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August 09, 2013

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Because He's righteous. We are evil. We want to do it our way. He grants our wish. Isaiah Berlin's concept of negative freedom. http://bitly.com/17d2PiR

Please explain to me how a gravely sick child is in need of this painful "discipline?" The analogy of the needle is woefully inadequate, there is a momentary pain to the needle but there is also a direct and obvious good reason to inoculate the child. What good comes from a child born to suffer and die a painful death? This is God's "loving" discipline? I'm sorry but it sounds more like battered wife syndrome to me...we're so evil, we're so bad, we deserve the pain God gives us, we bring it on ourselves, God does it for our own good.

Look what we made Him do to us.

Claire's got it.

There really does seem to be such a thing as pointless, blameless suffering.

The defender of theism is left with no more than the logical possibility that there may be something analogous to immunity to influenza on God's side of the analogy.

There really does seem to be such a thing as pointless, blameless suffering.

Sure, I would totally agree, IF we were only allowed to stop with that, it would be a totally valid point.

BUT...

We aren't allowed to stop there with our own minuscule, depraved human perspective. The whole point of our all-powerful, sovereign, holy God, ruler of the universe, is that He is the one who has the right, the authority, and the power, to make such determinations.

And we have no business questioning it or blaming Him. Paul makes this argument in Romans 9, and John Calvin makes this argument in his Institutes.

Pointless, say you? Perhaps when you reach up to the level of the all-powerful sovereign of the universe, God Himself, then you can question why.

Until then, I'll be content to trust in His perfect, divine will and purpose.

q, keep blaming those victims. And let's keep going down that road. Do victims of sexual abuse deserve it because they're all depraved?

Hi Claire, you ask:

"Please explain to me how a gravely sick child is in need of this painful "discipline?"

Although I'm not certain J.Warner is advocating that a "gravely sick child" is under discipline, your question points to a common and natural, or maybe better, default view of justice we all seem to want to impose on the world we view. The book of Job probably exposes the error of viewing everything through the lens of a "retributive" view of justice. Where Jobs friends couciled him to repent of some offenses that warranted his punishment, [they were later corrected]. In other words, God is the perfect judge, he [Job] must've deserved the trouble he was in-this is the retributive view of justice.

q, I think, hits on this with the Romans 9 scripture reference, Jesus spoke about this also in Luke:

"Luk 13:1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
Luk 13:2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?
Luk 13:3 "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
Luk 13:4 "Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?
Luk 13:5 "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Not every trouble is discipline or an eye for an eye judgement, we are so used to expecting grace from God we are surprised by justice....thing is, He'd be within his right to punish all mankind immediately and without mercy.


Jesus' point to his disciples was to highlight that as with Job,["Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding",] and q's point [Romans 9 "who are you oh man to answer back to God?"], that men...lowly mankind ought not tell God how to be God. One thing for us all to consider, the trump card of all trump cards...the Cross. No pain equals the suffering God Himself endured for His enemies, although blameless, He took the penalty out of love for others.

Even assuming that a gravely sick child isn't a punishment, why does God allow it? And if you believe that bad things happen because of our sin, then what is the difference between sickness as "common and natural" and sickness as a result of our sins?

Hi BendyLine, my point in the post above yours is that as with Job, bad things dont necessarily happen because of our sin as in a direct eye for eye retribution. In the case of Job, terrible things happened to him to prove his uprightness.

Encountering a sick child usually brings the best out of others....selfless concern, compassion, introspection, generosity, appeal to God for healing, thankfulness, even the simple realization of what is really important and to not take those things for granted.

