED us.
I see this world as the game that he wanted. He wants to be worshipped. He wants his power acknowledged and feared. He loves us, but we only get to love him in heaven if we surrender our will. God always wins. I see no point in sin or rebelling because it only hurts me (yes, the bible says it hurts God and it hurt Christ, but they were always to remain in heaven no matter what. The same can’t be said for humans. Our fate is actually at risk and we aren’t automatically bound for heaven.
I am sorry this turned out to be so long, but I needed to get this out. I highly recommend West World to anyone interested in this idea of what a creator’s actions say about himself and what that means for his creations. I will continue to be a Christian that reads the bible, prays, and does my best to abstain from sin. I will share my faith because I do think that learning to free oneself from our sinful nature is more important than anything. I am not sure how not loving God will play out for me, but I’ll find out one day. I’ll have a lot of questions on that day if questions are allowed…
And to everyone thinking “he has been misled by Satan,” thank you for the insight, I do not think that is the case. God created us with extremely capable minds and I intend to use mine. God did not prevent us from examining him and questioning him. However, our examination must end in the statement “God is righteous and perfect” as we are not allowed any other answer. I do not want to be God or have his powers. I think sin is horrible and that evil is horrible. Please don’t confuse this as someone falling into Satan’s hands.