Why do we assume that God must know everything and do everything in order to be God?
Think beyond the canned responses of our severely conditioned (read: diligently propagandized and brainwashed) fellow Christians…responses that are really non-answers, meant to curtail humanity’s natural tendency to organize the world into reconcilable assumptions. Meant to curtain man’s reason. The very thing upon which man’s life utterly depends.
Let’s look at the idea of the conditioned, orthodox Christian.
Why it is that Christians for the most part are only willing to take their thoughts so far? It seems as though they are outright fucking terrified to think through their doctrinal conclusions because I contend they realize that ultimately the doctrine implodes under the weight of its own contradictions. Thus, they ALWAYS revert back to the standard playbook of orthodoxy, no matter how often the horror of that particular belief system smacks them in the face with its cold, dead hands. If the discernment blogs have taught us anything, it is that Christians can be abused to the point of physical and psychological damage, sometimes destroying the entire scope of their lives, and yet will recoil in rage and panic and hysterics at anyone who dares to question their traditional understanding of God and His church.
This is the conditioned Christian. This is the Christian who has been afflicted with doctrinal Stockholm Syndrome. The spirit is destroyed, and yet the obligatory answers and slavish devotion to the tyranny of their gnostic ideas remain. They are satisfied that the very perfunctory doctrinal posits which have ruined their lives are sufficient for bringing peace to them; for healing and soothing, as though ideas which are purposefully designed to destroy and nothing else, are equally efficacious for life and happiness.
But this is what they have been taught…this is all they know. And, like a dog to his vomit, it is to this they will return. Because, unless you make it a point to specifically address doctrine; to specifically reject the canned answers from the the “orthodox” feed bag which hasn’t been filled with anything new for literally thousands and thousands of years, then you are doomed to walk right back into the same meat grinder which just spit you out like so much psychological sausage.
Exhibit A of this trend, this revolving door of Reformed orthodoxy, is the discernment blog, http://www.wartburgwatch.com. Here you will see first hand the abused storm out of the edifice of “sound doctrine”, do a little dance, throw a little tantrum, call CJ Mahaney a bunch of appropriately pejorative names, spit on the side walk and then…brush themselves off, straighten their ties and corsets, and walk right back inside, full of stoic resolve, where Wade Burleson and his wonderful hair are holding the door open for you.
The catalyst for this irrational behavior is the refusal to question the doctrine. Why? Because the doctrine is not based on reason, you see…for that is precisely how they define “God-breathed” and “inspired”. These terms mean, specifically: NOT according to man’s epistemological capacity…meaning that what YOU think is true is irrelevant (i.e. NOT true, by definition). They mean that you never really get to say whether you concede their–that is, the Priests in the Stead–interpretive premises or not. Your existence doesn’t matter, because you are wholly inadequate to understand what is ultimately the product of an omnipotent Being who transcends everything about you; because He is infinite and you are finite, and there is no way to logically, ever, reconcile these two metaphysical positions. What is INFINITE can ultimately, and again by utter definition, have nothing whatsoever to do in any actual way with what is finite. That’s pure logic…Reason 101 stuff. How do you reconcile that which is endless to anything else? You don’t…because you can’t. Because any coupling of infinity with anything else automatically contradicts infinity. If it isn’t everything, then it isn’t infinite. And that’s why God is not “omnipotent”.
I will get to that point in more depth in a moment.
The philosophy of their thinking, and all their interpretive premises, and all of the roots of their “sound doctrine” have nothing to do with you YOU insofar as you ability or outright need, for the sake of rank survival, to rationally organize and integrate what your senses absorb. Ultimately, all “real” truth is wholly revealed by God, completely outside of man’s existential or epistemological essence. In short, man has nothing to do with truth, so what you think or feel or understand or notice is entirely irrelevant. Your comprehension of things which define your SELF and your environment and your life are categorically usurped on every level, right down to your very essence and existence, by a God who can do and know everything.
I’m starting so see why “omnipotence” and “omniscient” are such useful tools in the belt and harness of the spiritual despot.
