Have you ever wondered why God isn’t at least as smart as you? Honestly, if you were God and had a chance to create your own world, would your world be different from the one God actually created? What is your idealized vision of a “perfect” world? At one time or another haven’t you wished that you could live in a world that wasn’t so deeply flawed by suffering and sin? Have you ever wondered why God seems to “hide” Himself from public view, making it difficult for so many to believe in Him? Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t intervene more often into human affairs to set things back in order? Wouldn’t you just love to have a crack at playing God and be able to create world peace, bring instant retribution (or instant rehabilitation) upon all the bad guys, and eliminate all hunger, poverty and disease? Wouldn’t you just love to be able to show yourself to the world, instead of remaining invisible, and make it easy for everyone to believe in you? And, why make people wait for heaven? Why not just send everyone there right now, or why not just create a heavenly utopia right here on earth?
What would that heavenly utopia of yours be like? Would everyone be rich? If so, then who would serve them? Or would they all be like witches and just wrinkle their noses to make everything happen instantly without the need for any kind of work? If you were God, would you force everyone to love you and respect you, or would you let them all do as they pleased, so long as they didn’t hurt anyone else in the process? Would it be OK for them to just thumb their noses at you and go on with their lives as though you didn’t even exist? Would you be a loving God, or an indifferent God? Would it matter to you whether or not people loved you back? Would it ever rain, or only just rain at night? Would there be losers, as well as winners at sports, business, and other endeavors? Would you have to work and train hard to win at sports, or would we all just be able to run like the wind, with no effort at all?
How would you deal with those who did harmful and hurtful things to others? Would you provide instant retribution, or rehabilitate them on the spot? What about the injured parties? Would you heal their wounds or would you just not allow bad people to hurt them in the first place? Just how would you go about doing that? In other words, how would you control people’s actions? Would you force them to think only good thoughts and make it impossible for them to think bad thoughts and do bad things? How would you accomplish that? Would you somehow program their brains to only behave in certain ways? Would you create a race of people who were programmed to never hate or think bad thoughts? If you programmed them to only make wise and correct choices, then how could they take pride in making those choices? How would they develop any feelings of self worth and experience the exhilaration of success, if success came easy, with no effort at all? Would people be allowed to experience sorrow and defeat? Would you create a race of robots, or would you create a race of people with free will and allow them to make both right and wrong choices? Would you want them to build churches and teach one another how to behave and appreciate the things you do for them? Would you force them to attend? Would you instantly correct them when they make mistakes, especially mistakes that might be harmful to others, or would you allow them to learn from their mistakes and improve their qualities of character in the process?
Would you want your presence to be visible and known to all? Or would you want people to sometimes wonder about and question your existence? If you were to impose your presence on everyone, in unmistakable, visible form, do you think that might have an inhibiting effect on their actions? Do you think they might be inclined to behave because you’re sitting right there in front of them, rather than because they really want to do the right thing? In other words, do you want them do good because they are intimidated by your presence or because they have become genuinely good people? If they are to make free moral choices for the right reason, do you think it might be necessary for them to be equally free to make the wrong choices?
Would you want everyone to be good looking, or would you prefer that they develop the qualities of character to the point where outward appearance would be irrelevant to them? How would you go about making them beautiful on the inside? What qualities of inner character would you want them to develop? Would you want them to be loving, kind, generous, thoughtful, brave, resourceful, grateful, satisfied, happy, ambitious, motivated, strong willed, purposeful, energetic, helpful, self-sacrificing, humble, obedient, and so on? If so, how would you go about helping them to develop those qualities? Would you just snap your finger and instantly program their brains to think that way? What would be the difference between those programmed creatures and robots or computers? Or would you prefer to create a race of authentically human individuals, with the freedom to make right and wrong choices, who would, in the process of making those choices and experiencing the natural consequences of such, develop genuine qualities of character?
If self-sacrificing love were your chief characteristic, how would that affect the way you interact with your created beings? Would you want them to be capable of responding to you in kind? Would you create them in your own image, so to speak, with a capacity for self-sacrificing love? By definition, self-sacrificing love involves putting another’s needs ahead of one’s own. Is self-sacrifice even possible in a utopian world where sadness, failure, disease, and evil do not even exist? If there were nothing but good in the world, nothing but success and happiness, then there would never be a need for self-sacrifice. One would never have to put another’s needs before one’s own, because everyone’s needs would automatically be met at all times. The kind of love that is appreciated the most, the kind that costs you something, would be completely absent in such a world. And how would you create joy in the hearts of your subjects, if they were never to experience sorrow? How would they even be able to know that they are happy?
The truth is that every single character quality you, as God, would desire to see in your created beings, can only be defined and made possible by the existence of an opposite, negative quality. What a predicament God must have faced, when he created the beings on this planet. Not even an omnipotent God can create the impossible. In other words, God cannot make something true that is false. He cannot create light unless he also creates darkness, because one is defined by the other. He cannot create love without hate. He cannot create justice without injustice. He cannot create joy without sorrow. He cannot create patience without trials. He cannot develop in us the qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control without also allowing for the possibility of hate, sorrow, worry, impatience, hurtfulness, evil, disloyalty, violence, and license. Positive qualities cannot develop in isolation from their negative counterparts.
A perfect world is not possible without built-in “imperfections.” Makes you wonder what Heaven is like, doesn’t it? And, would it make any sense at all to create a Heaven without a Hell?