Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Is God a Peeping Tom?

Staks Rosch and I traded blog URLs a while back. We both have one son and wives who are so productive they don’t have time to blog, but otherwise, as his wife put it, can we be more different? He asks a lot of good questions—OK, they’re not phrased as questions—and I think it’s worth the effort to take a shot at answering them, even if he probably doesn’t care what I think.

In the first post I read, he makes the point that if there were an omniscient God, he would see us in our most private moments. What kind of God would want to be present at times when we wouldn’t want company? How does he feel about watching pretty girls take showers or ugly people have sex or anyone on the toilet?

This isn’t “can God make a rock he can’t lift?” silliness. We all know what it’s like to have well-meaning people take more interest in us than we can stand. Even those who administer “intense interrogation” take breathers—how much worse is it to have God prying into even our thoughts?

One hero of the faith, Job, knew the feeling well: "What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment? Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?”

The most important thing to remember is that God “does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” From this we can infer that if God is watching Miss Hottie take a shower, he probably gets less erotic charge from her physical attributes than a loving parent gets watching his son or her daughter use the potty chair for the first time. And if I’m right that he’s aghast that those who claim to be his people have given unqualified support to Uncle Sam’s murder and plunder, he’s no more concerned about her physique than we are about our arm hair.

I happen to believe that God delegates a lot of routine matters to creation (see Gen 1:17-18) and so doesn’t need to guide every droplet of that shower over the more interesting (to a guy) parts of Miss Hottie’s anatomy. But even if he does, God’s statement of his own priorities leads me to believe he views the process more like a guy waxing the car he’s built from scratch than like that same guy would helping her take her shower. That is, he takes pleasure from her pleasure at the warmth of the water, not from groping her. Or maybe he places the experience closer to guiding the microbes in her digestive tract (if he hasn’t simply delegated that function) than to respond to him in love.

And really, after somewhere between six thousand and six billion years, despite variety being the spice of life, wouldn’t a holy God find peeping at girls who don’t want him around boring?

Peeping Toms do nothing for their victims, but Jesus said, “I am among you as one who serves.” God has created us to love us, to show us that we are literally to die for. We tend to view him as an intruder on our turf rather than as the most ardent of lovers, but he’s so busy working to convince us of the truth that he doesn’t have time, let alone the inclination, for voyeurism.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting perspective. I've wondered, I must admit. I'll mull this over.