Q & A With God
I’ve been amazed at the quality and depth of the questions that have been texted in each evening for Q & A with David Asscherick this week. True, there were the frivolous and trite ones—“How fast does David run a 5K?” “Can you have a class for your sound effects?” “What is your tattoo of?” etc. But the vast majority of questions that Pastor Rodlie and I sorted through in real time were earnest, thought-filled and even challenging ones: “Doesn’t this self-disclosure of God and this internal, personal knowledge of God’s reality become a sort of fideism [a school of thought that faith is, in some sense, independent of reason or even adversarial to reason]?” Think that one through. Here’s another: “Dawkins would reply to your question about the plane [the Air France crash at Toronto airport that prompted motorists to stop, race across the field and risk their lives to save the trapped passengers] with an explanation of the herd instinct [a tenet of psychology describing the inborn tendency to associate with others and follow the group’s behavior]. What explanation do we have for the herd instinct?” Hmmmm. “Are those denying God merely denying their false perceptions of Him?” Good question. “I believe all u have said…But I want to [know] isn’t Darwin correct? Isn’t the essence of our existence selfishness? i.e. Born in sin shaped in iniquity?” And one more: “I know that [if] I had the capacity to intervene in the holocaust I would have. What is God’s excuse?” Q & A with God—do you suppose He minds? Some time ago I came to the conclusion that the highest value in this universe—the highest value God Himself values—is freedom of choice. Higher even than love is the God-given, God-guaranteed capacity for free choice—for there would be, could be no love without the capacity to choose. I.e., love—in order for it be love—must not only give you the right to say YES; it must also give you the right to say NO. You have the freedom to choose. Thus, this capacity of free choice necessitates a universe where reality (and administration) can be questioned, challenged, even argued. God wasn’t describing philosophical Q & A sessions, to be sure—but Isaiah’s rendition of God’s offer deserves repeating in this context: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’” (Isaiah 1:18). “Let us reason together,” or as the NIV renders it, “Let us settle the matter.” But this divine penchant for reason and reasoning? Why would the infinite God be willing to be this vulnerable and open Himself up to questioning by finite minds likes yours and mine? Because Love’s highest value is free choice, and there can be no free choice if the capacity to question, to challenge is removed. In short, God could not be the God He declares Himself to be—a Being who engages His entire creation through self-sacrificing love—were He to outlaw Q & A in His universe domain. So the next time a God question wells up inside of you, or a friend vehemently challenges your own faith or belief(s), remember that that very question represents the free choice Christ died to defend and preserve—the freedom to say YES or NO to the Eternal. That so many would choose to say NO is the measure of the value God still places in our Q & A with Him.