What If UR Wrong

“God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”

Voltaire

Who is God?

 

by Mark Karapetyan

If I asked you to draw a picture of a table, a tree, or a car, it would be relatively easy for you to do so (unless you are a horrible sketcher like me). Because you are familiar with these objects, you have seen them before and you know what they look like; your senses are aware of these realities and what they represent. Even before you begin drawing, the images of these objects are already drawn in your mind; as a result, your brain signals your hand and then commands it to transfer the images onto the blank paper.

What if I handed you another blank sheet of paper and asked you to draw something like gravity. What would you draw? Alhough you are aware that gravity exists, you just don’t know what it looks like since you can’t see it. How then can you draw it?

As you can see, it is obvious to most of us that the more challenging it is to imagine the object, the harder it is to draw, which is exactly the point I am trying to make. Tables, trees, and cars are simple objects that are observable and measurable. Thus, they can be represented visually. Realities such as gravity and the laws of nature are much harder to visualize. They can be measured, but they can’t be observed.    

Let me spice up the challenge and get to my point: What if I asked you to draw a reality that can neither be measured nor observed. What would you draw? If I asked you draw “nothingness,” what would you draw? I bet that most of you would draw a circle or a square with empty space inside without realizing that nothingness is not equal to emptiness- they are not the same. An empty space is still something; it is a space with nothing in it. My request to you, however, is that you draw nothingness. Could you do it?

As you can see, it’s impossible to draw nothingness because there is nothing to draw. There is nothing to observe or measure. How could you draw it when there is no “it” to draw?

Now comes my biggest challenge to you:  Can you sketch a picture of an object that is immaterial, that cannot be observed or seen, does not have any sides, angles, shapes, or any measurements, but you know exists, and is out there somewhere?  What would you sketch?

Basically, what I am asking you to do is draw God. Could you do it? I bet most, if not all of you, would struggle to sketch God because we all know that it’s an impossible task. At least when you try to draw nothingness, you know there is nothing to draw. With God, it’s far more complex because you know that God exists, but that you just can’t observe or measure Him. How can you draw something that you can’t observe, measure, or visualize, but you know exists? What do you do?

When you try to define trees, cars, or the force of gravity, you can perhaps do so by defining them in one way or another. You can demonstrate what they are, but not who they are. It would be absurd to ask the question of “who is Mr. Tree,” or “who is Ms. Gravity?” These questions do not make sense because objects are not defined as if they were personal beings. The proper question to posit is: “what is a tree? or “what is gravity?” Then the answers will be more intelligible and consistent.

When you follow the same method above and ask “what is God?” or “who is God?” you will be asking the wrong questions. God is NOT a what or a who? God is God. It’s just that simply complex.

Sometimes, plain answers are easily given to simple questions. Other times, a number of questions are hard to answer. Occasionally, some questions are impossible to answer. This is the case with questions of what or who is God?

It is important to understand that asking this question is illogical because it is equivalent to asking for example “what color is 11 PM?” or “what is the square root of love?” These types of questions are category mistake questions because they are self-contradictory, and will always result in no answers. In fact, if you think about it, even when I type these words to tell you that it is illogical to define God, I am actually defining God by telling you something about God, which is that he cannot be defined. That’s self-defeating because I’m defining the undefined! God is the only entity in the universe that if you attempt to define Him, you contradict yourself. Other objects are either observable, or measurable. Thus, they are in some way definable. Not God!

God is the undefined God; He is who He is. (Isn’t it interesting that the God of the Bible refers to Himself as “I AM that I AM?”)  (Exodus 3:13).    

To try to define God in any way is illogical and self-defeating. The moment you utter any words to describe God, you actually limit God and put Him in a box. If God by definition is limitless, then He is indescribable. How can anyone define a being that is outside of every known dimension?

We humans are familiar with certain dimensions such as, height, width, and length, that we use to measure and define things in this universe. If we wish, for example, to measure a cube or a square, all we have to do is define their dimensions and we will be able to define the objects. The same measure can not apply to God because God is a being without dimensions. God is not long or wide, or deep enough to be measured. How, then, can He be defined?   

We can’t know what or who God is. That’s a fact! What we can do as finite humans is, point out several characteristics about God that He made it possible for us to observe and understand.

For instance:

God alone is God. God is one, unique in essence, and no other gods can exist besides God. It is logically impossible to have more than one God. Those who claim that it is reasonable to have multiple gods (Hindus for example), are mistaken in their assumptions because they fail to realize that logic and reasoning clearly demonstrate that polytheism is absurd and contrary to common sense.

Let me explain:

God is the first cause of every cause. No cause can cause God because that cause would pre-exist God, which makes that cause God.

God is the only entity that needs no cause for His existence. God cannot cease to exist, His existence is within Himself. Two or more gods cannot be the first cause of everything at the same time because to have more than one God means there must be god 1, god 2, and god3, which makes god 3 come after god 2 and god 1. Therefore, there must be some differences between those gods (that’s how you would be able to differentiate between god 1, god 2, and god 3).

