So God probably knows stuff that we don’t know. But if we knew what He knew…would we come out to the same conclusion?
Perhaps…but perhaps not. Which leads to the next section…
DO WE VALUE WHAT GOD VALUES? IF NOT, WHY?
Let’s start with the center of all my theology…but this is where I get cautious, because this is where the lines are drawn. How someone reacts to this statement reveals something about our spiritual disposition…
God is self-centered.
But let me explain…God IS ACTUALLY THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. When we say “Jimmy over there is self-centered,” we are criticizing. Jimmy is not actually the center of the universe, and therefore, for him to be self-centered is bad. But God is actually the center of the universe, so for Him to be self-centered is good. EVERYBODY SHOULD BE GOD-CENTERED…including God.
Does that mean that God is selfish? I guess that depends on how you define selfish…but no. Because the concept of “good” and “morality” is not something that God wrote into existence, but more like something that God IS. So when we are God-centered, we also happen to be centered on the paragon of morality and goodness…because He is. As Jesus put it…”Why do you call me good? There is only One who is good…” (was Jesus denying that He was God? Or rather saying “Are you calling me good because you know that I am God?”)
So is God self-centered? Yes…and what I mean is that since God is the most important being in the universe, He knows it. He doesn’t bashfully pretend that He isn’t important. Therefore, the most important thing in the universe to God is Himself and His glory.
Most people get mad at a statement like that. But the reason they get mad at that statement is because they think that God prioritizes Himself AT THE EXPENSE OF people. But no. WHEN GOD IS THE CENTER, EVERYBODY WINS.
God created your digestive system, your taste buds, and food for His glory. When you enjoy how food tastes, you use them the way God wanted you to use them. God gets glory as the inventor of this neat system. You enjoy food. Everybody wins.
God created my reproductive system, and my wife’s reproductive system. I will spare you the details that you don’t want to hear about, but we enjoyed what God created of ourselves. Then, she conceived. I am convinced that Abrielle has her mom’s nose, but my eyes and ears. I’ve never reproduced a child before. I have now. It is really freaking awesome. But since God created our reproductive systems, we glorify Him when we use them for what they are for. He gets the glory, we get to enjoy the benefits. Everybody wins.
When sin entered into humanity, part of the temptation was “you will be like God.” Therefore, sin involves us being “self-centered” instead of “God-centered.” This hits us on multiple levels, both macro and micro…
Micro: The individual. Sin’s presence in me makes me inclined to want to glorify myself and make decisions for myself (about actions or what I think is right and wrong), rather than glorify God and let Him make decisions for me.
Macro: Mankind as a whole. We judge things “Right” or “Wrong” based on how they benefit or harm mankind. Sin inclines us to want to have authority…we want mankind to be the decision maker on what is “Right” or “Wrong.”
So most of us have a MAN-CENTERED framework of morality, rather than a GOD-CENTERED framework of morality. And then…get this…we measure God to OUR standard of morality (implying that these are rules that God has to play by…implying that the rules are ABOVE Him).
Even good Christians do this. Here’s a test…you believe that God is good. Why do you believe that?
Most of the Christians I ask this question answer with the following: “Because God gave me His son, so that I wouldn’t go to hell but so that I would live with Him forever!” BUT DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM? I believe that God is good BECAUSE He gave His son for me. I measure God’s goodness or badness on whether He serves mankind or not. What He does for ME is what makes Him good. What He does for US is what makes Him good. Do you see the problem here? Are we willing to say that if God didn’t give us Jesus Christ, that He would be bad? Like He owed it to us? Like the higher power of morality demanded that it’s underling, God, obeyed it by sending His son?
God is good because good is who He is.
So does this mean that someone should be God-centered at the expense of mankind? No. Mankind is important to God…mankind is close to His heart. He values us. Therefore, when someone is God-centered, they treat mankind better. But I have noticed that when someone is man-centered…they always deteriorate to valuing someone based on what benefit they are to mankind. A God-centered person treats each person with the same value that God holds for them. A man-centered person views the doctor as more valuable than the retard or the handicapped because of how much they benefit society. A man-centered person might start out valuing mankind…but societies like this degenerate until they view the elderly and disabled as WORTHLESS.
So to put this long side-tangent aside, ALL MORALITY IS BASED ON THIS: Are we God-centered or man-centered? Do we treat God the way He wants to be treated? If God is the center of the universe, and if God is perfect, then He has the right to require this.
So based on this alone, even without all the other things that could go wrong, if God said that idolatry was deserving of death, isn’t this good and right?
And if we disagree…why do we disagree? On what basis shall we say that “Murder is deserving of death, but idolatry is only deserving of a stern warning or perhaps a five-minute time out”? Do offenses against man make us angrier than offenses against God? Why?
God is for Himself (which is good!) and along with that, God is for anyone who chooses to be on His side. He has made being on His side very easy (the only requirement is faith in Jesus Christ), although it is very hard for our prideful nature to prioritize Him over us.
SO DO WE VALUE WHAT GOD VALUES? If not, why not?