Introduction to Divine Hiddenness
The problem of divine hiddenness is a philosophical problem, especially for those who actively seek God. In essence, it asks why, if a good and omnipotent God exists, He remains unseen or, at least, unexperienced by some individuals. This is exacerbated by those of us who believe God desires a relationship with all people but remains hidden enough for people to doubt this desire.
Personal Struggle with Divine Hiddenness
It is a problem for all, Christians and non-Christians. I often desire to experience His power and am denied. While I believe in Him though I do not see Him (1 Pet. 1:8), it does not alleviate my desire to experience a realization of Him triumphing over non-belief or doubt—including mine, as my belief is not perfect (Phil. 3:20-21).
Why does he stay so hidden to those who want more confirmation?
Or does he?
Charismatic and Divine Hiddenness
Now, a Charismatic, it would seem, has this problem to a greater degree than non-Charismatics due to their twofold claim: First they claim that God has continued to give specific supernatural gifts, such as prophecy, healings, and miracles. Their second claim is that it is God’s will or desire for every church to exercise these gifts. Yet, we have Christians who believe in miracles and are not charismatic. Many go to charismatic churches and find nothing supernatural. Someone may say that they are present; they just don’t believe them. The problem is that some truly are more than willing to acknowledge them and desire to believe them, but don’t want to be misled. They test the claims and find them wanting and leave in disappointment.
My Hidden Charismatic Experience
Of course, most of you may know I’m talking about myself. For 20 years, I have looked with great desire for a Charismatic church that I feel has a legitimate expression of such gifts.
The Elephant is Not in the Room
God may just be hiding from me, and others like me, in these circumstances. Believe it or not, I am willing to accept that God may show himself to different people in different ways. I would be saddened by this as I want to see Him and be so close to His power. Unlike other hard-cessationists, I do not believe that the Bible demands that the gifts ceased in the first century. I do not believe that the Bible demands that they continued either. However, there is more of an implication for them continuing than ceasing. So, I could go in that direction very easily. But I can’t convince myself there is an elephant in the room when there is no elephant in the room. While the Bible does not teach that the gifts would cease, it doesn’t teach that the canon would be closed either, and most Charismatics believe that the canon is closed.
I am interested to hear your opinion. Why do you believe that God remains hidden for people who claim to desire to believe in Him? Also, why do you believe that God remains hidden from those, like me, who desire to see His power?