Is God the real "Bad Teacher"?
When thinking about the best teachers in my life I notice a common thread, they were patient, they were caring, they believed in me, they never gave up, they never caused me to feel shame no matter how block headed I was at times, they always had a word of positive reinforcement for me, and they would go over things with me, with no complaints, as many times and is took for me to get it and then share in my joy when I had the "aha" moment. They treated me in a way that I wanted to reach my true potential, I wanted to exceed expectations, I wanted to bring them a smile, and I wanted them to know what they invested in me wasn't wasted. An experience like that really sticks with you.
I had my share of bad teachers as well. They were impatient, I would feel ashamed when I made a mistake, I felt like I could never do good enough, they were short, very brash about things, made you fearful to mess up, weren't someone you could go and ask questions, no matter how sorry I was about my mistakes I always felt that I was worthless, and they fueled bullies. The bullies would laugh at me, pick on me, mock me, in a roundabout way these bad teachers fueled the bullies in my life with how they treated me in their classroom, gave them perfect ammunition to make me feel even worse. And I’d swear that sometimes I’d see a smile on the teachers face when they’d see me being picked on.
I shared this because I felt everyone could relate. Everyone has at least one teacher that was wonderful and changed their life in a way, and everyone has at least one bad teacher that they wished they could of switched classes from and were happy at the end of the year to never have to go back. How does this relate to today? Is it Teacher’s day or something? I don’t think so, is it? I kind of began like this because it relates to how we see God.
There is a belief that is saddening, frustrating, and harmful that pretty much paints God as a bad teacher. We can all share how a good teacher caused us to learn more, grow more, made a bigger impact, etc. than any of our bad teachers ever could, but many people are under this strange impression that when it comes to God, we can only learn things by Him being a bad teacher and sicking His bully satan on us. It’s expressed by saying God “allows” us to be abused. God allows child abuse as much as your pastor or the police allow child abuse in this world, just as your pastor and the police want no child abuse it still happens. God wants His children to not have to go through painful circumstances, yet they still happen. It’s not His fault, it’s, look in the mirror, every single human on this planets fault, we originally allowed these things in our lives, not God.
This theology causes us to take the responsibility off of us, to be stagnant, lazy, fearful, and display a mock humility. It is focused on self, yes it is. We can speak of how “special” we were to have had God’s attention to have to abuse us to cause us to become "warriors." I’ve seen Christians talk down about those that they say only speak “foxhole” prayers, that means they only pray when things are going bad, but when they are going good, they don’t talk to God. Well, isn’t it fair to say that they learn that to begin with from the testimonies of those confused about God’s character? You say it took a bad thing for you to know God, well that’s what they are doing, turning to God when bad things happen. That’s what it takes right? No bad thing, no divorce, no abuse, no loss of job, no loss of health in our lives, and we wouldn’t have called God into our lives. Right? Without the bad things in our lives we wouldn’t have turned to God. That’s your words. Doesn’t match up with how the gospel was shared and people were saved in scriptures. I don’t recall any of the people Jesus healed saying Jesus caused it in the first place so that they would believe in Him.
God has a way of taking the worst the enemy throws at us and bringing a blessing out of it. And it’s wonderful to hear testimonies of God’s faithfulness, but so many when describing this beautiful process and His faithfulness in their lives, blame the problem itself on God. They say that God caused all of these bad things to teach them something yet God relays in scripture that through scripture, Godly counsel, and his Spirit He teaches us. They say they had to be broken to find God, etc, etc. If you’ve said this, do you really understand what you’re saying? God was there the whole time, you could have turned to Him at any time, He didn’t need bad things in your life to be a presence. He didn’t move, you did. He didn’t need bad things to draw you to Him, He loved you from the start, before you were in your mother’s womb. He gave His son for you while you were doing whatever ridiculous things you were involved in that gave the enemy an open door to screw with you.
Heck, the enemy has a wide open door in many Christians lives because they believe God allows bad things in their lives so they actually walk in destruction and expect this destruction in their lives instead of telling the destruction to leave their presence. Then God in His loving kindness and mercy pulls you out of that destruction, provides you what you need to make it through and instead of recognizing Him as a loving Father, you come up with this mistaught theory that if you didn’t have that destruction you would never of known God’s faithfulness. So you incorrectly believe and incorrectly preach to others that God had to destroy your life to draw you to Him. He needed to cause destruction for you to appreciate Him.
God saved you with a pure love, He’s not the one who deceived Adam. He doesn’t sneak up behind you and push you down a well only to send a rope down to save you, to make you like Him. If your mother pushed you in front of a moving car then pulled you back out of the street at the last second, and you went around telling people how much your mom loves you and taught you to not play near the street because she “allowed” you to fall in the street and then saved you at the last minute, and that’s how you came to love her and learn from her, I don’t think you’d be in that household for much longer. Your mom would be investigated and most likely charged with a crime. But some of you really believe God is like that. Instead of repeating what someone told you, think things through, because it makes no sense and it totally is against the character of someone who would give their own Son for you. Why would the Son go through so much torture to set you free from death and be victorious over sin to then end up abusing you to teach you things. Some equate a spanking from their parents to total destruction in their lives and claim that’s what scripture defines discipline from God. He said He would do more than a earthly father not giving a son a stone or a snake, but heck, He’ll decimate your family to refine you. Well, hey, God is big so his spankings must be big too, right? C’mon, that makes no sense.
Plus, abuse does not work at teaching someone something. There’s plenty of parents in prison right now that can testify to that. You are learning things because you are pursuing God, not because you are going through something. Take the bad crap out of your life and you can still pursue God and still learn. I started learning more about God’s character when I stopped believing this rotten theology. So in short, your best teacher will never be as good and loving as God, and God will never, eeeeeeeeever behave like your worst teacher for you to learn something. It’s not His character. God is love. Real love does not abuse. Real love does not play the villain to then come in and play the hero. That’s sick. Just because you can’t wrap your mind around God being God but God still having to play by a set of rules that He graciously gave us for us to be free, and limiting Himself to empower us, doesn’t mean He’s behind all the stuff that happens in a fallen world, ruled by fallen men, influenced by a fallen belief system.