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If God Is Good: Why Doesn't He Seem Like It?

Andy Im


Andy Im

Associate Director for the Dept of Public Campus Ministries in the Michigan Conference. Director of the Institute of Adventist Apologetics for C.A.M.P.U.S. 




  • June 16, 2011
    9:45 AM
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father we think use so much for this wonderful opportunity to delve into your word among other things and we also want to pray that you would bless this meeting that you would speak through me and also speak to the hearts and minds of those who are listening and as well as to myself and also want to pray Lord for your guidance throughout the whole series of meetings that WIC in general you with all the speakers and and and those who once again the audience we thank you Lord we assess in your name amen already really quickly initial hands whereas everybody from how you are most of you from California the array the hand okay almost everybody already to hand where you from Maryland since you come all the way out of the program is okay okay perfect that's all some of while and he and I pray that the program going while you are enjoying and growing spiritually appraised the Lord well when I look at first and foremost before leaving to go into this question of refuting the claims by the AVS against the Old Testament God or their picture of the Old Testament God first we're going to look at how our picture or knowledge of God is formulated in the fourth place and job and is final and very important question as an zenith insults that each formal life this is eternal life John seventeen three that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent the Fuji clearly playing an action between our knowledge of who God is and salvation and so it very very important our understanding of God review and Herald January fourteen eighteen ninety why so this freehold not just saw or part the whole the entire spiritual life is molded by our conception of him and immediately cherish erroneous views of his character our souls our souls will sustain injury at the powerful powerful statement by the pen of inspiration so who is God who is Jesus and iGoogle in society if you go to modern mass media you'll find according to Stephen Brook there always a smaller religion he stated that the Jesus means different things to different people in different times and places shifting with the cultural or political beat economic winds images of Jesus or about a stable at the weather in Canada this tornado alley how he experienced firsthand any of the tornadoes that just passed through I know my when my cousins leg experience the horrifying events of that in the ancient world he was the Messiah in Jerusalem each truth teller in Athens and Emperor enroll in the United States give them black and white gay and straight liberal and conservative I S and a socialist a pacifist and a warrior and athlete in and that's the civil rights agitator and a member of the Ku Klux Klan I plan Muslims embrace another Robin news as an avatar and Buddhists and the bodhisattva so when Jesus and have fooled me people say I am there is no easy answer either in his lifetime or in ours now having said that I would hold that for you when I will assaulted around the picture of who Jesus is and that our perceptions of Jesus are not formulated by what's going on out in the world but from above say it of the more but this is of the confusion that we see in in a world today maybe the ID on this is a Paul coping you to use as he's reflecting on on our image of God he has his insight it may be the ideal God and the Westerners mind is just to nice out and give you have read something or a passage in the Old Testament before and you read it and you were just like what you did with you then you couldn't make sense of it it was just how could God do that all the pictures restocked or entering your mind how could God do this type of the just wiped out or con man people to wipe out thousands of others and endure you really think about this question it it hits you squarely in the face but you and then you grab those thoughts and you stick it in a book and shell that and just an end and now you have a whole library journals much of the whole library but by now the geologists something that you resort to deal with later and these are the types of files that often when you're sleeping at night write in you get in the angst of young wine why submitted I know God in the well reviewed my new job tonight the we we roll out the way we didn't keep Matthew chapter five two seven turn the other cheek we like that so we'll look at in in our home library the other one single of the Library of Congress right we keep the nice things of God in our home library will we've lost sight of God and Jost we've ignored lives and severity latching on to our old ideal of comfort and convenience the agency has had that almost the right humans regularly to make gods in their own images meeting we failed God should be like this Ethel and when the Bible may hopper deck our own representation of who and what God should be when the Bible itself contradicts that then we shall let Esso we formulated this only in God in our own image and the reason why the agency is sparse are making these claims is because there are they having this activation that and like this new Christians you Christians are very good at speaking to the Matthew chapter five two seven portions of Scripture that paint a picture of God is loving her and the other she go the extra mile but when it comes to the challenging and difficult texts they simply ignore them and then and I believe at the at the faithful