The story of Job never made sense to me. God is all-knowing, so he knew ahead of time that Job wouldn't curse him and die. But he gave Satan permission to test him anyway. God allows Satan to kill all of Job's children, destroy or have stolen all of his thousands of livestock, have most of his many servants killed, and allows Satan to give Job a horrible disease. I don't understand a God who allows other people's lives to be taken in order to prove someone loves him. This sounds sadistic to me. In some respects, I think Job's wife was the only sane person in this story. If a human father gave permission for an evil man to kill all of his child's pets, smash everything the child loves, and then make the child painfully sick, we'd have that father arrested and the child put in protective custody. But God gets a pass

One of the many things that pushed me over the edge and into my crisis of faith was when a 5-year-old little boy in our congregation died after several years of battling leukemia. The young devout parents did everything that the Bible instructed them to do. They had the elders of the church anoint him with oil, and had hands laid on him. They exercised unwaivering faith throughout. Many hundreds of devout Christians prayed and fasted and believed for his healing but he died anyway. Either the Bible is true or it isn't. When Jesus said that believers will lay hands on the sick and they'll recover, I had the audacity to believe the words of Jesus were true. I dared to believe James 5:13-16 and the many other verses that promise healing. Several months after this dear little guy's death, I was sitting beside his grandparents. The sermon that morning was about having faith to be healed. My heart broke as the grandmother quietly sobbed through the whole sermon. Out of the corner of my I saw the grandpa reach over and hold her hand. Something changed in me during that period of time, and I'm struggling to regain the vibrant faith I once had.

q,

It sounds like you are saying that you begin by assuming the conclusion (that God exists, etc.).

And on that assumption, you find that no instance of suffering can really be blameless or pointless no matter how blameless and pointless it appears to be.

RonH

RE: Kim,

Many times people approach the promises of God as having conditions we must meet in order to receive them. Later when things don't work out so well, our faith is shaken, since after all, we met the conditions and yet God welched on His promise.

The prayer of faith has no condition. If we conjure up faith, it is not the same faith spoken of by James. True faith is something God either gives to us or doesn't give to us when we pray for healing.

Jesus taught that all things we ask in prayer believing, we shall receive. That is, if you pray for something and God generates faith in your heart, you will receive the provision in one form or another according to His wisdom. If we only hope, or try to believe of our own strength, then it wasn't meant to be.

RE: Dave said:

"Many times people approach the promises of God as having conditions we must meet in order to receive them."

Many of the promises of God ARE conditional. Many promises begin with "If you will (fill in the blank), then I (God) will (fill in the blank)." Even the promise of receiving eternal life through Christ is conditional. The promise of healing in Mark 16 is not conditional, there are no ifs. It's more of a declaration than a promise, Mark 16:17 & 18: And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

And on that assumption, you find that no instance of suffering can really be blameless or pointless no matter how blameless and pointless it appears to be.

What is pointless is puny little mankind questioning the almighty author of the universe. Brad B. rightly pointed out the passage in Job. Questioning God because we think we have it wired is what is pointless.

q,

Some suffering certainly seems pointless and blameless.

Beginning with your Conclusion, you say this is only appearances.

Under this method, nothing can count against your Conclusion.

Your method is like a tire that seals its own punctures or a conspiracy theory that treats all evidence against it as confirmation.

Do you apply this method in other areas?

RonH

Q,

It's okay to ask why. We all do. We wonder. We suffer. He loves.

Offer more.

There is more.

q, if it's all true and we aren't allowed to question it, then you might as well believe anything. You make God sound like a tyrant.

"Encountering a sick child usually brings the best out of others....selfless concern, compassion, introspection, generosity, appeal to God for healing, thankfulness, even the simple realization of what is really important and to not take those things for granted."

That's all well and good except for the fact that there is a child's life at stake here. What about a child who has been sexually abused? What kind of monster would allow a child to go through that to teach some sort of lesson to the people who didn't have to go through the trauma that the victim did? As a victim of sexual abuse myself, I can say firsthand that it certainly didn't build my faith much.

Surely pain through suffering is part the spiritual strategy?

For me I tend to seek out measurements of items to contrive a suggestion.

OK, so to the Olive Tree's wood, which weighs 42.4 pounds per cubic foot.

And 42.4 pounds x 4 is 169.6 pounds. This is the weight of one cubic foot of pearls.
Pearls are precious living stones, a stone formed by considerable agitation within the oyster.

