1. notleia says:

    The Abusive Sky Daddy vibes are strong with this post.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I have my own disagreement with this post, as you will see.

      However, “Abusive Sky Daddy” sounds like what Satan would say at this moment, right? I mean, you probably don’t even believe in the Devil, but sometimes you sure sound like you’re his representative.

      But to treat your statement as if it were a rational argument worthy of countering, the concept of God asserts His full rights over everything. We are His creations, His works of art–and just as I delete words on a page if a story isn’t turning out the way it should, He has every right to “delete” human beings. The bizarre thing is how much He cares about us and lets us run around like little monsters. How in contrast to human authority figures such as a boss on a job or a police officer, who might let you get away with doing the same thing they hate three times in a row if he or she is especially lenient (the harsh ones punish you at the faintest hint you’re about to do something they don’t like), in most cases (with some notable exceptions) God lets people do the same evil thing hundreds or even thousands of times before doing something about it. The real question that lines up with the incessant evil acts found in human history is, “Why is God so tolerant of human evil? Why is He almost always so slow to judge?”

      I remember saying something similar to this to an atheist, who at this point mentioned I must be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome in relation to God.

      It was a clever answer on his part, almost true, but not quite. Yes, I do empathize with God and in one sense it makes sense to do so–that is, it’s to my own emotional benefit, as with Stockholm Syndrome. But God has good goals and created the world and rightfully owns it–it’s us human douchebags who have taken over the formerly good world and are holding it hostage.

      Only by believing humans are essentially Good would it make sense to cast God in the role of relentless persecutor and abuser of the human race. But I’ve read history–the idea that humans are basically good is a joke. Us? Torturing, murdering, stealing, raping, enslaving, warmongers? It’s a joke, though not a very funny one.

      • notleia says:

        So, is God morally superior to us because he is more powerful than us? Does might make right?

        • notleia says:

          For all the potter-and-clay metaphors, jars are not sentient. They do not feel pain or terror. As a society, we’ve generally decided that parents should not threaten their children with torture or death. Heck, we’ve decided that people shouldn’t retain custody of any animals they torture/neglect.

          It’s like a horrible catechism exercise: explain, in verse, how God is like a bioterrorist.

        • Yes.

          Also the source/inventor/very definition of “right” makes right. Along with perfect, definitional, self-emptying love in the person of Christ, who literally died to show God’s perfect holiness and love at once.

          This is basic biblical Christianity. Crazy, ain’t it?

          But it’s not nearly as crazy as the alternative.

          You have no consistent, rational argument for anything approximating “right” and “wrong” apart from an appeal to some divine source. The only other, er, solution is an irrational appeal to one’s own “might” to make right. This just leads right back to manmade abuse of power.

          • notleia says:

            Welp, you just rolled in it, didntcha. But IIRC, you do identify as Calvinist, and they suppose an Authoritarian bent to the universe as a necessity. Travis doesnt claim a Calvinist affliction, so I’m poking at that with a stick to see what happens.

            Also you could have at least put random line breaks in there to pretend your answer was in free verse. So because nobody asked: free verse with rando line breaks

            Is a cruel god
            Better than none at all

            Does it feel better to
            Plead before pointed teeth
            Than the faceless void

            Shall it fall on both
            The just and unjust
            Or does it comfort you to
            Believe that you deserve it
            For then it could have a reason
            To stop

            (Ooh, that’s nice and pretentious. I will assign extra points for increasing pretense in any replies.)

  2. Ticia says:

    I think God can use natural events to get people’s attention, but I’m always hesitant to say, “This is clearly God doing something.”
    To the current events going on, it may be, OR at the very least God is using a natural disaster to call people to Him.

  3. Steve says:

    I believe that the notion of God judging the world because of sin is a false one. Jesus already took the judgment for sin. All of it. There is a natural process of result from evil activity. But God is not waiting to cast bolts of lightning. He has judged already. The cross is the answer. The Christ is the agent. He said, “I did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Me will be saved.”

    • Travis Perry says:

      He also said, in fact, immediately after the part you are quoting, that those who do not believe are “condemned already.”

      The forgiveness for the whole world has been paid for. But it is not applied to everyone, or else the whole “believe in Him” thing is meaningless. So God /will/ judge the world.

      But I don’t believe we can conclude that bad things that happen in this life are the direct result of God’s judgment. There’s an entire book of the Bible that declares that isn’t the case–Job.

      • Steve says:

        True, there is a benefit to faith. But the ‘condemned already’ passage is before the cross. All things changed at the resurrection. I am not a universalist, but I am a believer in the Divine grace. And what to say of the billions who never had a chance to hear or believe? Do they get a hearing before Christ? Or is the ‘good news’ a small token of defiance against the fall? Where is the victory in this? And who is to know who has believed enough? (the fodder for many a camp closing service.) Many will believe, I believe, even after death, as they are faced with the glory of the risen Christ. Otherwise, Jesus would have sent a stern warning to the disciples to get busy after the resurrection. Tell everyone. But the message is one of the depth of His deliverance. Grace, and feeding the lambs. And it is true that bad things do happen to good people, as in Job. I hear you.

  4. Travis Perry says:

    I experienced a revolution in my thinking about national judgment when I processed the idea that Israel had (and to a degree still has) a relationship with God unlike no other nation. God made them a specific promise of blessing for good behavior as a nation–and a specific promise of trouble for bad behavior. But God has made no such promise to any other nations.

    Yes, God does, I would say, deal with sin. Both in the long term and short term. But the cause-and-effect is never simple in the world outside of things that happened in ancient Israel. Perhaps sin is factor. Perhaps not.

    But our modern situation most definitely does not parallel what happened in ancient Israel directly. The modern nations of the world never made a direct covenant with God.

What do you think?