Friday, August 05, 2011

52 percent

It used to be that a fair number of people worried whether God approved of them. A lot of wrath and judgement issued from pulpits and the preachers who took it upon themselves to convince the flock that God found them wanting.

So now it appears that the tables have turned. Pollsters recently asked whether God is doing an effective job of, well, being God. A member of the congregation sent me that news piece showing that it was a squeaker. God received a 52% approval rating although it appears that folk were hedging their bets and choosing not to disapprove.

By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) – If you think voters are in cranky mood over politics, a new poll suggests that some of the dissatisfaction may run deeper.
God’s job performance has trouble measuring up to many Americans' expectations, according to a poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm based in North Carolina.
Only 52 percent of Americans approve of God’s job performance, the
survey found, though just 9 percent disapprove.
The polling question that prompted this curious response was, "If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of its performance?"
"When asked to evaluate God on some of the issues it is responsible for, voters give God its best rating on creating the universe, 71-5," the polling report said. "They also approve of its handling of the animal kingdom 56-11, and even its handling of natural disasters 50-13."

I regularly talk to people who disapprove of God's job performance. They are upset about natural disasters, or mourning the loss of loved ones, or angry that life seems to have been unfair to them. Some of them have essentially fired God, deciding that a personal and loving deity can't exist and the alternatives aren't worth considering. I used to try really hard to reason with them but I now appreciate that this isn't just a matter of the intellect. There are lots of situations which foster disappointment.

There are times when God doesn't thrill me either, truth be told. I just keep going and eventually I come back to an appreciation of the fact that I am not god and that I have to admit that the overall performance of the Creator is fairly impressive.

Where are you in your approval rating of God these days? I'm trusting that there won't be any lightning bolts if you express reservations, but then again you might be bubbling with praise.


SJD said...

I know that if asked, my children would probably give me a less that complimentary performance review.

We are Gods children. Those of us who have matured should be able to see the bigger picture.
God has given us the power of free will. When you extrapolate the power of free will over billions of people over thousands of years there are many things that may appear to be gods work, but is actually the result of our own ill considered choices.

If God took us all by the hand and led us through a safe life with no dangers, or diseases would we appreciate it? Would we want more?
This sound familure??

Laura said...

Well said SJD. I understand God's role is to be with me through the ups and downs of life and so far, if I let him in, he's always there.

lionlamb said...

I agree with you Laura, SJD offers a great perspective, although I know his kids adore him like a god. Right SJD.