Hence, I suggest the 12 pearly gates of the coming New Jerusalem represents the Jewish suffering such as the Holocaust etc.

So see the Olive Tree, think on the suffering Jesus, and the suffering of the Jews throughout history.

This is my suggestion for why God, the Father, has written suffering into his spiritual strategy.

PS
I can understand God using the suffering of Christians but I am unsure as to what is the spiritual purpose for non Christians suffering.

PPS
My web site should be up by the end of August

"The story of Job never made sense to me.

Hi Kim, I would urge you to read historic Protestant authors or commentators about Job, and even further to understand the new testament writings that take the whole scripture revelation as a coherent system.

I think you ARE born again, have the spirit of God in you[and you cannot become unborn again] but your mind is/has been allowed to stay as a babe, wanting to believe false teachers that twist the scriptures to their own interpretation-causing contradiciton to other scripture revelation. The modern evangelical church is full of unqualified characters, most are charismatic hirelings primarily concerned for themselves, not really shepherds concerned for the flock. My advice is to seek a Reformed or Lutheran congregation and escape modern evangelicalism.

"You make God sound like a tyrant."
Except q knows He's not a tyrant, there is still the Cross that trumps all of our wonderings about why things happen. He is indeed sovereign, and what the Cross teaches us about Him is that He's a good Sovereign.

For a similar reason, I dont think you can call God a monster for not intevening in every instance where evil men/women perform crimes against others. His concern is for His beloved, and "we know all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who're called according to His purpose".

I think your quote of Brad B to some degree infers something different that what was asserted. There is nothing, or anyone, beyond the reach of Love’s Hand. Evil, should it come about, is, to the Nth degree, useable by Love’s infinite Hand for Good. Nothing, and no one, is irredeemable.

Bendyline,

I'm sorry, I meant my last post for you but failed to address it as such. Apologies.

RE: Kim again,

meeting Conditions = Works

Faith is a characteristic fruit of the Spirit, not a condition for the self righteous to meet in order to receive from God.

Except q knows He's not a tyrant, there is still the Cross that trumps all of our wonderings about why things happen. He is indeed sovereign, and what the Cross teaches us about Him is that He's a good Sovereign.

Yes!

"I can understand God using the suffering of Christians but I am unsure as to what is the spiritual purpose for non Christians suffering."

Well obviously they all deserve to suffer and burn for all eternity, so what is there to wonder about?

q, someone who says "Do what I say and don't ask questions" is a tyrant.

"I think your quote of Brad B to some degree infers something different that what was asserted. There is nothing, or anyone, beyond the reach of Love’s Hand. Evil, should it come about, is, to the Nth degree, useable by Love’s infinite Hand for Good. Nothing, and no one, is irredeemable."

So it's okay for children to be molested, because it will eventually turn out for good? What good? God's glory?

Bendyline,

No. It is not okay. That is why its called evil.

So God allows it because...

Bendyline,


My line of reasoning here on that will set off some contentious frictions with those who hold that God wanted it all to happen this particular way and that there were not other doors in Love’s context for Man to know the Whole, evil being but a part of that Whole that is Love’s Triune of Self-Other-Us. I’m sitting this one out and will leave you in better hands and more skilled hands than my own as I’ve been, well, a jerk to put it kindly, to my own fellow Christians before on this one and simply won’t repeat such.

scbrownlhrm, cheers. I've been a little harsh with my questions, but I believe they are important questions. I don't think you've been a jerk at all.

Sometimes I think God is a tyrrant.

He drowns 20,000,000 men, women, teenagers, children, toddlers, infants, and unborn in a worldwide flood.

He commands the Midianite men, non-virgin women, and little boys to all be slaughtered in Numbers 31. The little virgin girls who could be divvied up for sexual pleasure.

He allows Satan to kill Job's children and servants in order to prove a point to Satan.

He sentences people who do not accept Christ to consciously burn in hell not just for a quadrillion years, but for an eternity.

