This is something I left out of my last article Fathers, What Are You Teaching Your Children? because it was getting too long.
Part of this section was prompted by a conversation with a friend who seemed to be saying that God had to obey the universe and that he was still learning on the job.
So it seems like God has the authority to set the standard for good and evil for at least two reasons so far:
1. Freedom of Association (the terms on which he will not withdraw his presence from you in the day of judgment).
2. The right of the Creator to do what he wants with his creation.
But you might say, “No, just because I create my own children doesn't mean I have the right to torture them as soon as they are born. There is a higher law that trumps my position as creator. Furthermore, if I as creator have to obey some undetermined-by-me idea of Good, then so does God as Creator have to obey some Universal Idea of Good higher than him.”
First of all, your right of Creator over your own children would still be limited by the right of the Creator of All, God, to tell you it is wrong to torture your children just because you created them.
But even if we run with this idea that even Creators, whether high or low, have to obey a law outside themselves, that God is not The Good himself, that goodness does not derive from God's being, but is some mysterious force or law that derives from the texture of the Universe that even God has to obey (as one friend claimed) ... the problem is that before that Universe existed, God spoke the Universe into existence, and thus presumably any so-called moral “Law of the Universe” would still be only a creation and derivative of God. A thing would still only be “good” because God said “Goodness is me, I am What-Is-Good”, and then created a universe that operates on his laws.
So technically, God is higher than any so-called law of the universe, because he existed before the universe and then created the universe and...
Practically, God is higher because even if you want to say that goodness only exists through some perceived construct of the universe, the universe itself was constructed by God, so God still remains the de facto constructer and arbiter of good.
And he communicated that good to us through Jesus:
“He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)
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Other posts you might be interested in:
Fathers, What Are You Teaching Your Children?
Have You Considered This Evidence?