 If there are differences amongst those gods, that means one god differs from the others in one way or another. If they differ from each other, then one god has something the other gods lack. If one god lacks something, then that god is not as complete as the other god, which makes this god lesser than that god, which in turn makes him inferior.

Two or more gods cannot co- exist eternally because then one of the gods would be either older or younger than God, which would mean that the gods either pre-existed God, or came after God. In either case, only one of the gods is the real God.  

God must be super natural and outside of the dimensions of this universe. Space, time, and matter can not apply to God because God, as the first cause, caused space, time, and matter to come into existence. That’s exactly why it is absurd to assume that the laws of nature caused the universe to explode into existence, because these laws were caused by an agent greater than them-God. That’s similar to saying that a baby gave birth to his/her mother!

God must be infinitely powerful because it takes unimaginable power to create a universe filled with galaxies, stars, and planets. No other cause can be more powerful than God, or greater than God. If God wishes to create white snow and another god stops God by creating black snow, then God is not all powerful. If another god forces or stops God from performing any task, simple or grand, then God is weaker and inferior to the other gods or forces.

God is omniscient; He knows the past, present, and future because He is not bound to the dimension of time. If we humans wanted to know what happened last week, we would look into the past. If we wanted to know what is happening now, we would look into the present. We will never know what will happen tomorrow unless the future first arrives. God knows the future because he doesn’t need the future to arrive. If time consists of past, present, and future, and God is outside of past, present, and future, that means God sees and knows the past and the future instantly.  Mind boggling, I know!

God must be all knowing because if one god wishes to keep a secret and God fails to know what that secret is, then God is not all knowing. If God Himself wishes to keep a secret and another god reveals that secret, then God is not powerful enough.

God must be an agent or a being with a mind that’s unlike any other mind. If God comes up with a complicated, unsolvable equation, and another god solves it, then God is not infinitely intelligent, which make another god equal to God in intelligence. If God hides a thought from the other gods, and they can’t read God’s mind, then they are not as intelligent as God. If they can, then they are more intelligent than God, which disqualifies God as a supreme, intelligent being.    

God must be spaceless and limitless. If God occupies all the space available, that means there is no room left for another god to occupy. If another god is able to share space with God, then God is limited in space. If God is limited in space, then he is not God because God is limitless. 

God also must be the ultimate law giver. God doesn’t have to obey the laws, for He is the standard of laws. These laws are part of God. No other gods can be equal law givers as well, because if the other gods make God obey their laws, then God is not the ultimate law giver. If they fail, then God and his laws are superior. If one of the gods breaks God’s laws, then God must discipline that god. But God cannot be disciplined because God is the ultimate arbiter.

Do you see how obvious it is that logically it is impossible to have multiple Gods? Let us continue:

God must be a simple being (not made up of parts) because God has no body. Everything composite is dependent on its parts. Therefore, it is clear that God, a body- less being, cannot be composite, but rather, simple. Not only that, everything composite is caused because different elements do not combine themselves unless caused by an agent that is not a part of the elements (parts).   

God must be a personal being rather than a non-personal agent (God must be a who, not an it). A friend of mine who is into “spirituality” once told me that the cause of the universe doesn’t necessarily have to be a “who” but an “it.”  My friend failed to realize that the reason the first cause of the universe must be a who and not an it is that non-personal agents or beings do not have the capacity to freely decide for themselves. Mindless objects or forces do not and cannot decide to create. Rocks, dust, or the law of gravity will never, one day, decide on their own to create a universe. The moment a decision is made, there is a mind behind that decision. God decided to create, which makes him a personal being with a mind. 

Contrary to common belief, God did not create good; God is good. It is His nature to be good; it is one of God’s attributes to be good.  If God created good, that would mean there was a time when good did not exist, which makes God not good at one point in time because good hadn’t been created yet. Similarly, God didn’t create logic and reason; God is logical and reasonable. If God created logic and reason, that would mean there was a time when God was illogical and unreasonable.  Also, God did not create truth; God is truth. If God created truth, that would mean that there was a time when God was untrue. Speaking of truth, believe it or not, there are some things even God can’t do. God can’t do contradictions, and the reason is that truth is exclusive; once it is there, its contrary cannot co-exist with it. When something is true, it is true because its opposite is not. Therefore, truth remains the only reality. Since reality is absolute and cannot be negated, contradictions become impossible. For instance: Since God is truth, he cannot lie- meaning God cannot do what contradicts who He is. Think of a fire. A fire cannot give darkness because light is an attribute of fire, there would be no fire without light.  As long as there is fire, there will always be light. Even if fire somehow decides to give darkness, it can’t, because it would contradict its nature- fire. God and truth are similar.      