Yet God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

Forgive my sarcasm and cynicism. I'm in the midst of a crisis of faith after being a Christian for over 40 years.

Kim,

You are beginning to grasp a true picture of GOD, only try to understand that anything less than the absolute worst thing that can happen to sinners (everyone but Christ) is an act of mercy on the part of God.

God in His love however, poured out His wrath on Jesus who stood in the place of all who believe upon Him as their only grounds of acceptance with God. When bad things happen to them henceforth, it works for their good. Instead of being visited with God's wrath, we experience trials of faith and chastisement of unrepentant sin. Where God deals with most in vengeance and wrath, He deals with those of us in Christ as a loving father.

Hang in there, your almost there.

BendyLine

"So God allows it because..."

...all that is good flows from God. But for us to chose God and thus good over evil, we must have a genuine choice and that means that we must have a very real option to chose evil. If God did not allow evil, we could never choose God as our savior. We would all have no choice. Our salvation would be determined and we would simply be robots, not free moral agents who can chose God or reject him. To say that I accepted Jesus as my personal savior under that system would be meaningless as my acceptance would be impossible. It would completely destroy liberty and human beings could not be human beings in the way we know them to be today. I don't know if you could even call those kinds of creatures human beings.

It amazes me how apologists can just repeat over and over how good and loving God is in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is in fact a hideous monster. Kim just listed a slew of crimes, any one of which by itself would reveal God to be a sadist of the highest order. And the responses are: "God in His love however..." and "all that is good flows from God." It would be comical if it wasn't such a serious matter.

The whole idea of just deserts is misplaced anyway. Justice is something human beings need to mind in order to enforce civilized behavior. God doesn't need that at all, though, due to his omnipotence and omniscience. He knows exactly how to prevent people from harming themselves or others, and has the power to do so. He doesn't need a justice system for help.

So to say that we "deserve" this or that punishment, if you're talking about God, is just to say that God wants us to have punishment. On that view, God just really loves his book of rules more than he cares for the well-being of conscious creatures. After all, the rules aren't good for anything but God's own perverse enjoyment in enforcing them.

Louis, so the child molester's free will trumps the child so that the child molester can have a chance to go to heaven?

Hi Ben, so you know true thing about God how?

q, someone who says "Do what I say and don't ask questions" is a tyrant.

Totally false. A tyrant is defined as "a cruel and oppressive ruler." God is the opposite of that.

scbrownlhrm, your input should not be constrained. If you feel it'd be too contentious and cause excessive friction, I would understand. However, being close enough and involved, I'll tell you that you were forgiven long ago for a particularly gross offense, and more so for any lesser. Also, the bottom line is that the adage iron sharpens iron is true so friction is not a bad thing. There is a term in formal debate called "clash", it is where truth is contended for. I think we all can/do go over the line at times whether using rhetoric, sarcasm, or even logically true and valid arguments when we lose the context of love and care for the other.

I am a confessional Reformed believer, and have convictions that aren't in total compliance with everyting I have made a vow to submit...fortunately, my vow to agree with the Westminster confession of faith allows for freedom of conscience Here's WCF chapter XX paragraph II:

"II. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in any thing, contrary to His Word; or beside it, in matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also."
I recommend the totality of WCF chapter 20...

You should not opt out if you have a clear consience and conviction about the nature of God and His goodness...we are dealing with a hard to understand doctrine that ultimately requires us to stop at mystery in how He ordains all that comes to pass yet is without sin. These two are clearly revealed in scripture and this fact should not be contested, how these cohere is for us to wrestle with under the steady guidance of the Word of God, rightly divided and soberly and humbly approached.

Not sure if this comment will be interpreted properly, but here goes:

My response, in my heart of hearts, to the question, immediately turns to my own culpability-why does He allow ME to exist? Or any one of us?? We ALL contribute to the evil in the world, individually and corporately. And that evil, ranging from the seemingly most benign (in our private assessment) to the most heinous, is responsible for the ongoing evil in the world. I certainly don't know all the answers, but there is within me the awareness that the cumulative sin condition of mankind perpetuates itself with ramifications far down the road. What God CAN do (and what He does) isn't always as we would imagine--and we declare our responses superior--WE, who part of the problem!

