The Contradictions of Christianity

“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

I remember a Star Trek episode (you know, the really old one) where the crew of the starship Enterprise were under the control of a highly logical and morally ambivalent android. In order to shut down the android, they had to communicate a series of illogical concepts to it in hopes that such contradictions would cause it to short circuit. The argument they used (certainly used as a teaching tool by philosophers and logicians for millennia went like this:

Premise # 1 – Everything I say is a lie.

Premise # 2 – I am telling the truth.

Both statements cannot be true at the same time, and therefore, creates a contradiction. The android thought it through until its robotic brain fried.

Would you be surprised to learn that the most practiced and enduring religion of our day is loaded with such contradictions? Christianity touches 31% of the population, and while not all those who practice it understand their faith, it might be surprising to learn that Christianity professes belief in some things that defy the boundaries of logic.

Here are a few examples:

1. The Trinity – We believe in one God who is three persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Spirit, the Spirit is not the Father. These three distinct persons are co-equal in essence and substance. But…we do not worship three gods; we worship one God.

2. Jesus Christ is 100% God and 100% man at the same time.

3. God has predetermined the destiny of all creation since the before its beginning, and yet, the choices we make as created people matter and are totally real and totally our own.

Those are just a few. We profess belief in these truths, but we are incapable of explaining them in a way that would satisfy the rules of logic.

Why am I bringing this up? Perhaps it’s because people I have conversations with wrestle with these theological problems in very down-to-earth ways. When God doesn’t make sense in someone’s mind, they seek to resolve the confusion with some kind of answer that satisfies this idea of logic. “Obviously, God is one God, and Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit are just three titles, much like I am a father, a husband, and a schoolteacher all at the same time.” Or someone else might say, “God is totally sovereign, He is in control of everything, and because everything that has happened and will happen was part of an elaborate design from the beginning, my choices are not really my choices. It’s all been decided ahead of time.”

What I want to make clear is that just because something about God doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean that we are supposed to force it to make sense. God has called you and I to a measure of ignorance. Consider the garden of Eden. God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That tree would provide them with a knowledge that God was forbidding. He didn’t want them going to a tree for information, He wanted them to come to Him for it. He also wanted them to be cool with the idea that when they came to Him for knowledge, He might not give it to them.

Why would God not reveal His full self to each of us? What’s the point behind keeping answers from us? The only answer I have been able to come up with is that full knowledge is not the valuable treasure we think it is. Going back to that garden; Adam and Eve ate fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and when they did, the only thing they apparently learned was that they were naked, and it gave them shame.

Knowing things is not near as valuable as knowing God. And God doesn’t want us to know Him fully yet. The Bible says that today we know in part, but tomorrow we will know in full (1 Corinthians 13:12). In other words, there is a specific divine plan in not knowing everything. God sees value in living with a degree of ignorance. It forces each of us to be reliant on Him. Instead of telling us how to get through a maze or giving us a detailed map, God often says, “Keep your eyes closed and let Me guide you.”

So, I encourage you today to embrace the contradictions of God. Celebrate your limited knowledge of Him and His ways. Instead of asking for all the answers, simply say, “Lead me as you will.”

Pastor Scott