Almost finished with the next post. It's longer than I wanted it to be, but what can you do? I'm trying to be as thorough as I can be and trying not to leave anything out.
For now I want to revisit my second post. If you recall I mentioned God, seemingly arbitrarily, imposing morality upon us. I said I wanted to return to that later and here we have arrived at later.
Now, what do I mean by "seemingly arbitrarily"? First, let us look at the definition of arbitrary. Arbitrary (based on the definition provided by Merriam-Webster) can mean "done regardless of what is fair or right". So when I say, "seemingly arbitrarily" what I am saying is that God is seemingly imposing morals on us regardless of what is fair or right. But, is He?
Let us look at God's attributes typically agreed upon. He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent and personal. Looking at His omnipotent and personal attributes (by personal I mean that He is knowable. He cares and watches over us. We can have a relationship with Him) He certainly has the power and motivation to impose such restrictions on us regardless of what is right or fair.
So, looking at His omnibenevolence we see where He would get such morality from. We also get a second motivation for imposing His morality on our lives and actions arbitrarily like a tyrant. Here, though we must remove the segment "right or" from our definition of arbitrary. If He is omnibenevolent then no wrong can come from Him. So, we are left with "done regardless of what is fair". This still seems right. The "or" means just one of right, fair needs to be met not both to be arbitrary. This seems to fit better also with the complaint against God most of the time. He isn't fair, so it goes.
Let's look at the "done" part. He gave us His Law to live by, but does not force us to obey. We have a choice. Nothing is truly "done". We choose to obey or disobey. This leaves us with, "regardless of what is fair". At this point it is not God who is unfairly being arbitrary. We are now left with the complaint that it is His Law that is arbitrary. This makes sense here. When people complain about morality they often complain of it being unfair.
So, what about its being unfair? How can we answer that? We can answer it in a couple of ways.
First, we can look at His being personal, omniscient and omnibenevolent. He loves us, cares about us, and is all that is good. It would be in His nature to do what is best for us. What is best for us may not seem fair or just with such a limited look at life. Without the benefit of omniscience we can't really see the benefits and consequences of our actions until we arrive at the benefit or consequence. So, what would be unfair is if He gave us no warning, but He does by having provided His Law. Thus, "regardless of what is fair" has been removed. Therefore God is not being arbitrary in the least. He is only looking out for us. Not just a certain few, but all of us. You, your neighbors, friends, enemies, family, and strangers. Everyone is to follow His Law and seek Him. If everyone would sacrifice their own will and come to Jesus for redemption just imagine the world then.
Secondly, what is being cheated by His alleged "unfairness"? It is sin. Sin seeks to destroy and consume all that which is good which is defined by God's very nature, omnibenevolence. He tries to keep us from the hunger of sin (John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. This seems to sync up pretty well, huh?) and sin tries to infest us making us hunger for more. His omnibenevolence also means that He isn't just making this stuff up as He goes along. This is His nature. It's out of necessity that His Law is the way it is. He can not tolerate sin or evil. He is cheating sin and offering us His saving grace. Sounds fair to me.
What we are left with is blaming ourselves. We fail. We fall short. God is God. God is not arbitrary. To see how He is loving and only looking out for us just ask Him. Pray for forgiveness. Ask Him to come into your heart and clean house. Not only read the Bible, but study it. Love it, learn it, live it, folks. You'll feel complete for once. Trust me.