God Has A Plan For Your Life …
The Christian bible sure thinks so.
Ephesians 1:4-5 Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will
That makes it sound like we have nothing to worry about. The god will play with us as he wills but we’ll be his toys, so it’s all okay.
Before I go on about ‘the plan’ I think we need to spend a bit of time on what omniscience is. The god of Abraham is supposed to be omniscient.
God is the only One Who possesses limitless knowledge. The Illustrated Oxford Dictionary defines “omniscience” as “knowing everything,” and the Bible certainly ascribes omniscience to God (Psalm 139:1-4; cf. Woods, 1988, p. 34). Consider a sample of what the Bible reveals about God’s omniscience: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). “Can anyone teach God knowledge, since He judges those on high?” (Job 21:22, emp. added).
That link goes on to say that the god God knows everything, period. There is nothing that he does not know and did not know before the creation of all existence. That’s a neat trick, but put that on your scratch pad for a few minutes. He is also said to be omnipotent, that is all powerful, able to do anything anywhere anytime.
God is the only being Who possesses omnipotence. In the Oxford English Dictionary, “omnipotence” is defined as “all-powerfulness,” or “almightiness.” In other words, when God wants something to be done, it is done. God has all power in heaven and on Earth (Matthew 28:18), so unlike the limited power of humans, which is constrained by time, space, and force, God’s capabilities are limited only by His own character (see Miller, 2003). Paul wrote of God’s omnipotence in the sense that He is “above all, and through all, and in you all,” (Ephesians 4:6). God is preeminent for many reasons, not the least of which is His great power.
So what does that really mean? It’s a lot to unpack. The god of the Christian bible is supposed to have created all existence, the heavens and the Earth. Let’s assume (for argument’s sake) that this god is omnipotent and can do any and all things he pleases to do. Fair enough, right? Can he also be omniscient? Can he do all things and know all things at the same time? This brings up some interesting conundrums that believers are seemingly not so willing to talk about.
The starting point here is that before anything at all ever existed the god of Abraham knew all knowledge, an infinity of it. He knew everything that would happen. It was not a gut instinct, he KNEW what would happen. He knew my mother and hers would die of alzheimer’s, that my grandfather would shoot himself to get away from the pain of ‘black lung’. He knew about cancer, ebola, AIDS, and every other bad thing that would happen to the human race. He knew he would have to punish Adam and Eve, flood the planet, sacrifice himself to himself as a scapegoat, the holocaust, genocide, war, crusades, burning of witches… he knew all that would happen. He knew who he would torture forever in hell and who he would not. He knew who would adore him and who would not.
If that knowledge exists, there is no free will. He knew Lucifer would rebel. He knew there would be a satan. He knew people would go to hell and he knew who they were before he created anything.
All of that knowledge exists. The bible and it’s believers claim it to be so. What impact can that have on an omnipotent god, a god that can do as he wants?
Well, if he already knows what will happen, how can he ever change anything? What good is prayer? What kind of plan is it when the instigator of the plan knows what will happen before he even begins? Can such knowledge allow that god to love? Can he love you if he already knows every thought you will ever have? Can such automatons really inspire love in someone? Can such an all-knowing person be just? If you know what action you will have to take before there is a crime, is that justice? Justice requires a decision yet no decision can be made if the decider knows before-hand what the decision will be. If there exists a being as described like the god of Abraham with infinite knowledge, how can such a being be omnipotent. Such a being can have no will or whim, nothing he can do can change from what he already knows will be done. Prayer is useless. God can have no plan for you, it is impossible. To have infinite knowledge and do nothing about the bad things is to make him either a monster or impotent to change them. If he is impotent to change the course of events of creation then he could not have willed creation to happen.
There is another option, he is both omniscient and omnipotent … if this is true it means he necessarily wanted all this bad stuff to happen, including the fall from grace. He is a monster.
There is yet another option: no gods exist and sh1t happens. The universe is unfolding exactly as if this last option is what is happening. To be both omnipotent and omniscient and make everything look exactly like it is happening on its own is to be worse than a monster, that would be actual evil.