Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If God Is For Us?

I sure loved the fact that someone finally made a comment on one of my posts (and not just some friendly... "I liked what you wrote"). I'm not looking for affirmation on anything I post... just interaction. I truly respect other people's thoughts on God and life. All I have to offer is my personal experience with God through my relationship with Jesus Christ. I guess that's called faith?

As for theodicy being a defense for God's omniscience or benevolence... as I understand the term... I make no justification nor vindication for catastrophic events as if God's wrath was being poured out on any one people... or the contrary... that others are blessed by some capricious selective love.

I totally agree with my anonymous friend regarding a God that would in anyway favor Westerners over anyone else... that would be repugnant to me too... and absolutely a god I would never love nor serve... if anything we who live in the luxury of the West will ultimately face a greater consequence of His judgement, because we have been rich and well fed, but have done less than we could have to share that blessing. Ever heard of Laodicea? if that's not a composite of us here in America... I don't know what is.

I believe that the Bible clearly tells us that we are in an age of grace... meaning that God's wrath and judgment are being held at bay until the end of time as we know it. If and when bad things happen to people... good or bad people... of which that is relative from a human stand point... I chalk that up to several things.

1) entropy - the cosmos is slowly failing and running down - I don't agree with Al Gore, but the world as we know it is changing, and likely it's not for the better. Cyclical yes... but ultimately chaos will find it's way to the surface of reality.
2) folly - since the Bible tells us (of which I believe the Bible) folly is bound up in the heart of a child... and if it's not dealt with properly... the child becomes a fool (which says in their heart there is no God - don't get mad at me I'm just paraphrasing the Bible)... and that fool grows up to be a rebel... and rebels do just that... rebel against the normative established ways of doing things... possibly leading to change and overthrow (for right or wrong - both of which are relative according to who your audience is)
3) sin - now one would have to believe the Bible to accept this point, but sin ultimately entered the created order and ever since has cause the axis of a once perfect world to be tipped to the point where evil is birthed in the hearts of people... and the very fabric of the cosmos is "groaning" for redemption back to the perfect original state... of which is part of why Christ came and died and rose again.

Well this loving response is getting long again... so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE post a comment again... I'm not trying to convince you or anyone of anything... I'll let God do that... I just wanna volley some words back and forth and see what emerges!

Your Serve...

1 comment:

  1. I’ve been all over the map regarding religion. Fundamentalist as a child, wayward believer as a teen, New Age fantasyland in my 20s, Higher Powered in my 30s, rationalist in my 40s. I currently find it impossible to believe the Bible or that there is any kind of benevolent, omnipotent god. The Bible contradicts itself hundreds of times and is full of the most odious teachings. The presence of a few good bits doesn’t come close to making it a decent moral guide, let alone an inerrant magic book. And Nature is so indifferent to us, the facts square best with the idea that we are conscious animals with no one particularly looking after our welfare. You have posted your beliefs. Before we talk further, here are my views.

    We know what happens when we die, we just don’t like the answer. Our personalities end when our brains stop working and our bodies disintegrate. The afterlife and sin are invented concepts (with psychological underpinnings) used to control people through fear. Redemption has psychological importance, and religion packages it for sale. Promising eternal life is such a transparent ploy I can hardly believe people fall for it. God was created by man to satisfy deep psychological needs. There is no god playing favorites or allowing evil in the world because there is no god, only our wishful thinking. Moreover, the gods we concoct are literally unbelievable. Using faith to pole vault over reason is not a virtue, it’s the Middle Ages. If we are willing to believe things without adequate evidence, we'll fall for anything. It's far more mature to keep an open mind about the big questions, rather than filling in the gaps in our knowledge with "God did it". And it's far more courageous to face life as it is than to buy into the mythology of a Jewish carpenter who can make our personalities survive our own death if we say we believe certain things. Or that Allah will perfect the world in his own time. Or that we'll reincarnate until we reach Nirvana. Or that what goes around comes around. There is no evidence for any of those things.

    The only justification for such beliefs that I have found is that they satisfy us psychologically and emotionally. This is the argument I hear from nearly every believer I’ve spoken with, that we need our beliefs, with no regard for whether they are actually true. This argument is actually very compelling but there is a huge cost. The problem is that it requires us to cut ourselves loose from reality and float into a shared, superstitious delusion. I maintain the hope that we can make peace with life, death and reality without making up stories to comfort us.

    I’d love to sign my name, but we live in a culture where you can be lynched in the court of public opinion for openly proclaiming the emperor wears no clothes. We’re supposed to respect the most ridiculous nonsense if it’s someone’s religion. No other area of conversation has such a minefield around it. Every believer thinks believers of other religions are wrong. I simply think all religious believers are wrong. The universe is awesome and miraculous enough without inventing mythologies to make us feel better about our place in it. You and I disagree, but you’re obviously trying to help those around you and I applaud that.