Bible believing Seventh-day Adventists that we need to have clear and sound responses to these accusations because what they're saying is an accusation that God is unjust unfair and cruel the we began to be Marcel what they should do is not make us gravel and repair and head for the exit doors when you start reading deeper into God 's word so it just happened almost like humans regularly dooming gods in their image yet the Google God isn't the kindly make up he refuses to be manipulated by human schemes he makes us all including his true difficulties on comparable which in the end of what we truly need to overcome our self centeredness so why the confusion will think about where most of us get our our picture of God of war formulate our conception of God one of the places of the horses is in the whole and more specifically from our parents you know you look at this picture here in obviously I took figured that invite more than so that the child you could proceed in getting it correct view of God because the family spending time well with this young child another picture where you see a nice loving family and but this is not necessarily the picture that everyone receives about God from from their homes and families for example there is a lot of pain a lot of parents abuse their children as so their water heaters there are a lot of those a lot of English and especially in the Christian Seventh-day Adventist home if God is made out to be arbitrary and cruel and harsh than your picture of God can be severe you another place where we formulate our picture of God can be pop-culture and of course these are this is not a correct of a place where you would see to find a picture of God but it is one of the places that you do find where people are are are learning about God for example Madonna singing on a burning cross during one of her concerts the Joan Osborne years ago singing a song about what in God was one of lots and Rice a popular writer about vampire novels at Patricia and is now writing about Christianity as she has a certain perspective about God and the church etc. you think of the passion of the Christ then made a sensation over the media and the airwaves all these had to formulate a drip of God that that I would suggest or incorrect or invalid to think of Ned Flanders playing be the Jesus bring right and he's certainly paints a picture of Christianity that is not positive that is negative that is shaping the hearts and minds of young people and and old alike is not just a show work for young people as you know after not if you have ever watched that show right of so anyway from all cultures another place what about church we also formulate our our picture and image of God from church and its members I used to think of the of a contemporary modern church and and and a message that is sent from a church like that to be on the other spectrum the archaic world-renowned formalistic may be rigid church on the other side of the spectrum you have a church leaders who also paint a picture of who God is and look at the year this is clearly sending a picture or methods of who God is here in this country seeing this though the words God hates fags enablers or you're going to hell or hold them how massively sent the picture or message about who God is then on the other side you have someone endorsing the fact that Christians welcome gays and and and holding their banner of board and also have conspiratorial Christians right or pacifist Christians holding up their banners real Christian real Christians don't choose war to stop the 9/11 cover-up maybe some of you are involved in that fifth love not that you are double false and true theology getting theology doctorate is important absolutely because theology or doctrine informs us of who God is you think of the life first folding team by the serpent that she would not surely die and you look at the end times you know where people are setting days and so forth what does that say about God when based on false assumptions of prophecy you go we go about proclaiming that God silicon at this hour breathe in this play and it doesn't happen crew ends up losing credibility while the pundits gone what about the doctrine of eternal health choir burning goes well I says how we hunger a strong work how we hung it is a great controversy page five thirty five and five thirty six Halloween positive in every emotion of love and mercy and even to our sense of justice is a doctrine of the winking that are poor Menton with fire and brimstone in and eat heartily burning hell then for the sins of a Paris Barclay live there to suck report for as long as God shall live it is beyond borders which is that it'd be on the power of the human mind we can even concede this to estimate the evil which has been brought by the heresy of internal form when we consider in what fall colors Satan has painted the character of God through this false doctrine mind you can we wonder that our merciful Creator is feared dreaded and even hated the appalling view that God would just spread over the world from the teaching of a pulpit have made thousands yes millions of skeptics and infidels so doctrine theology plays a huge role in our conception of God also popular media or know how involved you are in politics but there's a huge debate going on with the religion and God right in the center and you have those on the right like Glenn Beck though the left like Al Franken and Coulter on the right and Keith Olbermann on the left of Bill O'Reilly on the right and of course of Paul Krugman eight in economy for the New York Times on the lab needs painting a view all of whom God is giving of all the prominent Christians that exist in the