I’m sure there were a lot of readers who watched the debate done with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort last night. I was not one of them. I worked late and I didn’t really have much interest in this one. From what I’ve heard, it was probably a good thing I did miss it. If I can, I will try to track down the questions posed and answer them here. From what I understand though, this was one of the more popular ones.
There was a lady who complained about God being a megalomaniac who creates us to worship him and essentially, stroke his ego, and that she would rather burn in Hell before she would spend eternity with a God like that. How can anyone not see this as cruel and tyrannous?
My first response naturally is, “By what standard does she condemn this action?” I do realize though that beyond that, there are several Christian theists who might wonder about this question. Is God being a megalomaniac? Does he create us and say “Worship me or burn?” (For the record, while I believe in Hell, I do not subscribe to the fiery furnace view.)
The problem is that we view God as being exactly like ourselves too often. We think that it’s always wrong to want glory and honor. Is it though? Do we condemn a sports superstar who rightfully deserves the praise given? Don’t we have ceremonies in many areas and places honoring those who stand out above the rest?
Indeed, giving someone glory is not always a bad thing, especially if they deserve it. I also don’t think it’s wrong to seek honor. In fact, Aquinas considered honor as one of the things that is the greatest good in life, the sunnum bonum. He rejected it ultimately, but he did consider it and he did say it is a good thing. Would it be better to say “I really want to be hated in my field someday!”
However, what if we reversed things? What if we realized that God doesn’t do this for his benefit because he has all already. How can he be bettered? What can I give God that will make him better than he was? It is imperative to realize this grace of God in that we come to him and give him nothing and he gives us everything.
Man was made to glorify God for man was made to reflect God and in reflecting God not only do we glorify him, but we become more ourselves as well. Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up. Whoever humbles himself, will be exalted. Rest assured, if you exalt yourself, you will be humbled. If both come either way, it is best to choose the former.
God is not bettered by our worship. The Trinity lived in happy and loving unity long before we ever came along. Instead, it is we who are benefited. By worshiping, we become more human than we were before and we become more that which reflects his nature. It is the due glory that we give God as well. It’s what he deserves simply because of who he is.
So no, it is not megalomaniacal, which cannot be condemned anyway in moral relativism. It is a just response from a creature who realizes the truth. If the truth is that God created us and loves us and we are bettered for exalting him, then let us exalt him. If it is the truth, we should believe it, regardless of rather or not we like it.
Unfortunately, many will probably be like this lady and say they would rather go to Hell. No doubt, some will. I can only pray that maybe for writing this, maybe one less person will go.