And this leads us to another absolutely necessary tool of the successful tyrant: Propaganda in the form of a systematic theology. Present a codified, cohesive framework from which to address all of the concerns of the critics and detractors. The answers do not have to be rational, they just have to smartly appeal to a source of “intelligence”–a source of “revealed knowledge”–that transcends the mind, on the metaphysical level, of the inquisitor. That is the key. Present a systematic philosophy which has the ring of intellectual fortitude and then root it ALL in the appeal to divine “wisdom”. This satisfies even the most analytical among us. The rigorous philosophical system allows the tyrant to appease the learned concerns of the more intellectual classes…assuaging fears by assuring people that their concerns have been thoroughly vetted by and integrated into the construct. For the concerns the construct cannot address, because the logical conclusions are ALWAYS contradictory (and the “authority” knows this if they are worth their salt as respectable tyrants) it claims divine mandate of “truth” as its bulwark. The discerning citizen is thus comforted by the nod to the intellectual cohesiveness the philosophy presents, and is further and most importantly comforted by the fact that it–as the propagandists will readily and willingly concede–doesn’t have all the answers. And why do they take comfort in this? Because it appeals to their inherent sense of superiority, I submit. It appeals to their insatiable desire to have and lord TRUTH over everyone else…to prove that they indeed have been grafted into the divine wisdom; which is, after all, that which gives credence to the sum and substance to their own assumed intellectual pedestal. I mean, what good would a “perfect” and “perfectly revealed” philosophy of God be if it had all the answers? Surely there must be some mystery involved. We serve the Almighty, after all, they say. We can’t expect to understand everything, right? God has to reserve some things for Himself…things the “finite” human being isn’t capable of understanding. And this intricate, beautifully organized and constructed and comprehensive systematic theology is just what the doctor ordered. A perfect philosophy that leaves the logical conclusions open-ended, allowing for God’s infinite capability to both DO and KNOW everything.
This naturally gives the mystics a get-out-of-culpability-for-abuse free card. They can preach their destruction and compel by force and violence, blackmail and intimidation their Will to Power disguised as “spirituality”, and then when the shit hits the fan and some disgruntled and “prideful” layperson refuses to be placated any longer by the usual appeals to the “good of the church/state/collective/tribe/monarchy/race/party”, or “God’s will”, or “I was not given the grace to perceive” (thanks, CJ!) because it was his or her daughter that the seventeen-year-old psychopath repeatedly raped in the church bathroom, the spiritual “authorities” can always be absolved by punting the entire fucking systematic philosophy into the great cosmic abyss of God’s mystery. Obviously God is in control. Obviously He knows things we don’t know. Does things we can’t do. Of course our understanding of the world MUST recede under the mighty corpulence of God’s omniscience and omnipotence. You must simply trust that only God can really understand, guided in “sound doctrine” (the very doctrine which spawned the abuse) by the skillful hands of His priests…who are the keepers of all of God’s divine mandates.
Think of the power this gives the priests! They are NEVER accountable for any behavior; for anything they perpetrate upon or demand of the masses over which God proclaims them stewards. Their systematic theology allows them an almost invincible two-pronged defense, depending on the situation. They can either appeal to their own fallen, depraved humanity…the “we are all just sinners saved by Grace/but for the grace of God go I” defense; or the “I am the keeper of the keys/God has tasked me with standing in His stead to be God to you” offense. Truly, it is almost a thing of beauty.
Okay, fine. We understand the usefulness to tyranny of “omniscience” and “omnipotence”, but WHY? What are the root assumptions which underlie the notions? What is it about God…what is it about His metaphysical nature, His rote existential being, which drives the belief that He does everything (or “can do” anything, which is the same thing; for you cannot proclaim this without a frame of reference, which is that God, somehow, actually DOES everything), and knows everything? Hence, my original question: Why do we assume that if God is to be God, He must be omnipotent and omniscient.