picture they gone from the pole to President Barack Obama of professing Christians also Sarah Palin Jewel Goldstein Howe media have seen him on television before president former president George Bush Jesse Jackson and even another former president in in Bill Clinton all that is some way to formulate our or shape a picture of God in the minds of people set the price paid a nice visit us we should not take the testimony of any man as to what the Scriptures teach but should study the words of God for ourselves if we allow others to do our thinking we shall left crippled energies and contracted abilities and soul of how we formulate not on us as Bible believing Christians but how the world often formulates bear picture of God is very similar to how people formulate their understanding or their perception of the American flat right because the American flag represents much of the country but all whom idea and how we really know God it is through an idea right we have ideas of of God that are built an end that are construed whether from the Bible or otherwise that are constructed and sold in much the same way as someone in for example a terrorist in the Middle East when he sees a picture right versus when you and I have Americans see this picture of the flag wheat we had different completely opposite and difference the Wayne about Singapore in the very same way when people see the words God or Jesus Christ we have to understand that people have widely vastly different oceans of who God is based on their upbringing and part of the mission I think the that all-consuming mission of office Seventh-day Adventist living in the end times is to represent God the coach will guide to the world because I believe that he's being mischaracterized a today on why affirms issues of the Christ object lessons page up pages four hundred fifty nine four hundred and nineteen dated the darkness of misapprehension of God that is in shrouding the world men are losing their knowledge of his character it admits understood and miss interpreted at this time the message from God is to be proclaimed on methods of illuminating in its invoice and saving in its power is character is to be made known there is nothing not the words here and there is nothing that Christ the virus so much you want to do that whatever deeds desiring there is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world his spirit and character again there is nothing but the world needs so in the desires of this but also the world needs nothing more nothing as much as the manifestation through humanity of the saviors locked and dumb at end and so this is the reason why word this is kind of the intro to do this second man of the Old Testament God and somebody that are being made and should be our goal and purpose as we study Scripture specifically the Old Testament to to try and make sense of all these things and I'll entered being the now I I just want to also speak grow quickly about what colorectal means are correct ways of formulating up through and our knowledge of God and one of them the technical work here is called general revelation we should and we need to formulate a conception of God through general general revelation not the media is not necessary good chart for some pastoral work of our some lyrics in the song or some Fox television show Bart Simpson no we need to go to where Scripture says we need to obtain a knowledge of God and and one of them 's general revelation and I'll explain what that is woman's chapter one verses eighteen to twenty put it this way speaking of the judgment of God towards the Gentiles and always here attempting to make the case that he can thank God can legitimately josh on the Gentiles of the eighties as for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness because one may be known of God is manifest in them for God has shown it to that in the end is that when a seizure that it's is through nature verse twenty says force in creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen rice other than a component of observation you have major creation you have our our interaction with nature as we were major Paul is saying and then as we not just absorb as we seek to understand as we reset out with our minds that the screen that are made even his eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse a what is it is stating here is that is that even the Gentile world has no excuse because they have and may have majored that informed the work tells or paints a picture of the truth of God even as gone ahead so that this and as we observe these things they understand these things and so general revelation how many of you have been out in nature and you just get a sense of God or picture of God is coming you have look out into the stores before just said while God and he will come to mind God is a big God and Andy in it is very small small man right that the picture you get that God is big that I am small and and and that's just one small picture that we can get from values delve deeper you see a God who is organized with structure who is is is vastly smarter than that and you are you and I sold general revelation is that revelation as the disc as a distinguished from special revelation and it pertains to anything in nature that that informs us about who God is as we interact with our reason in our minds but there are some limitations to general revelation writing I did go out in nature Kenya Kenya where I just wanted nature and look at the stars and began to write the Bible and and paying a full picture of who God is not absent that's impossible so there are some limitations in that sense but there is also a limitation due to the fact that the way we