No one can properly consider the validity of Christianity or God unless they try to understand the purpose and motivation of God. I cannot even pretend to know all about His goal for humanity, but I will present some of what we know from the Bible.
Now you may reject the Bible as the Word of God, but if we are discussing who the Christian God is and what his desires or motivations are, it is the voice of authority. For example, if we are discussing what the Ohio law regarding taxes is, the Ohio Revised Code is the voice of authority. If we are discussing whether the law is good for the economy or not, the law itself is not authoritative. So in discussing the character and motivation of God, the Bible is the authority. I realize I cannot say that God exist or his goals are logical simply because the Bible says so.
The Relationship God Desires With Us And Each Other.
It is easy to say the ultimate goal of God for humanity is heaven, but we know very little about heaven, but what we know quite a bit about is what God desires in his relationship with us and our relationship with each other. I’m sure my comprehension of these relationship goals is inadequate to the point of being pathetic, but I’ll to my best. Please comment.
Extreme Unity : “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:21 From these words of Jesus we know that God wants us to be one with him and one with each other. God desires unity. Now unity can mean a lot of things, so what does God mean by unity?
Well the Bible many places uses marriage as a description of his relationship with his people.
Ephesians 5: 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
Ephesians 5:29-32 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”c 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
II Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.
In marriage two people come together and, as the Bible would say, “become one flesh”. We can see that easily in the family structure of two people producing a child. I think the child is the completeness of the unity and the symbol of the unity God desires. Recent science sheds an incredible amount of light of this. We have always been able to look at a child and see some of its parents characteristics but now we know about DNA.
We know that when a child is conceived half of its genes come from the father and half from the mother and these genes come together to form the child’s DNA. That DNA is the building block of every cell of the child. Now imagine trying to divide the child again into it’s mother and father. Obviously you can’t start cutting away at the child because you would have to divide every cell in the childs body, which would of course destroy the child. Even in a laboratory it won’t work. You could theoretically take a sample of the child’s DNA and divide the genes that came from the father and the mother, but you wouldn’t end up with either the father or the mother. The pile of genes you would have for each would be useless, unable to even produce half a person!
It seems obvious to me that he wants to be so unified with us that we are indivisible from him. I think it is also safe to say he wants us all to be unified with each other.
God wants us to truly love him and bring him glory. This is the purpose of our life, and by life I mean forever. At first, this may seem self-centered of God, but if God is all-good, it turns out this is best for us and best for humanity in general. 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
God created us to live forever. Really, this is unfathomable for the human mind. Forever is more than just a very long time. Mark 12:26 26“But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’27So he is the God of the living, not the dead. You have made a serious error.”
God wants us to have a free-will. John 5:40 “But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life.” God does not force us to love, hate, follow, lead etc. etc. True glory and praise can only come when a person is free to choose whether to praise or not. We have all been patronized and know what false praise feels like. God wants us to reside with him in heaven, but only if we want to be there. If we had no choice in the matter our presence would be hollow. God wants us to have unity with him and with each other, but again, this would be completely meaningless if we had no choice. God knows that true love, friendship and unity only can occur when it is freely chosen.
In Summary: Try to grasp the long term goal for God and humanity. He wants an incredible relationship of unity in which every person is completely capable of harming other people, but never, ever chooses to do so. Where people can “look out for number 1” but never do. Where eternal goodness, holiness and love are not the product of the power of God, but the product of the choices made by people who could choose otherwise. Where there truly is no longer and “I” or a “You”, but only “Us” because we have all freely chosen to give up our lives to live as one indivisible being, like a child’s DNA.
Now lets discuss all of Christian philosophy in the light of who Christianity defines God as, and this immense goal that Christianity believes that God has undertaken.