Tony Lazenby is a high school science teacher in Tennessee. He came from Church of Christ roots to his one God faith today. Tony has a passion for the scriptures, the one true God of the Bible and his only begotten human Son Jesus Christ. He is a member of Higher Ground Church in White House, Tn.
God of Order
I. Knowing God
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
1 Corinthians 14:33
God is a God of order not the author of confusion. He formed the heavens and the earth. He created this world and all that is in it. Fish or fowl, man or beast, there is logic and reason as to how they were created. There is similarity in all their physical systems. Animals breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Cells do many of the same functions. All of these things scream out that God has an orderly mind. It is this orderly mind that desires his people to understand who he is. When God created this world, he made man in his own image. He created language that we might understand each other as well as understand him.
Because of all of this, I believe that there is a great fallacy in the religious world. The idea that man cannot understand who and what God is has been widely accepted for generations. But the time has come for this fallacy to fall by the wayside. When people say we cannot know God because of our finite minds, they are dismissing the power and ability of God to teach his people. God has created man with the intelligence to fathom the atom; explore the bounds of the universe, and to have rule and dominion over the earth. Surely, with all God's ability and power, he can create ways of explaining himself to us.
Christians all agree that God sent his son for us. But why? Did Jesus "just" come to die? No. What was he doing during his 3½ years of ministry? He was healing, doing miracles, and raising the dead. But more than anything, he was teaching. All we need to do is to look to his own statements to see what was going on:
About the middle of the festival Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. The Jews were astonished at it, saying, 'How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?' Then Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him" (John 7:14-18).
Why would Jesus come teaching if it was not possible for us to understand? Do we understand everything that Jesus and the apostles taught except for who and what God is? I don’t think so. Did Jesus ever explain to people about who or what God is? Yes. Then why did he? It was because he expected us to understand it: "And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3).
In the mind of Jesus, knowing God is essential to eternal life. The Scriptures are written so that we may believe and have life. How can we claim that it is impossible for us to understand the mystery of who and what God is? Jesus himself tells us that eternal life is predicated on knowing the only true God.
In the web article, "The Trinity as Mystery":
The Vatican Council has explained the meaning to be attributed to the term mystery in theology. It lays down that a mystery is a truth which we are not merely incapable of discovering apart from Divine Revelation, but which, even when revealed, remains "hidden by the veil of faith and enveloped, so to speak, by a kind of darkness" (Constitution, "De fide. cath.", iv)...(newadvent.org. Web. 2011).
I have a problem with this statement. According to the apostle John:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:5-7).
It has long been said by "traditional" Christianity that three "persons" are God. Yet, it is supposed that the three together are "One" God. When questioned about the lack of Scriptures that actually present that equation, the question is most often dismissed with the assertion that it is "a mystery." It is supposed to be a mystery that cannot be understood by human beings. Yet, it is also asserted that this mystery must be believed in order to be saved! Would our God of love require humans to believe something that the Bible does not directly say in order for them to be saved? Would that be in keeping with our God of love, order and reason?
When the scribes and Pharisees caught a woman in adultery, they brought her before Jesus. In the middle of their accusations, he bent down and wrote on the ground. What he wrote is a mystery. But, what if I taught that it is "necessary for our salvation" that we all believe he wrote down the Hebrew alphabet? What gives me the right to declare what the scriptures have not? Who am I to say anything is necessary for us to be saved when the bible never did? I do not have the right, and I cannot make that declaration. That is my point. God is not going to expect us to understand something that he has not explained.