interpret these facts may be skewed data on our fall in human nature we can to interpret things on the basis of who we are and what we are and on the basis of who God is and also there are some limitations as I mentioned and so so we don't always see things clearly I do see in this picture here right some of you may see in an old lady and some of you may see a young lady right we don't always see the same picture you are you goofy that and so so our consumption of who God is maybe wrong based on the fault the assumptions and an human nature I wonder we look in the mirror this cat here looking in the mirror elected thinking that he that lien but in reality he is not and this this is probably me I always I will use you know we always look in the mirror and we we look at what our imperfections right more than being objective about about what we look like an end nowhere greater is a scene as when we get on the scale and if Harvard of our psychologist Daniel Gilbert notices insightful words here he says this when our bathroom scale deliberately bad news we hobbled off and then on again just to make sure we get mystery the display or put too much pressure on one foot I never done that before when a scale deliverance could use we smile and we had for the shower by uncritically accepting evident when it pleased the thoughts and insisting on more when it doesn't we suddenly sent the scales in our favor enough for human apricots we want to paint a picture of God that is acceptable to me that business the scale that I would like I don't like reading of passages in the spirit of prophecy that tell me things that are not pleasing to my senses and so we end up skewing what objective truth finally he says this research suggests that the way we weigh ourselves in the bathroom is the way we weigh evidence outside of it and this also pertains to two true and God as well Corinthians but that is way at first within chapter two verse eleven no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God now we have received the spirit who is from God that we might know the thing that in freely given to us by God but the natural man and noticed the keyword here is natural of the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him nor can he know them because they are what because are spiritually discerned Sony AVS at some level will never be able to understand some of the things found in the Old Testament because he does not have the perspective in the glasses the eyeglasses of spiritual reality or spiritual perception he's an unconverted man and so that's something to keep in mind as we will address later so some other limits Carl Henry says that sin and corruption involving human life frustrate the natural morality now how many of you wake up and find yourself without having devotions that you can go throughout the day and naturally just be good spiritually cry someone smacked in the face someone steps on your awry and your natural response is I'll turn the other cheek as I love now and that is that right and and and and and and is the very point that is being made here because of moral rebellion man suffers moral distortion this distortion of moral continent 's sole severe that the surviving content is no longer serviceable it is impossible to arrive at an absolute distinction between what is right and wrong from observation of human variants alone you know even for on fallen humanity the scale needed special revelation meaning direct commands of God to inform her what is good and what is not even in an unformed state an example of that is she would never have known not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil unless God older job her short nature in and of itself would not inform her of that reality of that how much more I fallen human being beings do we need us the Scriptures and the voice of God to inform us of truth and error and to distinguish between them will report whenever man systematized is it he distorts it because the mind is in the service of a only morally rebellious will pride and rebellion hauler is speculative reconstruction of the moral claims of God 's image this is why Ellen White says that this is the powwow maybe the powerful core how many of you have preach a sermon before and I was a probably most of your hands have one time got up and had preached a sermon or Bible study of some kind notice what only says this is along the lines of yes we may read the Bible we may observe nature and yet not have the right perspective the right interpretation of these things that is what she says she's a young ministers may speak the truth fluently and yet have no real sense of the words they utter no real words no real sense of the wards in the Beijing to hear the aim rather than preaching to become popular and yet have no real sense of the death of those words so why is having a knowledge of God so important we look at this text earlier John seventeen three our eternal life is is is based upon and this is eternal life or is it cleanable to it at the very lean that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent also the first and second Commandments thou shall have no no other gods before me and thou shall not make unto thee any graven or car images we often look at these tax and we just surely see the note on breaking economic creating models and images of God and I'm not bowing down to them today what we're carving our not be the goal object work hard being ideas notions of God that are absolutely invalid and in and on biblical and therefore incorrect so you can break the first and second Commandments by painting a picture of God that is not the true God the one idea or concept interview data of God that is falls