On the Imperfect God (or, God Doesn’t Make Machines)

God is imperfect, and is disinterested in perfection.

Contra God, when humans create and design, we want order. Clean, straight lines. Smooth curves. No jagged edges. We desire machines, not dirt; cold, clean spaces, not hot, sweaty earth. In a word, we desire perfection.

God our creator is wild. What God creates is rough and dirty and unpredictable. God unfolds the creation as a pulsing, breathing, beautiful, strange tapestry. Its lines are not straight, its curves are not smooth. It explodes with the force of God’s wildness.

God is imperfect, and is disinterested in perfection.

Contra God, when humans seek and pursue holiness, we make rules. Systems, order, law. We want right and wrong, black and white, clear-cut answers to how we ought to act.

God our creator is love. The commandments can be best, and only, summed up as love the Lord and love your neighbor. God’s expectation for humanity is not found in a temple, or a set of rules, or sacrifice. God desires mercy. God expects love, and care, and hospitality, and community, and grace. None of these things fit in our systems, because they are messy and require us to break our own rules.

When we make machines and systems and rules and laws, we do so in an attempt to make ourselves like God. In reality, our machine-making and system-creating only serves to make us less like God. When we separate ourselves from one another, and when we build perfect, clean machines, we further remove ourselves from that which God desires for us: freedom, wildness, and love.

God is holy, God is love, God is righteous, God is perfect. And yet God is ‘imperfect,’ and is disinterested in ‘perfection.’ Because our perfection, our holiness, does not fulfill the holiness and perfection that God expects from humanity.

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