Is the Idea of God Enough?
It was with significant interest and with some degree of concern that I read the article “Why I Think an All-Powerful God Might Not Exist” by Stephen Ferguson dated 16 May 2018 published in the May 18, 2018 issue of Adventist today. He asks a question asked by many others for many centuries. How can an omnipotent loving God allow all the misery, cruelty, pain and distress that is so very present in this world? He comes to this question again because of two serious events in his family. First is his becoming suddenly “partially paralysed from the waist down” and the “birth of my (his) daughter … six weeks premature”. From this he appears to come to the conclusion that God is not omnipotent. Why did He, God, allow these events as he allows evil to continue in this world? This, then challenges the long held Christian belief that God is in fact omnipotent. He states, “I suspect God may be the weakest being in the entire universe”.
Mr. Ferguson seems to fail to recognize that God so loves his created sentient beings that he wanted to give them freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is so important to God the he allowed Lucifer to make his choice as he also allowed Adam and all humans since to make their individual choices.
God is so powerful, omnipotent, that he was willing to risk his entire government and all of his creation on freedom of choice. He wants His love to be returned voluntarily rather than being under coercion. Forced love is really no love at all. A less powerful entity would be very unlikely to take this risk.
Yes, He has made the choice to allow evil to continue for a very good reason. Evil, sin, must be shown to be so disruptive that it was and is willing to kill God in the furtherance of its own selfish advancement. All sentient beings in the universe need to see and understand this. Christ allowed himself to die on the cross so that not only could man be saved but that all the universe would see the destructive nature of evil. God made a way of escape for man to make the choice to love Him, follow him, accept His grace and be saved to live with Him throughout eternity.
At the end of his article Mr. Ferguson asks if it really matters if God really exists. He seems to conclude that it is the idea of God’s existence that matters and not His actual existence. Believing in His existence has changed lives and behaviors. But, if God does not exist, the majority of mankind has believed in a falsehood and life is really meaningless in the great scheme of things.
I for one, along with many many others, believe He does exist, loves us, was willing to allow His Son to die to demonstrate His love for us and to welcome those who believe into His presence for eternity.
Kenneth L. Dedeker, M.D.