and in this way we construct we may unfold ourselves car or painted imaginary instances of who God is and when that happens remember that initial who we read what happens when we have a false misconception hour or misconception of who God is in is detrimental to the soul and it shapes our whole spiritual experience and that's a nice point that I want to make having the correct of view of who God is will be permanent or local one or just the fact of having any type of conception of God will determine how you are going to react or relate Oryx who God is it's so important to get it all right because your whole experience is going to be shaped on on on that one fact when giving example during the Roman dog and imagine with me that will call and I don't write Fido has been abused day after day after day abuse and job at the lingo that human beings is being hit and scored and tortured as a one day the Humane Society rescues by no and he goes into the shelter and after some time he is ready for adoption as young as a young family picks up the dog and an taken whole before you know that I do is there going to reach out and adjuster a lot to that dog and how evening that all is going to react to that gesture of love at right is going to be feared we get a Windows because that's all he knows of human beings and in the same way in our picture of who God is skew it we've seen God has been big as arbitrary right who is out to get you then even when God reaches out in love and he gestures forth in love is going to win and react as though the hand reaching out in the hospital and and so your whole experience is shaped by your image of who God is it's that important so how do we obtain a knowledge of the true God a life sentence at the price page eighty five many many are the ways in which God is seeking to make himself known to us and bring us into communion with him he doesn't do nature we only look at this and nature speaks for senses without ceasing to all are we right now the love and glory of God is revealed in the words of the hands the listening ear to hear and understand the communications of God the things of nature we also learn of God 's providence experience and and our surroundings all of this essay in the same book subscribe page eighty seven God speaks to us through his providential workings in our circumstances and surroundings in the changes daily taking place around us we may find precious lessons are heartbroken over and discern them in acts of the apostles page two eighty seven this is the one caveat before I go there experiences good and it's a great way that God used a great tool that God uses to teach us about him but we have to be careful with experience because it subject to interpretation and as we noted before our interpretations could be wrong LI says impressions alone are not a safe guide the enemy often persuade me to believe that it is God who is guiding them when in reality they are following human impulse how maybe I've had at one point in your life that such a God thing God is leading me and then two years later he realized that that was view and not God like a very good with the disastrous you often see that it relationships are writes that Santa Fe I've been in a plethora of ice is a plethora of and I had no relationship with her I just said no more I know you're leaving me I just know that I feel a I feel it in my heart and then there is absolutely flat out wrong and I got to walk away in shame and say my peer right now one hundred golf to allow but anyway so interested in getting terrible about the Holy Spirit never should apply will be studying without prayer before opening his page we should ask for them to enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and it will be given what about Scripture God speaks to us in his word here we have been clearer lines the revelation of his character of his dealings with men and that gray work of redemption in clearer lines than anywhere else our Scripture informs us of who God is sanctification digital that sanctification also informs you better as you grow and become more like God in character that also result in you know and got better than explain what they note that Jesus said that the pure in heart will see God and often times when we we interpret this passage that that that the pure in heart will see God we kind of look at the interpreter interprets that passage as occurring at the end of time because I been pure lunacy got when he calls correct the Ellen White puts a different spin on it she says that she says only and this is in the context of the pure in heart seeing God and not a blessing 's page twenty five and twenty seven she says this only like can appreciate or if you have gone through some hard turmoil or experience in an you you relay your burdens to a friend but it doesn't satisfy you if they just when you're going through right only sensible rule like and appreciate life unless you accept in your own life the principle of self-sacrificing love which is the principle of this character is when these are strong words you cannot know God you cannot know until you accept in your own life the principle of self-sacrificing love we discern the true we disarm the truth by becoming ourselves partakers of the divine nature let me help illustrate this this principle of only light can appreciate like that as I become more like I think of more like God as he changes my character and as I grow in this sense I began to even parole this leads me to grow in my understanding of who God is my mom used to with one whenever we visit home a whole family and every morning how many of you enjoy fresh wheezed orange juice made just like right out of us squish her