First, we must understand that these two ideas are not mutually exclusive; that they are, in fact, inexorably tied. It is a simple bridge of logic to say that if God can do anything, and does everything, then He must naturally know everything. For how can one who does something–that is, organize the environment/reality towards a specific objective– do it without knowing how? And if God can do anything, and anything then must extend from one edge of the universe to the other, in all dimensions in all times and places, from the greatest to the least, then doing everything must necessitate knowing everything. For I submit that not even the neo-Calvinists, who declare God capable of doing the impossible (which is a total contradiction in terms, because if it can be done by anyone, its not impossible…but hey, the Bible says it (no, it doesn’t), so it must be true, right) will concede that He can do something whilst at the same time not know about it. This would naturally contradict their own assertion of omniscience. And furthermore, strictly speaking, knowing is doing…so, actually, to state that God is both omnipotent and omniscient is rather redundant. All one really needs to assert is that God is omnipotent. Omniscience and omnipresence are to be logically assumed from such an assertion. For if we define omnipotence as the power to do everything and anything, then knowing and being, which are perfunctory extensions of doing, are implied.
But redundancy, irrelevancy, and contradictory logic have never stopped a good neo-Calvinist from blathering on and on every Sunday morning and then some, whilst procuring a handsome salary for doing so.
But here is the real problem in the logic of “omnipotence”, not to mention “omniscience” and “omnipresence”. The problem is that omniscience and omnipresence are direct functions of omnipotence; that is, they are ACTING as a direct function of God’s ability to DO (act) anything. But the train of conciliatory thoughts does not stop there. For omnipotence–the power to do anything–is a direct function of God’s very existence; His very being. For BEING is DOING. To be. To be is a verb. It is the verb. It is the infinite action of anything which exists; any agent, and any object…it is that object/agent’s very SELF. So “BEING” itself is the beginning and end of anything which exists. And therefore God’s ability to DO anything is a direct function of His ability to BE. And if we proclaim that God can DO anything then this “anything” must extend to the very root, the very core, of God’s existential SELF.
Do you see where I am going here? Can you connect the dots? Can you follow the bread-crumbs of logic all they way back to the very start, where nothing comes before? Can you find your way to the edge of the universe…through the trees, to the field, to the sea, and beyond to where eternity goes no further?
What I am saying is that if God can DO anything and indeed DOES everything, and it is from this that he can know everything and be everywhere, then it follows that this must include being what is considered to be NOT God. In other words, God is not only God but He is all that is NOT God, as well. Which means that if God can do everything this must include the ability to BE everything; for his power of omnipotence stems from His being. BEING everything is the source of God’s omnipotence.
So if God is omnipotent then God is everything which exists. For the ability to DO stems from His ability to BE. And so if God can do literally EVERYTHING, then His being, from which His doing proceeds, must extend to the very existential root of Creation. Which means that Creation doesn’t really exist. It is all God. There is nothing which isn’t God.
I say that God is not omnipotent, because I declare that God cannot BE what He is NOT, which means then by definition that He cannot DO everything or KNOW everything, since DOING and KNOWING extends inexorably from the infinite BEING of anything which exists. And by that I proclaim the free will of man to relate to and define God; and I proclaim the free will of the devil and his angels, and I proclaim that it is this which allows for God to absolutely and justly judge them and condemn them. And so I am declared an apostate and a heretic…worthy of death of the most barbaric kind; and in the dark ages of the hell of Reformed history I’d be guillotined at sundown after a five minute kangaroo court at best, surrounded by a crowd of feces and spit hurling hoards.
And yet declaring that there is no metaphysical distinction between God and His “fallen” and “totally depraved” Creation, thus making God the author and essence of those who engage of the worst kinds of sin and evil–abuse, theft, lying and deceit, rape and murder, child exploitation, rank barbarity, blood lust, and idol worship–is given a pass by the mystic overlords and their fawning crowds in the name of “sound doctrine”.
The hypocrisy does not go unnoticed by the Divine. Calvinists and Reformers, collectivists and moral equivocators, I can assure you of this.
Stay tuned for part three.