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September 26, 2013

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Jesus isn't life enhancement.

Perhaps if I modify this statement a bit, and offer "Jesus isn't just life enhancement." Totally agree that Jesus isn't a yuppy accessory to hang on our belts so we can have our best life now. But, Jesus did say, "I have come so that you might have life, and have it more abundantly", and Paul likewise, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain", and I think both those passages point to the redefinition of life that comes with faith in Jesus Christ; life becomes much more than this physical, temporal bond we have in this present earth.

Totally agree with this article though; good job, Melinda!


UNICEF: collection of information on violence against children worldwide LINK here.


FBI: violent crimes against children LINK here.


Love just is the highest Ethic.


We all know this.


That love is the highest Ethic is one of the ways we know that what is found at the end of ad infinitum is Love, and therein Ultimate Actuality just is Love’s Triune there inside the embrace of Self wrapped within Other as these two distincts necessarily beget Love’s third distinct, that singular Unity that just is love’s E Pluribus Unum.


Ultimate Actuality, that is to say, God, is Love.


What does love, our love, have to say about these children we find filling up those UNICEF and FBI links? What does love, our love, have to say to them? What does love, our love, have to say of those violent evils which in and by violence destroy their mind, their bodies, or both?


When a little girl, or boy, is sold to upwards of 20 customers inside of 24 hours to well-to-do, well-loved, well educated customers who have no psychological chip on their shoulders but simply want it despite the full light of day present in their minds, what does love say to this? Does love say of these evils, “I really, really like you! You go boy!” ?


Or does, love, our love, have some other emotion for these kids?


Are we capable of feeling something, anything, for these children filling up these links? Are we capable of feeling something, anything, about the violence employed by their well-to-do, well-loved, well educated customers who have no psychological chip on their shoulders but simply want it despite the full light of day present in their minds?


Following is a paraphrase of John Piper, who, as it happens, I have a few philosophical and theological disagreements with. He’ll tell us that God needs us to go to hell so that Man can learn and see by that reality God’s Mercy and Justice. A caution here that that is a lie and is merely the Idol called the Knowledge of Good and Evil which evil itself promises is the way for Man to get to be able to see as God sees. God tells us otherwise. Love tells us that to know Him is the path to Light, to Understanding, to Life, both in Eden and in Palestine. The reason that the logic behind “it is God’s will that you go to hell so that in hell you will serve as His object lesson for those in heaven to thereby understand His Justice and Mercy” (Etc) is a lie is that it promises Sight by the wrong Tree, and, Love does say, God does say, to every person on Earth, all the business of His Love for and to, well, “you” and this message of His Love’s Ransom whispered into any individual’s ear, into your ear, is not, ever, the preaching of a lie. While the following paraphrase is quite helpful, in fact incredibly helpful, we must be careful to avoid a few of the errors which Piper may bring into other arenas.


With that disclaimer, in this paraphrase Piper touches on an incredibly important existentially felt-truth touching on the fact-hood of the truth that, if we do not hate these evils against these children then we have no coherent way to claim that we love these victims. Things like this go on in this world, all over the place. Often funded by, committed by, financially stable, well educated, well loved adults, with no anger chip on their shoulder, with no psychological chip on their shoulder, and, well, with none of the classical items on the classical list of justifications for child sex slaves which many will embrace and shout out in order to avoid their own felt interior motion of “I hate that evil!” That feeling makes us uncomfortable and so rather than hate violence against children we find a way to numb ourselves to the reality of it. We dishonor both these kids and love itself in our fear of that emotion. We are unable to feel, or, we don’t allow ourselves to feel, love’s reaction as it sees these nine year old girls, and boys, rented out to five or ten or fifteen customers a day, often in impoverished regions by Western, White, financially stable, well educated, well loved adults, with no psychological chip on their shoulder, and the full light of experience in their mind.


We are afraid to be angry at violent sexual assault against children because we are afraid of any anger ever, and this is the root of our sightline’s blurry vision. We witness these evils against these kids and we feel nothing, or, we are afraid of our anger. We are, or we have become, therein, the greatest antithesis of love: indifference.


A missionary friend of ours follows some of these kids after they’ve been bought / purchased out of trafficking (by these missionaries) and rehabs them: most don’t recover emotionally and many die from HIV and other physical traumas. About half die by the age of fifteen. Why is that important? Because it unmasks our autohypnosis, our self-deception: we tell ourselves we can “not-hate” the Willing which knows better yet in the full light of day chooses to do this to these kids and then we tell ourselves, “Well, we will rehab EVERY ONE OF THEM, THE CRIMINAL AND THE VICTEM.” I want that too. We all do. The problem with this love of ours is that reality is undeniably otherwise. Because the children usually don’t make it out of their teens (speaking of the kids our missionary friends buy and then rehab). And, the mental constructs we are certain just must be in the minds of those customers just is not there in far too many cases. They get it. We can’t rehab, well, many of these victims, and, some of these customers just are not the blind fools we feel they just must be.


That we have to work like pulling teeth on this blog to get Atheists to claim an innate ought-not in these acts of violence against these children speaks volumes about these sorts of mentalities which are serving, not to love these children, but instead to buffer and soften, in our own minds, our awareness of the need to detest these evils against them. Indifference on all fronts is Atheism’s ontological end of regress, and in feeling nothing, in emoting nothing, we are, or we have become, therein, the greatest antithesis of love: indifference.


