Can God make a rock so big He can't lift it? How many angels can dance on the tip of a needle? If God is good and created everything, who created evil? If He knew Satan would rebel, why did God create him in the first place?
These questions, and many like them, have puzzled people since the dawn of time. Human beings have an insatiable desire to know all the answers. If you don't believe me you've never talked to a 5 year old whose response to every statement is "Why?"
As a "church professional" I'm often stopped just to be asked to give an answer to a question that's been keeping a member up at night. If my answer is unsatisfactory, or worse yet, I don't know the answer, the person will dart away to ask someone more spiritual than me. We just have to know. It's a curse of being human. But can we know everything? Is it even possibile that we can know deep truths too great for our finite minds to comprehend or our fleshly hearts to bear?
Which brings me to my point. I'm encountering more Christians who seem to think they have God figured out. Now I don't want to make this about doctrine, so I'm not going to be specific about the topic at hand. But more and more people believe they know how God is going to act. If His actions don't meet their predetermined criteria then they say, "That's not God." When you ask why the answer is either, He can't" or "He won't act that way." Really???
Most recently I was a part of a worship time that was more "spiritual" than a lot of my peers are used to. I grew up in a very spiritually active religious environment, but I had not been in a service like this for years. Many were reacting with hands in the air and audible expressions of joy. After the service was over a lot of people were blown away at the very tangible presence of the Spirit in the place. While others were saying, "God would never be pleased with people acting that way."
In another instance, a few years ago, I had people come forward to be prayed for after being annointed with oil. One very reserved long time Baptist met me after the service and said that I was trying to make the church like one of those Pentecostal churches. I responded in a way that would make my wife proud. I smiled and wished her well. That fine lady is in heaven now. I wonder if her opinion has changed?
So for the record. God can choose to act in any way He wants. He often surprises me. Sometimes He blesses me when I am wayward, and sometimes He seems to turn a deaf ear to me when I'm behaving. My best messages are usually those I have the least confidence in and my worst I thought would be my best. If He wants to bless a church that doesn't believe like mine, that's His perogative. I have come to a place in my life where I am glad He does not act like I think He will. I'm learning that His grace is greater than I can comprehend. I've come to realize that I don't know half what I though I knew about God ten years ago. The closer I get to Him the bigger He gets. I'm good with that.