Sharp About Your Prayers

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God’s Job Performance

September 22nd, 2011 · 3 Comments · Faith and the City

Pick up any newspaper and on the front page you will find the results of some public opinion poll. And lately, these polls have not been kind to our leaders.

In the midst of very difficult economic times and rancorous political gridlock, approval ratings for government officials have been plummeting. I guess it makes sense.

When we are hurting on a societal level, we expect our elected officials to devise and implement solutions. When they cannot deliver, we hand out poor grades.

Still, I was surprised when I picked up my copy of The Christian Century magazine last week and discovered that Public Policy Polling, a polling firm in North Carolina, had slipped a few questions about God into one of their political surveys this past summer.

The question that caught my attention was similar to one that polls use to test how we feel about political figures. It went like this:

“If you believe that God exists, do you approve or disapprove of God’s performance?”

After tabulating the results, Public Policy Polling announced that 52% of Americans approved of God’s performance; 9% disapproved; and 39% were unsure.

My first reaction was, “Wow, you know times are tough when God gets stuck with a 52% job approval rating.”

I suppose I could have taken comfort from the fact that God was still polling better than the Congress, the President and both political parties.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I remembered a conversation with a man who said to me with painful clarity, “Scott, I don’t think God is getting the job done.” It wasn’t a flip comment. I had just buried this fellow’s brother. He was grief-stricken. He felt forsaken by God. I understood why.

This topic raises a whole series of questions: What about the woman desperately searching for a job after 24 months on unemployment?  What about the man who is unhappy in his marriage?  What about the person who has been waiting and waiting for a winning lottery ticket?  Do all of these people have a legitimate beef with God’s job performance?

This Sunday in worship, we are going to be addressing the questions begged by this public opinion poll:

  • What can we expect from God? 
  • What is God’s job anyway? 
  • What happens when people decide to create a god who will be responsive to their demands?

As I prepare, I’d love to hear what you think.  Post a comment.  Should we rate God?  I know, I know, it seems just plain wrong to judge the Creator of all that is.  But, on the other hand, can we help it?

What do you think about God’s job performance?

When you’re finished posting, I hope you like this link to Stephen Cobert.  🙂

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Lou

    Found this quote by C.S. Lewis, “If the universe is so bad…how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute it to the activity of a wise and good Creator?”. –The Problem of Pain    

    And the Colbert link was great!

  • Laura FissingerNo Gravatar

    I believe pessimism can be a soul virus, and spread like a virus. One of the symptoms: our views of our own blessings, and of God, can get cloudy.

  • Bill StewartNo Gravatar

    Of those expressing an opinion, it was 52 for and 9 against, or 85+ in favor. That is a solid B; it should be an A+, considering what a really cool Creation that God has made for us. I think our clergy needs to be doing a better job ‘splainin’ things ;-).