A lot of Christians believe that God is omnipotent. That means God has the power to do anything He wants to do. There is nothing God can’t do.
That belief, though, causes lots of problems for Christianity. Could God have prevented the recent school shooting in Texas? Well yes, of course. God can do anything. Could God have prevented the kidnapping and murder of a 10-year old child? Yes, of course. God can do anything.
Well, why didn’t He?
Could God stop all the bad things that happen in the world? Yes, of course. God can do anything.
So why doesn’t He stop all the bad things?
Most Christians are at a loss when faced with that question. If God has the power to do anything He wants to do, then if He wanted to stop all the bad things that happen in the world He could, but since He doesn’t stop the bad things, then obviously He doesn’t want to stop them.
So why doesn’t God want to stop all the bad things that happen in the world?
Christians don’t really have an explanation for that that makes sense.
But that’s only one of the problems caused by the belief that God has the power to do anything He wants to do. The belief that God is omnipotent, that God has the power to do anything He wants to do, causes a lot of problems for Christianity, problems that many times Christians just ignore and skip over.
But other people don’t ignore and skip over them. That belief is one of the reasons Christianity doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, one of the reasons more and more people are deciding they simply do not believe Christianity. The existence of suffering in the world is in fact one of the main reasons people give for why they cannot accept Christianity.
And that’s understandable. What kind of picture does it paint of God to see God as having the power to stop a 10-year old child from being savagely murdered but doesn’t because He doesn’t want to? Would you stand by and watch someone savagely murder a 10-year old child if you had the power to stop it? What would you think of a person who did stand by and let someone savagely murder a 10-year old child if they could prevent it?
But yet that’s the view of God much of Christianity promotes. Now of course, people don’t intend to promote that view of God, but by their belief that God has the power to do anything He wants to do, that’s what it leads to.
If that’s the view of God the belief that God has the power to do anything He wants to do leads to, why do so many Christians have that belief? Well, the main reason is that’s what they’ve always been told. They’ve always heard God has the power to do anything He wants to do, and so that’s what they believe. After all, how could God be God if He didn’t have the power to do anything He wants to do? Isn’t that part of the very definition of God, that God has unlimited power, the power to do anything?
Another reason people believe it is because they have been presented with selected Bible verses they are told support it. One Bible verse cut out from here, another verse cut out from there; we are told those verses mean that God has the power to do anything He wants to do, and so we have the “biblical” belief that God has the power to do anything.
We’re told we should believe it, and we’re presented with a few verses cut-out from the Bible that we’re told supports it.
But when you look at more than just a few verses cut-out from the Bible, does the Bible, in its broad sweep, say that God has the power to do anything?
Well, the Bible, in English translation, does refer to God as “almighty.” The Greek word that’s translated as “almighty” literally means “ruler of all.”
But the question is: When the Bible talks of God as “ruler of all,” does it mean that God is “ruler of all” today, at this time? Or does it mean that in the end, God will be “ruler of all”? From looking at the broad sweep of the Bible, I think it means that God, in the end, will be “ruler of all.”
Let’s look at a sampling of verses people use to support the belief that there is nothing God can’t do. One is Luke 1: 37 which says, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Another is Jeremiah 32: 17 which says, “There is nothing too hard for You.” Another is from Isaiah 46 which says, “My counsel shall stand, and I shall do all My pleasure.” There are a number of other verses like that that are often quoted.
Do these verses, though, indicate that today, at this time, God can do anything He wants, or do they indicate that at some point in the future it will be so that God can do anything He wants?
Remember, this podcast asks you to start over and consider a different interpretation of Christianity. My position is that there is more than one spiritual power out there. There are also spiritual powers out there that are opposed to God. And they work against God.
God did not create them. We don’t know where they came from, just like we don’t know where God came from. But they’re there, and they have real power to do things and influence things in the world.
This podcast asks you to see it as God being actively engaged at this time in a struggle against them. They are trying to destroy all that God created, including us, but God is actively struggling against them and will keep on struggling against them until He is finally victorious.
With this interpretation of Christianity, we see that what is really meant is that in the end, God will be the one who comes out on top. In the end, God will be the one who is victorious. In the end, God will be “ruler of all.” Now, at this time, there are forces working against God, thwarting what God wants. God is working now to defeat them, and one day, He will defeat them. At that time, when they are defeated, God will be “ruler of all.”
First Corinthians 15 says, “For He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.” That’s what is going on now. God is in the process of putting all enemies under His feet. He is in the process of defeating the powers of evil that are working against us.
Revelation 11 says, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord…” And then it goes on to say, “You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.” Remember, the book of Revelation talks about the time when the power of evil is finally destroyed. It is when that has happened that God reigns.
But we live in the time before that has happened. And so God is not, at this present time, ruler of all. God will be ruler of all when He finally destroys. He’s fighting against it now, but He hasn’t yet destroyed it.
I believe that the correct belief is not that God is now the ruler of all. It is that God will be the ruler of all.
When we look at it this way, we don’t see God as some kind of vicious monster causing all kinds of havoc in the world. We see all that coming from something else. And we see God fighting against all that. We are assured that, in the end, God will win. Although we live in the time when that has not yet happened, we know that one day, it will.
And so, could God prevent that 10-year old child from being horribly murdered? No, not at this time. But is God just sitting back and letting stuff like that happen? No. God is actively engaged at this very moment in a struggle against the forces that cause stuff like that. He’s fighting as hard as He can against it. He hasn’t yet won, but one day, He will.
I know this is a lot different from the way we have been told things are. I know this requires a belief in spiritual powers of good and spiritual powers of evil and a belief that they are engaged in a struggle against each other. That’s not only so not what Christianity has often told us about God; that’s also so not the way science tells us things are.
But if you can accept this way of looking at things, you can answer a lot of questions that Christianity, as it exists today, cannot explain. And you can also answer a lot of questions that science cannot explain. You have a Christianity that doesn’t paint a picture of God as a monster. You have a Christianity that doesn’t leave a lot of nonsense on the table.
And, you can see the whole world in a different light. If you look for it and are open to see it, you can see so many of the events happening in the world today not as the hand of God, but as the hand of an evil power, a power God is actively fighting against. You can see this evil power not only in natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes, but you can also see it in things happening in the world that you might otherwise think people are causing. People may be causing them in a sense, but behind the people is the power of evil—a real spiritual force of evil, active in the world.
That’s hard to accept, isn’t it? But keep in mind that the spiritual, that is, the realm beyond the physical, is beyond our comprehension. We don’t have human terms or concepts that exactly describe the spiritual. It’s beyond what we can describe. But if we’re going to talk about it at all, the only way we can do that is to use human concepts. We have to keep that in mind and realize that whatever we might say about the spiritual always falls short of describing it. We can only approximate it using human terms.
Maybe this way of looking at things as the spiritual forces of good and the spiritual forces of evil being engaged in a struggle is just the best way we, with the limits of human understanding, can describe it. Maybe it’s not describing things exactly as they are; maybe it’s only the best we can do, given the limits of human understanding.
You know, whether we realize it or not, each one of us lives by a certain philosophy of life. Each one of us interprets the world through the lens of a certain philosophy of life. And, each one of us chooses the philosophy of life through which we will interpret the world. So why not choose this one? Why not choose this philosophy of life, this interpretation of Christianity? Or why not at least consider it?