pattern of dollars you about machines are constructed where you stick a half of an orange Donatists spins in a triad that it will funnel the juice out what my mom would do that in the morning every morning I wake up and there'd be a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange little bit of hope in that you know that this is fascinating stuff right and so great stuff and so I wake up David B it does bring a smile to my face about that thing down and you know I appreciate it my mom for their I love her order I mean you can I can make a strong case that it is abroad on affection for my mother then one morning but it but it is limited because one morning my mom could endure visually busy doing other stuff so I was asked to squeeze that orange juice the overall like ten family members so as I was squeezing of the warships and have my multiples are getting tired right as I was going to this experience I began to see my mother and I early different way because I began to understand what she went through at each and every morning for me so that when we began to live as Christ is sacrifice leaving for others more than ourselves and then we read passages and Matthew Mark Luke and John our eyes are open to that shrew greatness the true greatness of the character of God to give you and I have fallen creatures who are nobodies we think we're sacrificing when we do the little small tasks as a sacrifice for others then we see God who was gone the God that you feel when you look out at stores that God came down to squeeze orange street if you will review when I then is awakened in the heart this concept of like beginning to appreciate life so that as we are increasing in our repentance as it was talked about earlier and in our sanctification we begin to grow in our love towards God simplification is not legal in some wonders been correctly empowering the sense that it would help them to understand love that much more finally did you know that health living a healthful life also helps us to understand God better make again what does health have anything to do with my understanding of God what does and out and this is the reason why we only organ by which and through which God can communicate with you and I is what is our pouring and how we live our lives determines determine how efficient and how useful our brains are two lots and so if you read here out why says this is the mind and the soul find expression through the body both mental and spiritual vigor or in a great degree dependent upon physical strength and activity whatever promotes physical health promote the development of a strong mind and a well balanced character without hell no one no one can as distinctly understand or as completely fulfill his obligations to himself to his fellow beings or to its creator therefore the hell should be has faithfully guarded as the character and by the way health and the health method it's not the end stop the goal was to gain the goal on the endless aching is Jesus Christ but if we want to understand Jesus much better than how becomes a part of that process and we need to understand the health message in this context because many times we as concerned Windows are guilty of making how the man and not the means only understand in this relation leaving the health method will not be interpreted as legalism as a means to helping us to experience and taste and enjoy Jesus Christ and our father that much better through the Holy Spirit all this to say we conclude that we've looked at correct ways of out of formulating or conception and our perceptions of God we've looked at some wrong ways of doing that now don't look at the specific attacks in our next meeting of how the new APS or painting a picture of God to the masses because they're vocalizing that serve their militant about this and their claims against God the Old Testament God need to be addressed by Seventh-day Adventists much more than it in so that we can be our next presentation we would in the end ten minutes early looks like the next meeting circuit eleven of fun not mistaken in this one is supposed to go I believe the and forty five is that right looking at Coffman as he one of the leaders and youth also looking for his notes for will have word in the second that right okay so let's go ahead and end with the award of prayer and what I'm thinking no I actually better scratch that idea ultimately left to start no earlier and earlier but there may be others who are coming that will be attending for the first time so we'll stick with eleven Gabbana the twenty five minute break and so I hope leaves don't feel like you're getting your moneys worth of you I be back to Adam Dollar had a forward prayer heavenly father we thank you so much for giving us the word of God that clearly informs us of who you are and how we are to worship you how we are to relate to you and we pray Lord that you will continue to teach us because our our picture of who you are is not complete and in some way that all never be completed but at the very least we may have some misconceptions we made a half we may have ideas who you are that are faulty that we picked up along the way to society some pastor or some church member in the misrepresented your and that we may have misrepresented to others we pray Lord that you would assist us and help us and guide us to be being and make sure clear reflection of who you are not thank you Lord is in a this media was brought by audio nurse a website dedicated to spreading God 's research on audio and much more I would like to know more about our universe is like this is more so than please visit www. audio person or


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