Why I argue with God
Seems pretty futile. Arguing with God that is. I mean, if God is God and all that it implies, what grounds do I have to argue with him? And isn't arguing simply me trying to assert my authority over him? As in trying to say "I'm right, you're wrong"? Hopeless ... he's always right.
In 2011 some researchers had two chatbots interact with each other (link). A chatbot is a computer program designed to hold a conversation with humans (do you really know who you're talking to on the internet?). The conversation between the two chatbots quickly descended into argument, interestingly, about God! The researcher's theory was that "when these chatbots have conversations with humans, the humans are argumentative"
So yes, we're argumentative, because we don't like to be wrong, and we don't like the way things happen. You or I wouldn't be the first to want to argue with him. Job did: "But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God" [Job13:3]. David's psalms are also quite good examples of someone arguing with God.
Its not as if either Job or David ever really thought they were right and God was wrong, but both expressed their need to be honest to God and argue from the point of view of who God is, what God has done, and God's promises. And both, in time came to realize that God's way, however troublesome a time may seem, is nonetheless the best way. "Best" of course is open to definition ... but here means best for God's purposes ... does a soldier fight for his own interests, or does he trust the commander? God says to Job "Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?" [Job 40:8]
In the same way my arguments with God are really about me arguing with myself. I know God is right, but unless I argue through my case I fail to understand why I'm wrong. So I argue with God and say "but you said ...", "you once did ...", "you told me ...", "you promised ...". And in going through this I grow in understanding until it makes sense; tragedy and comedy alike, it all finally makes sense. It's a process, and misery and pleasure are the lot of our lives, but above it all God stands perfect in rightness.
It takes courage to argue with God, not because of what God might do, but because of what I might discover.
Charles Spurgeon said in a sermon: The best prayers I have ever heard in our prayer meetings have been those which have been fullest of argument. Sometimes my soul has been fairly melted down where I have listened to the brethren who have come before God feeling the mercy to be really needed, and that they must have it, for they first pleaded with God to give it for this reason, and then for a second, and then for a third and then for a fourth and a fifth until they have awakened the fervency of the entire assembly ["Effective Prayer," Charles Spurgeon].
When we don't argue our case we end up being wedded to the naivety of tradition, sunk in our human perspective of self importance. But we must be wedded to a God who is paradoxically the same yesterday, today, and forever, while constantly on the move!
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