The damage to these kids, many of whom die in their teens, is permanent. Now, God in Love restores. In fact, we know Love just does pour Himself out for every one of us, for all of us bankers and bastards, all of us Pharisees and prostitutes, all of us managers and murders, all of us theologians and thieves, all of us freaks and geeks, all of us who-so-evers. That’s Love’s take on the whole show. And what do we do with love, with our love? We look at these kids and we are afraid to love them because we are afraid to feel anger at their destruction. That is what we do with love, with our love. We dishonor love. To look at these kids in the eye and say of that evil “I have to love that evil! I cannot hate that evil! I cannot hate anything or I’m a bad person!” is not love’s landscape in any possible world. Ever. Not existentially. Not logically. Not philosophically. We, in our fear of any anger, in our fear of ever hating any evil, in our fear of seeing the reality of the sexually violent destruction of these little boys and girls right in front of us, we in all these fears are dishonoring our own love. We really don’t have real love. We would rather look away and send a check and go on feeling good. Love Himself didn’t look away. Love Himself came. Love Himself spread His arms wide. Love pours Himself out for His Beloved, who is all of us. That is what love does. Love is a Verb within Love’s Person. Love, the Person that is God, Who is Love, conquers evil and He rescues victims.


Here is the paraphrase of Piper:


"If you don't hate anything in this world you can't possibly love because things are killing people. Things are destroying people ..... if you can't hate anything in this world then you can't love..... If love is the doing of what is good for people, then love is the hating of what destroys people……. Once you decide what really harms people, you hate it because genuine love must hate these evils in order to be love. If there were a universe in which there were no evil, no hurting people, and no dishonoring of love, then that statement would be false, in fact there would be no such thing as hate in such a universe. Hate would not exist, as there would be nothing to hate. We do not live in that universe. Paul says, “Let love be genuine – comma -- abhorring what is evil.” Let love be genuine –comma— abhorring what is evil. ~~~ Love, abhorring, love, abhorring ~~~ One commentator I read defined abhorring as an intense, inward, rejection. It's rejection, and it's inward, and it's intense. In this world where there is evil, where there is these endless lines of customers destroying these children, and where there is, by our fear to hate evil, our own very present dishonoring of love, in this world with these things you have to hate those things or you just can't love people. You cannot be a wishy-washy-lovey-dovey-relational not-hating-anything-person and be a loving person. A lot of people have that notion, that love is always smooooth, love is always eeeeazy, love doesn't speak in negatives, love doesn't get on anyone's case……… Not in THIS world is that smooooth-eeeasy love real love --- no way! If you don't hate anything in this world you can't possibly love because things are killing people. Things are destroying these children permanently. If love is the doing of what is good for these kids, then love is the hating of what destroys these kids. Once you decide what really hurts these children, you just do hate it, and you do this because you love these children. We dishonor love when we refuse to condemn these evils that are destroying all these children.”

God is love. It seems that UNICEF and the FBI are on love’s side.


If there were a universe in which there were no evil. We do not live in that universe. Ultimate Actuality is Love, and that is the road we must allow ourselves to travel, allow ourselves to feel. Love retains the right to rehab all comers by all means available. The criminal and his victims. Love does that. But in our rehabbing we just may find one or two, or a few, or many, who, in the full light of day, just do will to shout, not love’s costly Other and not Self, but shout, instead, that violent business of Self and not Other. It seems that, perhaps, it is autohypnosis which permits us to expect Love Himself to program Automatons and call two robots marrying one another “love”. We ask ourselves, “Can’t Love (God) just force the bride to marry that groom and just drag her into his bedroom against her will?. Can’t Love (God) just program the bride to want to marry the groom and then drag her to his bed?” Love can’t do that and yet be love. Love can’t do that, but Power can. Yes, Power can do that. We must not wish for Power void of Love. Power void of Love isn’t the god we should be wishing for as we ask Why-God? in our prayer closets. Power void of Love…….. Loveless Power…… we need to think harder about what we are thinking hard about.


Love’s Eternally-Sacrificed-Self forever spreads His arms wide, and He pours Himself out for His Beloved-Other, who is you and I and us, and, lest we forget, Love shouts from high atop His Bench, “Forgive them for they do not know……..

That is what love does. As for love-less-ness, that violent affair of Self and not Other and that trail of Sacrificed-Children begotten thereby found compiled in UNICEF/FBI pages, well, love and love-less-ness seem to be worlds apart. People will argue over that being forever or not, and so on. Either way, love-less-ness just does not, cannot, exist inside of Love. Not ever. How in any possible world can Love-Less-Ness be inside of Love? We need to think harder about what we are thinking hard about.


Fortunately we need not be afraid for we can on love’s grounds hate all these violent evils that destroy these kids in violent ways, we can on love’s grounds hate all these violent evils that sell these little boys and these little girls to upwards of 10 or 20 customers a day. And we can allow ourselves to love them fully and, in doing so, in hating these violent evils, in loving these kids fully, we can actually be far better, even good, people, and, in fact very helpful people in this sort of world, in fact the very sort of persons this world, and these kids, need. In doing so we reject every bit of love’s antithesis: the indifference of Atheism’s necessary ontological end of regress. Instead of the lie of necessary indifference we instead embrace the end of regress which speaks what we all taste as the truth of necessary love: God is Love. Love’s Eternally-Sacrificed-Self in conquering evil rescues victims. Love tells us, This is the Way ~~ Do life this Way ~~ I am the Way ~~ and then Love’s Self spreads His arms wide, and He pours Himself out for His Beloved-Other, who is all of us, all of you and I and us.


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