In His wisdom, He saw to the final END of the situation, and provided the perfect solution--the cross. Those outside of faith are blind to such wisdom and many inside of faith still struggle with that call. One group will perish in their blindness, the other will one day see the perspective of the King of Kings and rejoice.

Last of all, I would add that we treat THIS life as if it is the BE ALL, END ALL--that to be deprived of a sufficiently "happy" life, free from serious blows, is patently "unfair" and, therefore, if there IS a God, it's HIS fault. But His Word tells us that this is not so. This life is a vapor--here today and gone tomorrow. We are commanded to focus our eyes on the life after, WITH God, which far surpasses our limited understanding of "good". Faith allows us to retain that focus, despite the inconsistencies of life, the capriciousness of evil and the horrendous fallout it generates.

Pretty much right on Carolyn, an estimation of man that is too high, an estimation of the offense of sin that is too low, an estimation of the holiness of God that is too approachable all contribute to bold statements about what God should or should not do...in mans infinite wisdom.

An example: when Uzza reached out to steady the ark so it wouldn't fall, he assumed that his touch was more clean than the mud that the ark would've fell into...he assumed wrong.

Carolyn,

Hopefully I have interpreted you correctly. : )

Let me ask you this. Consider a loved one. Now, remind yourself of what you just wrote above---that this loved one has done all kinds of bad things and has made the world a worse place as a result. Your loved one through his/her sinful actions has caused all these other people to suffer.

Suppose that in addition to all this bad stuff, your loved one loses his/her faith in God and becomes an unbeliever. In this state, he/she dies.

Now, if it were up to you, would you want this person to spend eternity in Heaven, or be tormented for eternity in Hell? Suppose God lets you decide. In fact he tells you straight out:

"Personally I think he/she should go to Hell, but today I'm going to let you choose. And I won't punish or scold you regardless of what you decide. You're going to be in Heaven with me either way. But I'm leaving you to choose whether your loved one will be in Heaven too, or whether instead he/she will be eternally tormented in Hell."

Presumably you would send your loved one to Heaven, right? It doesn't matter that he/she has done all those bad things, and it certainly doesn't matter that he/she is an unbeliever. Any one of us would overlook all of that if we really care about the person.

Would you feel bad or guilty for sending your loved one to Heaven when you know God wants him/her in Hell?

I want to say just one more thing. You wrote that God "provided the perfect solution---the cross." But at best it only solves PART of the problem. (It doesn't even really do that since the cross was not a prerequisite to bringing people into Heaven, but let that pass.) We all suffer here on earth even if we go to Heaven in the end. And what is considerably worse, some of us are going to be eternally tormented in Hell. So maybe the cross is the best God can muster for some reason. But it is certainly not a "perfect solution."

A comment above reads: "An example: when Uzza reached out to steady the ark so it wouldn't fall, he assumed that his touch was more clean than the mud that the ark would've fell into...he assumed wrong."

Wow. How do Christians manage to mentally whitewash all this stuff? What is it going to take for you to finally admit that maybe when God's actions look so over-the-top horrible and monstrous it's because they REALLY ARE over-the-top horrible and monstrous?

What is being whitewashed, Ben? What happened to Uzza was made known so that we...those who God intends to reveal Himself to is that He is Holy, is to be approached as Holy, and only can be approached as Holy. Fallen man is much messier than the dirt. The answer to your question lies in the previous paragraph of the post you cited. You err in your estimations of man, God, and sin.

Brad B,

That's a nonsensical criticism. Values are not matters of fact, and so one cannot possibly "err" in what he values.

What one can do is have monstrous values, such as, say, God valuing the enforcement of his favorite OT rules at the expense of the eternal torment of millions of people. That doesn't mean God is mistaken. There is no matter of fact in value for God to be mistaken about! God's values just reveal him to be a hideous monster.

