Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Begging For Reason

This article, by Heather MacDonald, begs for a response which I am only too inclined to give. In her article, Heather MacDonald explains her reasons for believing that if God exists he is an evil God with no love for humanity. On a certain level I agree with her, because I have had my moments of anger toward God. They never lasted all that long, but they happened.

Still, what do you say to a person when they express a response to the idea of God such as the one in this article? She has addressed several arguments written by Christians and shown a well founded contempt for them. To say that God's love is different from ours would make little sense to someone who does not understand God's love. It makes little enough sense to those who have an inkling of understanding. After all, God's love offers us both our free will and His grace. It does not stop evil things from happening on a regular basis and recognizes us as both the cause of our own misfortunes and as evil people. That's a tough thing to hear or understand. People will point out a child and ask how you can call such a lovely and innocent person evil. What do you say?

The train example which MacDonald writes suggests another of those difficult to answer questions. Perhaps it can best be answered by pointing out the Christian belief in eternal life. If you believe that you're going to heaven when you die then you most likely believe that you will pass on in God's good time and not before. A train may take you, or you may die in your sleep. On the other hand, Christians believe it is wrong to murder. Thus, life is precious and death is tragic. This appears to be a dichotomy. Or you might turn it around even more and suggest that since God knows the end from the beginning, He knows when we will die and therefore he is an accomplice to murder. A person can get all tangled up in these ideas and come to the conclusion that either God is evil, or He does not exist. Terrible things happen all the time -- why?

All of this is merely a distraction. God did create a perfect world and we messed it up because He loved us enough to offer us free will. Instead of snatching that free will away and forcing us to live as God had originally intended, He sent His own son to be born among us, live a life like ours, remain perfect and take our wrongdoings upon him in death. It did not end there, however, for that son rose from the dead after conquering death. None of this makes logical sense. But it is the only answer I can give to the arguments at hand. If you seek to turn God into logic, remember that He created that logic. Of course, this is not going to help someone who does not believe that God exists. I have no answer for that.

So still, these questions remain. Our language is finite, God is infinite, how can the one be translated into the other? Christianity is a face value religion, yet there are so many things that are difficult for us to come to terms with. In the end, I am forced to look into the storm with Job and hear the words that God spoke then (Job 38):

2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge?

3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.

4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?
Tell me, if you understand . . .

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