On Job Challenging God

One recent comment I heard from a doctor at a seminar was that to express anger at God was tantamount to heresy. There is a point that on the surface seems legitimate. How could you challenge a God? Is it not insane to do so?

Where this falls apart is in the book of Job. Here death in Job’s life lead to questioning God’s character. After Job experience the tragedy and then is advised poorly by friends and leftover family, he puts God on trial.

In the doctor’s defense, God’s response was “You’re in no place to make claims on my character.” The separation that the Bible makes with this person is that God blesses Job after this incident. Does God bless heresy? The answer is that God does not. Aside from the issue that this is a misapplication of the word heresy and that this doctor is a medical doctor playing theologian, the Bible itself takes issue with this attack on expressing exactly how you feel to God.

Another defense for the doctor is that people usually make judgment on God because God does not do what they want or what they think is good. God is the one who is the source of all things and is the one we must trust even in the hardest of times. This might be where this man is heading, though is verbal expressions over the matter are a bit mistaken. Anger and frustration is no stranger in the Scriptures nor is it in Church history. We must remember that God calls on us to bring our problems to Him. If God did not, he would only be asking us to internalize pain and not process it in healthy spirituality.

The bigger issue is finding the Bible’s expression of who God is and what he requires. God  is not a distant father holding us at arm’s length as we cry out to Him in pain. He is one who listens and sends rescue. We cannot make God conform to human patterns. Instead, we must ask if we are conforming to God’s patterns. Are we becoming more kind, patient, comforting, listening, seeking holy and life-giving work.

Are we as Christians seeking a holy, intimate God or a distant deity? Do we seek the Bible’s expression of God? And are we seeking what that understanding of God means for our daily lives?