From the Michael Savage Newsletter of May 26, 2015:
“After a conversation with a caller about God, Satan and the evil in the world, Dr. Savage shared his personal religious views with his audience.
“What is God waiting for?” Savage wondered.
“Is He watching the world burn before He does anything?
If you want to bring up God and Satan, let’s go for it.
I’ve thought about it my whole life.
How does God permit a school bus full of Christian children to go off a cliff and all the children on the bus die?
Where was God?
How did God stand by while Jewish children were being tortured to death in front of their mothers and then thrown into an oven?
Where was God then?
I actually believe that God has no effect on a moment-by-moment basis or a person-by-person basis.
If I did, then I’d have to stop believing in God.
If I were to believe that God controlled everything on earth, then I’d have to believe that God is evil.
I believe God is not omnipotent. He is omnipresent.
That’s what saved me from atheism.”
Savage’s “belief” in God is not really belief at all. It is a theory built upon, resting upon and supported by the foundation of his own intellectual prowess. His theory places God into a conceptual package that he is then able to manipulate. Rather than humbling himself to worship the perfect and infinite Creator, he gives his own understanding preeminence over God. He worships his own thought processes, because they have created “God” according to his expectations.
Man has been doing this ever since the Fall – the falling of Man from innocence into sin after eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But prior to that loss of fellowship with God, Adam and Eve knew God. They walked and talked with him in Genesis 3. They didn’t need a belief system to relate to God.
God instructed Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for if they did, they would die. The liar Satan, of whom Jesus said was the father of lies (John 8:44) suggested to Eve that it was God who had lied:
You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. – Genesis 3:4-5
What makes Satan the king of liars is that he always sweetens his lies with a bit of truth tossed in, so that the unwary will swallow it whole. In Genesis 3:22 we read,
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”
So, part of what Satan said was true. They had become like God in knowing good and evil. God cast them out of the garden so that they would not eat of the tree of life, thus they died as a result of their sin. Ever since then, humans have had the sinful propensity to place their own knowledge and understanding above the authority of God because in our own eyes we think of ourselves like God, knowing good and evil. “The fact of the matter” is that sin causes all humanity to be spiritually dead. When we sinned, we died a spiritual death.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. – Proverbs 14:12
My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! – Psalm 119:25
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
In his newsletter, Savage asks, “What is God waiting for?”, “Where was God?” He answers his own dilemma by concluding God is omnipresent but not omnipotent. This “belief” is based on his reasoning that if God was indeed all-powerful, he would have to be evil, since he allows horrible things to happen to innocent people. Such a conclusion is nothing more than a rationalization that allows one’s mind to feel secure in the lofty perch of an ego-centric worldview.
Doubters have posed this question forever: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” But if this is a genuine question, then why do they reject the answer? The truth is that the answer can be found in the Bible, and scholars over the centuries have written volumes about it. It’s a question that has been answered, and answered well. The book of Job is an excellent study of the juxtaposition of human suffering and God’s sovereignty.
The issue with Savage and other doubters isn’t theological. It is their own lack of willingness to be held accountable to God’s authority. They readily reject any theological explanation that threatens the supremacy of their own thinking. Their self-vaunting pride restrains God at arm’s length. But Scripture teaches us to be humble before God:
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. – Psalm 25:9
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5
It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. – Proverbs 16:19
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. – James 4:10
Job’s story begins by describing him as blameless and upright, fearing God and shunning evil. Despite this, God allowed Satan to inflict grievous loss and suffering on him. Job considered his circumstances cruel and unjust because he had done nothing to deserve such anguish. He felt justified in demanding that God give him his “day in court” and recognize his “rights”.
Long story short, Job repented of his self-righteous pride, humbled himself before the LORD and worshipped him.
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. – Job 42:2
Translation: God is omnipotent. God’s omnipotence is not subject to our understanding or approval. He isn’t limited by any requirement or held to any standard other than his own. For he said to Moses,
I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. – Romans 9:15
God is God. We are not. This was the point when God said of Job, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2; 42:3). Human thinking is not capable of judging God. We understand neither his intentions nor his methods because they are beyond our capacity. We are finite. He is infinite.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9
This is why believing in God is not a matter of intellectual understanding. Believing in God is a matter of putting your trust in the Almighty, the omnipotent Creator, our heavenly Father. He is beyond our comprehension, but not beyond being known. Just as a child can know his father yet not understand him, so too, we can know our heavenly Father and yet not be able to understand him.
The greater realization is that despite the fact that we are unable to understand God, he does completely understand us. He made us, he knows us inside and out, he knows our circumstances and he knows how we choose to live. He understands everything about us – intimately. Yet He still wants to restore a personal relationship with us.
Once we have that relationship and are children of God, we have the promise that regardless of what happens to us, our lives are in him, not in ourselves:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
He doesn’t need us to understand him. He wants us to know him. He is not far off; he is not unknowable. In fact, Jesus preached “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). And he said, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7). Read all of chapter 14.
Believing isn’t about what you think. It’s about what you are willing to put your trust in. Faith isn’t figuring something out, it’s acting on what you trust. If you can only trust or act on things you are able to understand, then your concept of God is pretty small and limited.
Yet, God is neither small nor limited. God is infinite, perfect and sovereign. He is not subject to any of our human limitations. The most astounding thing we can understand about God is that despite our sinfulness, he loves us so much that he maintains his offer to redeem us from death.
God offers to save us. The name Jesus means “Jehovah is salvation.” That is why the angel told Joseph, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:20
God offers to draw us to himself. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:44
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
God offers to forgive us. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
God offers to adopt us into his family. “But to all who did receive him [Jesus Christ], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:15
Jesus is calling,
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. – Revelation 3:20
And for those who open the door and receive Christ, he will lift you up and exalt you with himself.
[He] “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:6
Michael Savage, along with all the other human beings on the planet (more than seven and a quarter billion souls), is created with free will. He is free to hold any opinion he wants. But when we speak of “God, Satan and the evil in the world” there is only one truth, and that is not subject to opinion. God has revealed that truth to us in the Bible, in order that everyone may know it. It is not hidden. It does not require us to figure out what we should “believe” in.
What makes it difficult for many people today is that their world views structure their thinking around false assumptions that prevent them from discovering or even recognizing the truth. The paths and roadways of their minds will never lead to the truth – only to entertaining or comforting fantasies.
Savage is satisfied with his world view, but his concept of God is nothing more than an intellectual exercise. It fails to comprehend the depth of the spiritual realities of “God, Satan and evil in the world”. World views are like religions. People “believe” in them. But all world views are not equal. Don’t let your world view prevent you from knowing God. It’s not just about the knowledge of good and evil. It’s about the choice we make between life and death.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. – 1 Corinthians 2:14
But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. – Deuteronomy 4:29