Friday, March 18, 2005

Jawbones Askew

It is often said that humans are rational creatures...

Regularly, in conversations with people one will hear questions (commonly resembling accusations) concerning God’s omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, justice, or love. Why do good people suffer or experience tragedy? How could God let catastrophic occurrences like the recent tsunami take place? Why would a God of love condemn someone to Hell’s torment for eternity?

In most cases, these questions are prime examples of the mind set of relativity. With this world view we erroneously subject life in this universe to our own created orthodoxy. When you live in a pig pen few things stink.

That which is conveniently absent from the relativist’s pattern of thought is sin. Euphemistically, sin’s edge is dulled by terms and phrases such as ‘mistakes’, ‘I’m only human’, and ‘to err is human’. Such a methodology is like assessing the catastrophic tsunami results as equal to the discomfort caused by flatulent bathtub bubbles. Sin kills. The virulent fruit of mankind’s sin include war, poverty, disease, crime, and death.

According to God’s standard, sin must be viewed in a somewhat different light. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, NIV) Humanity’s status within this standard; “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12, NIV) Man’s unaided destiny; “For the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23a, NIV)

God paints a picture of our just deserts in His command to King Saul. “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” (1 Samuel 15:3, NIV)

One cannot expect that any who suffer and die are more worthy of such judgment than anyone else. “Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them– do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:4-5, NIV)

From this world view, the questions asked in regular conversation would differ from those asked earlier. Why don’t all people suffer or experience the tragedy we deserve? Why don’t catastrophes happen more often? Why would a God of justice and love ever let any human into heaven?

God, Himself, has provided a way for unrighteous, worthless human beings to go to heaven and worship and enjoy Him forever. God, Himself, provided the sole means. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

1 comment:

Al said...

I feel like I should say something just to say something, but I don't have anything intelligent to say or any time to say it.

Good post.