There was a group of people whose relationship with their God went somewhat like this whenever they found themselves in difficult times.
When these people arrived at the shores of a great sea, and were besieged from behind by an enemy force, their God advised they trust Him, move forward, step into the sea, that if they stepped into the sea, He would part the sea, save them.
But is parting the sea not hubris, not a tale, not a myth to impress? Well, parting the sea fits when the people besieged do not have a single sword, spear, bayonet, or shield between them. The alternative to parting the sea? Killing off of their enemies supernaturally. But if their God somehow miraculously killed off their enemies, the people still would have need of a means for moving forward. The only way forward was through that sea. Pragmatism of the situation demanded a parting of the sea, not a killing off of the enemy.
Even if the story were to be a myth, there was demand for the myth, the myth fits, the myth has essence.
Essence of the story? A God who encourages you to move forward with a plan that is noble in quality, and promises to back you up with pragmatic solutions is a good God.
At some other point in time, the same tribe of people found themselves at the brink of a river, a river they had to cross for arrival in their earthly Utopia.
The response of their God? Let the priests wade into the river until they are waist deep, and the river would part for them. The people obeyed, the river parted. Pragmatism of parting of the river? If the people were to wait until the river was low enough to wade through in entirety, the people in the surrounding lands would laugh at them.
How is it they would wonder a God who parts a sea waits for a river to dry up for ushering of His people into their earthly Utopia?
A God who is consistent in the help He provides is a good God.
Perhaps you are in search of God, in search of inner peace and joy. Perhaps you are in need of help for accomplishing of noble purposes. Would you not consider this God who is Father of Jesus Christ a good God? Is not a God who gives you the choice to move forward or stand still, who provides help when you accept His advice, who partners with you, whose help is consistent a good God?
The Father of Jesus Christ has recommended Himself to mankind as a God who cares, a God who loves. Inequality and suffering in the earth is not created by any divine entity, is man’s creation, is outcome of men and women wanting to control or dominate other men and women.
All sufferings on earth are man made, outcomes of man’s refusal to adopt noble objectives only. All sufferings on earth are outcome of rejection of love as overarching principle for life.
With respect to sufferings on earth, consider that throughout history Poles at times have dominated Russians as people of less worth. Simultaneously, Russians have at times dominated Poles as people of less worth.
Whenever either side has had an upper hand in the relationship, they typically have chosen oppression over treatment with dignity. It is fact of history that this pendulum of oppression between Russians and Poles has swung back and forth over time, has swung back and forth perhaps one time too many.
Can we blame God for this pendulum of oppression? Can we blame God for historic refusal of either side to treat the other with dignity? Historically, this was a Christian oppressing another Christian merely because one was born Polish or Russian. When both worship the same God, how can God be to blame for their unwillingness to choose love over hatred, kindness over mistreatment, gentleness over coarseness?
Are upper hands conferred in society so people can mistreat one another, or so there can be order and opportunity necessary for prosperity of all who are willing to apply themselves to working for their prosperity?
When you think about Jews what comes to mind? Probably wealth, and participation in governance of societies. Can you think of any other tribe of people on this earth who are synonymous with wealth and participation in governance of their societies? The God whose blessings created a people with such distinctive quality? The Father of Jesus Christ.
Regardless of highlighted distinctive quality, whenever this same people, the Jews have mistreated others, Christians in particular, this same God has allowed them suffer terribly at hands of other people. Think destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by Roman General Titus, destruction prophesied by both Jesus Christ and Apostle Paul, both of whom were Jews, destruction recorded in annals of history, not in the Bible.
This God’s claim to credibility? Absence of partiality. Even those He loves, those whom He chooses, those whom He has blessed in prior times He judges by their actions.
If there ever could be a perfect God, this God would be meritocratic, judge people on basis of their actions. Would reward good with good, punish evil.
But are not Jews mostly agnostic or atheist today you wonder? And is it not unjust for God to bless people who do not believe in His existence?
You my friend are right on both counts. But this God who is Father of Jesus Christ does not punish if people refuse to acknowledge Him in relationship. This God does not hate if you do not yet feel compelled to acknowledge His person. This God punishes only when people mistreat one another. With this God, only the person who believes it is okay to mistreat others is characterized as evil, is separated from this God, is deserving of punishment.
With God, Father of Jesus Christ, it is refusal to acknowledge that fellow men and women are deserving of love that constitutes rejection of His existence.
In so far as Jesus Christ is concerned, atheism or agnosticism never is grounds for punishing anyone. Only delight in mistreatment of others ever is grounds for punishing of anyone. If a man reserves the right to mistreat his fellow man, His Creator has earned the right to apply same paradigm to same man. Yet, however, this God is both just and merciful.
If society judges those who mistreat others, those who are caught, those whose actions can be proven, can God’s right to punish ever be less than that of society?
A God whose treatment of you, whose response to you is predicated on your actions, not predicated on same preset agenda to hate or love you is a good God. A God who helps with your noble agendas, who punishes sources of evil agendas directed at you is a good God.
If you seek help with life, if you seek encouragement in courses of life, if you are weary and almost giving up, if everything around you seems to weigh down not lift up, if you seek succor with challenges of life, why not give this God who commends His love towards you a chance to make a difference?
If still you have doubts about reality of Jesus Christ and His Father, all Father and Son ask is that first you choose love for others as noble platform for life, that you believe in their advice that love is the best way, that love is the only way that never fails, the only way to right living, peace, and joy.
This pragmatic God is willing to walk with you, to prove Himself to you in context of your agnosticism, but will only walk with you if you will believe His counsel to choose love for others over hatred, to choose kindness over callousness, to choose gentleness over coarseness, to choose meritocracy over partiality.
If you want the world to be a better place, is it not a place of love, kindness, gentleness, and meritocracy that you seek?