The question of whether gods are capable of being flawed has long preoccupied theologists and philosophers alike. The mythological deities of the ancient Greek pantheon possessed a myriad of humanistic attributes, including a wide range of notable character flaws; Zeus, of course, was infamous for his sexual hedonism just as Helena was continually characterized in ancient myths by her jealousy and bitterness. But when a culture is based on a single deity that has control of absolutely everything in the universe, such as in modern days, it is common belief that God is both omnipotent and flawlessin fact, such monotheistic religions are largely predicated upon the notion that God must be flawless in order to maintain universal order and exert His sovereignty over man. But divine texts, in many cases, fail to substantiate this widely accepted claim. Analysis of Holy Scriptures such as the Bible yield evidence that God actually can be flawed; in fact, particular passages from Genesis and Exodus not only insinuate that God is not omnipotent, but that he is actually a entity characterized by vulnerability. This largely unacknowledged vulnerability shifts the religious paradigm significantly, suggesting the existence of a system not only in which man fears God, but in which God fears man as well.
[...] The universe is so gargantuan in size that its true nature is impossible to grasp; humans can be understood and measured with significant ease—so how could their traits be applicable in any way to something so sublimely all-powerful as God? And in terms of prudential practicality, putting complete trust and faith in the control of something that is capable of being injured or attacked seems to be unwise and not in the best of personal human interests. Furthermore, the suggestion that God is vulnerable implies that the structural stability as the entire universe as we know it could very well not be sound. [...]
[...] When God's people began praying and sacrificing to an image of a Golden Calf, He angrily went to Moses and said, have considered this people, and now I see their stubbornness. Now, let me alone to pour out my anger on them, so that I may put an end to them 32. 9-10). Thinking better of His extreme punishment, God decided to force them on a long and hard trek through the desert; interestingly enough, it was entirely a public relations maneuver, as God was solely concerned with the maintenance of His credibility. [...]
[...] The existence of such servant-master relations supports the mentality that God is a protector and a leader. After all, if He protected and helped Abraham so much, it seems only fitting for him to do the same to anyone and everyone who is in need. Thus the question is raised: how could anyone so altruistic and powerful enough to care for an entire world possible be flawed? The commonly assumed answer, naturally, was that such an entity couldn't be flawed, and thus God has no reason to be insecure or afraid whatsoever. [...]
[...] Because Abraham proved he followed God's word, God did not have to worry that Abraham would betray either His will or plans to raise a nation devoted to God through Abraham's offspring. If Abraham actually went against God's orders, then he would have been able to dismantle God's plans of action. God would have then been susceptible to neglect as a god of worship—thus suffering in terms of his credibility—and man could have risen up against Him. But such does not transpire, as Abraham's test of loyalty demonstrates that God consistently works to remind His followers of the extent of His authority and strength. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee