The same folks who brought us the Obama job approval rating decided to take the same poll for God. They felt it wouldn't be fair to God to take into account the answers of the atheists. They don't believe in God anyway. Nor did they take into account the answers of the agnostics who admit they don't have a clue. So they only tabulated the answers from those who who claim to believe that God exists.
What were the results? Fewer that 50% felt God was doing a good job. The most common reason listed for His bad grade was the abundance of terrible tragedies that take place - tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, murders, rapes, robberies, etc. People felt that either God could have prevented them and didn't, meaning He didn't care; or that God was incapable of doing anything about it, meaning He isn't up to the job.
Politicians live or die based on their job approval ratings, and I'm sure our President is pretty nervous about his. But I doubt that God is up in heaven wringing His hands over this. Yet, the reasons given by people need to be explained. The truth is the ratings show a complete lack of understanding about the way the world operates.
The truth is it isn't God's fault the world is messed up. It is ours. Starting with Adam and Eve, we've lived in rebellion against God and His rules. We've ignored The warnings of God. Then we complain when we get the outcome.
Adam started it off. Adam disobeyed the one and only restriction God placed on him in paradise by eating the forbidden fruit, and he suffered the promised punishment. He died - spiritually at first and eventually physically.
Beyond that, this entire world was cursed. Genesis 3:17-19 gave the details as God addressed Adam,
"Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, for dust you are, and to dust you shall return."We bear the burden of living in this cursed world - a world cursed because of man's sin.
Throughout history, men knew their sinfulness, and they knew who to blame for the curse. The Puritans used to say, "Life is brutish and short, and then you die." But they never lost their faith because of it. Why? Because their pulpits thundered against sin. They never thought to blame God when they were so obviously sinful. They were simply grateful for the opportunity to repent and receive forgiveness.
Now it seems like lots of God's spokesmen are embarrassed by the God of the Bible and by the Bible itself. They have eradicated any mention of sin, judgment, punishment, or hell. Rather God is presented as a jovial Santa Claus like figure who doles out goodies and winks at our failings.
Bob Burney wrote that these pastors have done to God what they used to do to criminals and mentally ill patients in the 40s and 50s. They lobotomized God to make His behavior acceptable to society (A lobotomy being a surgery to remove part of the brain to alter behavior). He writes,
"His holiness makes us uncomfortable. His justice seems a little harsh. His righteousness seems totally out of touch with our culture as a whole. So what do we do with a God who makes us feel uncomfortable and inferior? It's easy. We perform a lobotomy. We simply perform an operation to remove the offending attributes."
Jeromy Johnson tells why:
"Cause if God behaves and thinks like that, that is not a God worthy of my - nor anyone else's worship or even respect. This god would be deemed as evil, hating, unjust, and demented."Really? And this from His so-called spokesmen?
So instead of preaching the God of the Bible, we hear of a kinder and gentler God. Quoting Burney,
"It's not hard to find this gentler, kinder God. Turn on the TV or radio and you're likely to hear from Rev. Johnny Glitter-teeth smiling broadly and telling the congregation that God only wants to do good things for them. Think happy thoughts and God will give you all you want whenever you want it. You will hear wonderful platitudes like 'Turn your scars into stars' and other wonderful possibilities."No wonder people blame God when it doesn't come true. They have been offered a false god, not the God of the Bible. The God who allows tragedies doesn't fit that modern template.
What you won't hear from their pulpits are the words of Scripture, words like these from Hebrews 10:28-31,
"Anyone who has rejected Moses' Law dies without mercy on the testimonies of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment do you suppose will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."But no one is warned about that from most pulpits.
Rather than be surprised by tragedy, pain, or suffering, we should wonder why any of us are ever spared. Yet we are. Praise God that He sent His Son to die on the cross to bear the penalty of our sins.
But as to the job rating of God, the blame should never be laid at the feet of God. Rather, it should be laid at the feet of the church, and more specifically the pulpits. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?"
Salt was the preserving agent that was rubbed into meat to keep bacteria from growing. Symbolically, the salt is the church (the individual believers making up the church) rubbed into the world, permeating it and providing a preserving influence on society by teaching and modeling Biblical truth. If our world has gone rotten to the core, who is to blame? Is it the meat's fault of the salt? Obviously, the church has lost her saltiness.
Chuck Baldwin wrote.
"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the biggest reason America is in the mess that it is in today is directly due to the apathy and indifference of the American pulpit."
Isn't it time the American pulpits thundered again?