God

I was sitting in church the other day and just thinking about God in general and I decided to write down some of the thoughts I had.  I started off with a Google Doc, but decided I might as well put it out there.  I’ll change and add to this as I have time or as my thoughts change.

I’ll start off with a disclaimer.  I’m not a theologian or historian.  I haven’t done research on this subject nor have I had any sort of divine inspiration.  I’m not out to change your mind or debunk your faith, nor am I trying to convert you to my way of thinking.  I’m simply putting forth the thoughts I have and in so doing, trying to get you to think.  In my opinion, thought is a good thing; whether you agree with me or not is less important.  I should also state that I’m a Catholic, but my own beliefs don’t always coincide with the beliefs of my church.  The opinions expressed are not those of the Catholic church.  They’re mine.

You might disagree with what I say.  That’s fine, I’m probably wrong.  That’s the problem with theological stuff – it all comes down to what you believe, not what can be objectively proven.  That’s one of the points I’ll be making later.

That said, I should say that I do believe in God.  It’s the nature of God and the accuracy of the events recorded in the bible that I’m not sure about.  I will also be using the pronouns “he” and “him” when referring to God.  It’s not that I think that God is necessarily male (nor female for that matter).  I personally think that the nature of God goes beyond our concepts of gender.  English doesn’t have a gender-neutral pronouns (see https://waissguy.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/we-need-gender-neutral-pronouns/ for more discussion on that) and I don’t want to constantly type “he/she” or “him/her”.

Fate

I’ve had a couple of thoughts on this.  This might cause controversy, but I don’t think God is directly responsible for everything.  God may have created everything, but in general, I think he tends to leave things alone.  When the wind blows, I don’t think god is moving the air molecules to produce the wind.  I think that he created the world in such a way that the wind would blow without him needing to move it along.  Think about it – if you were an omnipotent being, would you want to concern yourself with the minutiae of moving air particles?  I think he could cause wind if he wanted to, but in general he just lets it blow.  From a human perspective, it also makes things more interesting to let things go on their own.  If you controlled everything and knew exactly how it would play out, why play it at all?

Along those lines, I think if he wanted to he could control our actions, but in general, we’re in charge of what we do, think, etc.  God gave us free will.  The concept of free will goes against the concept of God controlling everything to the smallest detail.  If god is controlling everything, how can we have free will?  Conversly if we have free will, but God is controlling everything, we really don’t have control over anything so we don’t really have free will.

Because I believe in free will, I therefore can’t believe in fate.  If our choices actually matter, how can things be preordained?  For things to be preordained or fated, our choices have to be made in advance and locked in place because the slightest choice can greatly affect future events.

If there is no fate, does God have a “Master Plan”? That’s a tricky one and my answer isn’t as obvious as you might think.  Just because there is no predestined fate for us all, doesn’t mean that there is no plan.  Even though God might not be controlling everything, I still believe he influences us.  Most often very subtle, but occasionally very direct, he guides us along.

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