@Ben: Brad B has already answered all of your questions to me--your view of God is much too small, your view of man is much too great, and your view of sin is seriously misguided. I cannot step into the fictional world you described for those very reasons.


If there is anything in you at all, Ben, which recognizes your fallen nature and culpability for the broken world we live in, I urge you to humble yourself before the One and only One who can save you through the Perfection of the cross.

BendyLine

"Louis, so the child molester's free will trumps the child so that the child molester can have a chance to go to heaven?"

It is quite clear that God established government on earth to punish the evil doers. It is he who gives government the authority to do its job of convicting criminals and sentencing them to prison for such acts as you describe. So, it is not as if God intended for child molesters to go scot-free for the wrongs they do. When it comes down to it, those of us who have been saved will not get the justice that we deserve in the hands of a righteously angry God. On that basis none of us who have been saved have been dealt with fairly, but mercy is not about fairness. I think there is an underlying assumption here that all of us have a basic human right not to be victims in this life. I don't know that we actually have such a right. People are victims of natural disasters or accidents that they did not cause or old age and death. I don't think that God's gift of life comes with a guarantee that you, or anyone else, will not be a victim at one point of your life or another of something that will be unpleasant or even horrible, maybe even as a result of a crime by another human being.

The point here is not that just the child molester's liberty is at stake. It is everyone's liberty that is in jeopardy. Would you deny everyone's opportunity to lay down arms and make peace with God just to satisfy your need for justice in the case of a child molester? I think all those things have to be placed on the scale and see which way it tips.

Carolyn,

I'm a little disappointed that you have refused to answer my questions. On the other hand, if ever you reconsider, I think they help illustrate the point I am trying to make to you.

You say that my view of man is "too great." But even if that is so, I'm trying to show you that it doesn't matter. It makes no difference to me that man is sinful or that he breaks God's favorite system of rules. In the end, it doesn't even matter that man is often cruel and malicious, i.e. genuinely bad (as opposed to the badness you see in breaking God's arbitrary rules).

I'm saying that we love our fellow man regardless of what sins he commits, and we want the best for him even if God's favorite rulebook condemns him to eternal torment. It's God who wants people to be tormented for eternity, not us.

You also say that my view of God is "too small." I would ask, how so? I mean, we all acknowledge God's omnipotence and omniscience. So God is as big as it gets in terms of sheer power! But power is no license to condemn people to eternal torment. Indeed, his power just makes him even more of a monster, since he is thus able to enact his horrible and sadistic desires.

If instead you are trying to insist that God is morally good, well, that's what we are here to decide. I submit that a morally-high view of God is explicitly contradicted by all the stuff that God does---especially sending people to Hell for eternal torment.

Louis, the point in the original article was not that bad things happen to people because God has a hands off approach to punishing evil doers in this life (which as you say is up to the governments he has established). The point made was that rather there is a point to the suffering (both at the hands of others and through natural or medical disasters) and that point is that God is using it to discipline us now.

You can't have it both ways. Either the child is suffering because of God's discipline or she's not and God is reserving judgement and letting everything play out until some future day of judgement. If it's the former then God is a cruel and abusive master doling out discipline on the innocent in a way that most of us lowly humans couldn't bear to do. If it's the latter then God is a distant and uninvolved spectator who we need not bother praying to because it's all going to play out without his intervention.

So which is it? Does God guide events to work out his discipline on us as J Warner Wallace asserts or does he not get involved and whether we're molested by a criminal or get squashed by a tornado it's all chance and happenstance that God has had no hand in?

Or, have we simply constructed a God in our own image when in reality there is no such being?