Logically, God must be love; He didn’t create love. If he created love, that would mean there was a time when God was in a state where love did not exists-which in turn would make God unloving. God has always loved because love is his nature. We can see this clearly in the doctrine of the Trinity. Way before the universe was created, if God was love, whom did He love when there was no one else to love? It’s actually stunning if you think about it. The Father, God, loved the Son, Jesus, with the Spirit of Love, the Holy Spirit. The Triune God is love. It is worth noting that the Christian faith alone adequately explains with logic and reason the reality of a loving God. The reason I assert this is the following:

It is important that you understand the difference between what God is, and who God is. Although I have told you earlier that trying to ask the question of what or  who is god is illogical and self-defeating, let’s for a moment pretend that the questions can logically apply to God. By describing some of God’s attributes, I have shown you what God is. Who God is, however, is a bit different because it’s intimate and more personal.

 If you remember earlier, I asked you if you could draw God on a blank sheet of paper. If you even tried, you already failed because God cannot be drawn since He cannot be visualized or described. I believe you agree with me by now. Imagine this: What if God somehow makes it possible for us to draw a picture of Him, what would He do? If he remains in his eternal state of immaterial, space less, timeless being, there is no way we can fathom and draw him. He is just too complex for us finite humans to grasp. What then does God do?

If God’s goal is for humans to understand and know Him when He comes to earth, then the only logical solution is that God manifests Himself as one, as a God/man that eats, talks, walks, sleeps and lives like the rest of us. Think about it: if he comes to earth as a rock, a lizard, or a flower, it is pointless! How is that beneficial to humanity? Moreover, don’t you think that misguided, foolish humans would worship the rocks, the lizards, and the flowers instead of God? (They already do! Have you not seen the sacred cows of the Hindus, the black rock of the Muslims, and the Catholic Holy Eucharist?)

If God takes the form of a human being like you or me so we can all relate to Him, however, is it not possible that we could finally draw Him then?  Is it not plausible that we can at last see a side of God that’s never been seen before? Nevertheless, what would be the point of this? Why would God even think about becoming a human being? Why would God set aside his power and majesty, and chose fragility and humiliation? 

The answer is simple: LOVE

You see, unlike other religions and faith systems, Christianity alone boldly claims that the God of this universe, out of love for mankind, became a man to save them by willingly dying for them. The question is often asked: “Do humans need to be saved? If so, what from?”

Yes they do. Every single human needs to be saved from his/her sins. Every human is sinful. Sin leads to death. Therefore, every human dies eternally unless  forgiven (If you disagree with me and believe that humans are good, sinless people, then show me a single man or woman that hasn’t lied, lusted, cheated, or stolen). Humans can’t forgive themselves because their transgressions are against Almighty God.  Sin must be paid for. If humans can’t pay for their sins, who, then, pays for them?

God does…

Because humans couldn’t draw the plan of their forgiveness, God Himself took the pencil and sketched the most beautiful plan that eclipsed any love story or romance novel you’ve ever read. He composed, produced, and took on the acting role as the hero of that love story, by lovingly sacrificing Himself so the characters in that story could live with Him forever as holy people. It makes sense doesn’t it? What other religions do you know that solves this complex, moral dilemma in this incredible way?

Imagine, the great I AM, the eternal Creator of this universe, the first cause of every cause, out of love for humanity, purges Himself of his eternal attributes and humbly comes to earth to live with us as the man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. 

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” (Philippians 2:6-9)

What God did for mankind is unique, unmatched, and incredibly loving. If you as a parent, came back home one night from a very, elegant, fancy night out, and suddenly saw your own child drowning in the swimming pool, wouldn’t you jump right in the water to save your kid? Would you honestly first think for a moment about your expensive clothes, your valuable jewelry, or your costly shoes before you jump? Would you even worry about anything else other than the life of your child? Wouldn’t any normal parent willingly risk their own lives to save their precious children despite the situation?

Similarly, God as a father did not care about his attributes, his majesty, or his status because he saw his children in imminent danger. So, he willingly jumped, but this time on the cross. He endured pain and suffering, and sacrificed Himself for all of his children. Jesus Christ, the God of the universe, died so you can live, and then rose from the dead to prove to you that death is not the end of everything…there is eternal life with God for those who believe in Him! 

Voltaire once said that: “God made man in His image, and man returned the favor.” God is not Horus, Ashur, Zeus, Tian, or any other man-made god, for these are fictitious deities that are made from stone, clay, wood and steel. They reside in the figments of people’s imaginations. These idols do not speak, hear, or see. Beware that you do not construct an idol in your mind and worship it as God, for these are lifeless, breathless statues. There is only one God, and you shall worship Him alone.

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make unto you any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20:3-4)

Jesus, on the other hand, is pretty much alive like He has been throughout eternity. He is near all of you. He pokes, nudges, and taps on your shoulders to get your attention. Are you listening?

If you wish to know who God is, know His Son. “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:7) 

Do you know who God is?

“God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part.”

LEO TOLSTOY

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