Mysterious Ways? by Lee A. Rugely

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!”

-Romans 11:33

It is often said that we as humans are not fit to judge the mind of God. The logic is meant to be that we who are so small and relatively insignificant in the universe are ill-equipped to fathom the workings of an omnipotent, omniscient being, so it is illogical to subject such a being to our human comprehensions of such things as right and wrong, of good and evil. If we give this statement zero examination, I suppose it can make sense in much the same way one might be justified in assuming all cows are blurry if they have only seen them through the window of a speeding vehicle. But, if we are to take any statements about God seriously, we ought not accept this reasoning even for a moment.

The only way we are capable of making it beyond a single day of our existence is to subject our experiences and observations to the best judgement we have. It is so key to our survival that, despite how analytical our conscious minds can be, judging the world around us is innate and involuntary. So, if it is true, as the noted English polemicist and writer, John Milton said, that God’s ways are not only just, but “justifiable to men”, this means that they are able to be subjected to our judgements and found acceptable.

Some old Brit not doing it for you? In John 15:15 Christ says, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” Jesus is directly saying that through those words which we have today in print, we have an exact understanding of God. The Bible is nothing if not ample insight into the mind of God, and the same is true of all such books to their respective deities.

To say “God is good”, we must first decide what is an acceptable interpretation of goodness. We must examine our world view, and then we must subject our representations of God to this moral barometer; then we must weigh the prospective consequences of going with or against them. All of this requires us to submit our understanding of God (which we can only have through many judgements) to our judgement of what is just, of what is good.

The reason we have so many running about quoting the lyrics of that old hymn, “…he works in mysterious ways,” is because of the pretense of freedom which this allows its adherents. If you agree to work for someone else and do only as they say, well surely the buck can simply be passed on to them. This is nothing more than laziness. It is a cheap trick meant to absolve us of the responsibility of answering for the questionable moralities we adopt, of the actions we perform and defend, and especially of their consequences.

But, letting someone else take the wheel does not absolve you from getting into the car with a drunk. There is nothing mysterious about being an asshole, and if you speak as he speaks, and do as he does, what does that make you?

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