Brad B I completely agree and thank you. The idea of clash is helpful on all fronts, whether within the confines of scripture’s mysteries Pre-Fall / Post-New-Man and other horizons which are hinted at but not fully elucidated as well as with commentators from non-theistic arenas as well. Love’s Landscape lies at the end of everybody’s fantasies of course regardless of their appeal to this or that and thus we find all our hollow notes of every chorus to ever ripple particle atop particle within the song Mind calls Word as every verse -tis a jest, a Con upon Mind but for Love’s necessity, that Perfect Exemplar at the end of all our philosophies.


Ben’s beautiful writing is always a joy to read, and here too the notion of clash comes in as I am improved in my own reasoning if only by tracing all his philosophies to their bitter ends there as he claims A-Very-Fun-Experience is the End of all Regresses. There within the initial beauty of his appeal to Love we find in actuality the death of Love, the Con of Volition and the mutilation of Mind. He ends in the embarrassing position of demanding that the fantasy which gives some of us a very fun experience be shattered by some other fantasy which gives him his own peculiar serotonin rush and dopamine surge as yet some third and mightier fantasy leisurely strolls in and ends all of the above as the phallus and the fist push yet harder still.


Love’s song is hollow and but a lie in all such absurdity as seen in the thread here at STR titled, “ November 01, 2012 Challenge Response: Does God Have Free Will?.


My fist raised in court demands of All Things this absurdity and thinks its case must stand. My dear loved one suffers as do I and again my fist is raised “–Tis only senseless evil!” shouts my rage, for I well know Love-Ought and here my clenched fist is but itself a bitter testimony of Love’s inexorable coordinates there at the end of all my rants, all my ad infinitums, but one more harsh witness of Love’s indisputable residence there at the end of all my reasonings as it seems I never do escape Him. All my anger and all my fists held high in rage are brought to the Courtroom and speak of, testify of the end of all things, the end of all my reasonings and the end of all my philosophies for I find I cannot utter a word in wrath but for Love’s immutable fusions atop, fusions beneath, and fusions within all my elucidations. But for Love, all my songs of jurisprudence fall to muted silence.


We find that Grace does offend, and to the uttermost, for Love’s Shout outreaches culpability and leaves but the motion of the Self amid the Other should such be its delight as the delight of each will be but Self or it will be but Other as the End of all is but Love’s embrace amid E Pluribus Unum within Love’s Triune of I and You and We. There the Courtroom is adjourned and all delights fulfilled as the Judge’s Verdict Ends atop Life’s Tree, “Forgive, for they do not know”.

In-Sufficiency here finds All-Sufficiency, Self here finds Other, and Love’s Amalgamation is here fulfilled, and to the uttermost.

Claire

"You can't have it both ways. Either the child is suffering because of God's discipline or she's not and God is reserving judgement and letting everything play out until some future day of judgement. If it's the former then God is a cruel and abusive master doling out discipline on the innocent in a way that most of us lowly humans couldn't bear to do. If it's the latter then God is a distant and uninvolved spectator who we need not bother praying to because it's all going to play out without his intervention."

I think this might be better understood in terms of the nature of God's two wills. God has a moral will and a sovereign will that he wants accomplished. His sovereign will is something he accomplishes simply by willing it to be so. His moral will is what we are expected to accomplish. I think we need to understand that God is not the only being included in his plan, we are also.

I think that it is a mistake to think that God does not work through people who seek to exact justice on those who harm the innocent. Simply because He chooses to have governments punish the criminals does not mean this is a hands off approach. Has not God given us a sense of justice and understanding of justice for the purpose that we be enraged when an injustice is done to others? Why would he give us these gifts if he did not intend for us to use them? I think you get a sense of that yourself when you take God to task if you think that an injustice has been done and he has done nothing to prevent it or punish the guilty.

We have to keep in mind that sometimes, WE are God's intervention. One example might be when you see a crime being committed and you step in to stop it by what means you have available to you. So, when you see police officers rescue a hostage...well, that's God intervening via a human agency. So, we cannot rule out God's involvement simply because we only see human beings doing His work.

"For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." - Matt. 5:45

The point is that it's not about perceived "unfairness" towards us, but God's absolute sovereignty.

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