Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People.

[Edit: I recently received a comment about this post. Scroll to the end to see the comment and my reply]

They don't.

Bad things don't happen to good people. There are no good people. I am not a good person. God alone is good. Everyone else has been stained by sin. Even the smallest of infants, the most tender of babes, the most innocent of girls, the most gentle of boys - they too are sin-stained.

So why are women raped? Why are children kidnapped, tortured and killed?

As the false dilemma goes, God is either non-existent or non-omnipotent (thus allowing bad things to happen), or he is evil and cruel, able to stop all wrongs but not willing.

But neither is true. God is existent, He is omnipotent, but He allows sin to happen. He allows women to be raped. He allows children to be kidnapped, and tortured, and killed. Anyone who believes in God will admit this. He allows this to happen.

But why?

For several reasons.
1. We all deserve every wrongdoing we get. We have all sinned against God - yes, the pregnant rape victim has sinned. The rapist has sinned doublefold, to be sure, but the victim too. The little children, even if they are too young to understand the moral implications of their actions, have a sinful nature within them. See the baby, crying when it wants something it can't have. As P. Washer once said, imagine that baby wanted a gold ring. It cried and reached for it. If that baby had the strength of a full grown man, it would slaughter anyone who stood between it and the ring. Adult sin is just - normally - less external. We are not good.
You want to deny this.
But it is true that people are inherently evil, and scientifically demonstrable. Go ahead and read one of oldest songs in existence - the book of Psalms. Read Psalm 14. Read Romans 3. Go and research "Milgram's Electric Shock Experiment," or Jerry Berger's replication thereof, or the Stanford prison experiment. People require very little prodding, or none at all, to express evil. It seems a very natural thing.

2. God is not only love. He is also justice.
Everyone will receive justice. Some will receive it through Christ, and some through their own non-god bodies. He allows some of this justice to occur here on the earth. He allows most of it to occur after our deaths. It will come. 

3. God's paths are unsearchable
Do not ignore the first two reasons. They in themselves answer the question, though not wholly. The third reason is "I do not fully know. No man, save Christ, truly knows the why behind different scenarios." Some rape victims come to know Christ through their trauma. Some kidnapped children will grow up to be embittered with a profound loathing of Jesus Christ. Either way, God's overarching plan takes all this into account. Jesus said, "no bird dies, and no hair falls from your head, unless God has known it before time began." It is all planned out. 

You probably don't like these answers. You want me to say that every rape victim will be rewarded in Heaven, or God loves them more than normal people. But the truth is, God did not commit the crime. He allowed a guilty person to be punished (immorally) by a more guilty person. At the end of the day, unless grace is received through Christ, both will perish.

Imagine a world where God is both good, and just, and where people were not evil - and nothing bad happened. A world of perfection and peace, laughter and mystery, beauty and science, truth and holiness - a world that reflects the nature of Jesus Christ.

God already made that world. Then we, humans, ruined it. We are living in a world that we have destroyed. God will again make that world. Then we, humans will not ruin it. Sin will be thrown into the maws of Hell, where the just wrath of God abides. And the fire of Jesus Christ shall wax anew eternally.


I recently received a comment from someone, who says they know me in person. That may be so. Here is their comment:

"Erick, I know who you are, and it makes me sick to know that you actually believe this. Believing that God could ever intend for a woman to be raped requires one to override empathy, lose their moral bearings and accept evil as divine will. And as a rape survivor, I find this to be all the more offensive. I’m very sorry to have found this horrible outlet of yours.

Forgive me, I am an atheist and no expert when it comes to the ins-and-outs of your religion, but what you have written here has done more harm to my perception of Christianity and Christians than all its critics combined. This evil and misogynistic ideas post of yours needs to be debunked for what it really is: a rationalization of evil, an attack on women, and a slandering of the God of love, justice and mercy whom I’ve heard many good Christians follow.

Help me understand: in person you seem like a perfectly normal guy, not to mention highly academic. Where the hell did this testimony to your sociopathology come from?"

Unfortunately, this person left me no ability to reply to them, as they left no contact information. I am sorry for this, and I would much prefer to have this conversation with you in private. Whoever you are, I am sorry you feel this way. If you truly do know me, then come and approach me and we can have this conversation.

You say you are an atheist, and atheists say that they like truth. You state that "I believe that God intends for a woman to be raped."

I never said that. I said that God allows women to be raped. God hates rape. God hates murder. God hates the rapist and the murderer (Psalm 5:5). I never said that God wishes, desires, plans for the murder, abduction, sexual torment and/or rape of countless tens of thousands of women all of the world. I hate rape. God does not condone rape, he condemns it.

Yet we have two facts: women are raped, and God exists. So, why does God allow it? I said two things

1) I think it's because we're all fallen creatures, and we've all done bad things and we all deserve punishment - I am a perfect example. I am not as gentle as I should be, not as loving as I could be, I am frequently rude and ignorant and harsh and severe. I have broken an infinitely big law, therefore I deserve God's infinite wrath.

2) I don't know.

You say I rationalize evil. I do not rationalize evil. You know those rapists that raped that women to death in India on a bus for hours and hours? That pisses me the fuck right off. And God fucking hates that as well. I hate evil. I condemn all evil.

You say this post is an attack on women. How so? Why wouldn't you say it's also an "attack on children?" since I mention them as well? Because this is not so. I honour and respect women - I believe the male-dominated church of today is not in line with the Biblical standard. I believe that women have a much higher place in the church than the realize, perfectly equal in level with men. I am all for women.

So please, approach me, whoever you are. Let's talk.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A brief letter to colonizing missionaries of all times.

Preamble:  I am not addressing all of you when I say “missionary.” Many of you come to foreign cultures in humility, realizing that Western civilization is no less primitive than any other, although it has fringe benefits. Many of you understand that Jesus will be worshipped in every tongue by every tribe – that is, in every different culture. Many of you have the heart of Jesus and offer grace, not legalism and condemnation. Put down this letter now – you are doing a fine job. I speak to the missionaries who lived in Ancient Rome or live now in Modern Venezuela – all over the earth in every time. The men who are concentrated on “collecting souls,” not glorifying Christ through love and gentleness.
Dear colonizing missionaries,

                I must confess, I am pissed off. I find it hard not to hate you sometimes – may God help me. I would swear were I to speak to you in real life. You, oh British missionaries to Hawaii, offered to natives not peace, but condemnation. Woe to you! You, oh French missionaries to the Five Nations of Canada, did not care for their culture, but for your false religion alone. You, oh Spanish missionaries to Peru, offered not the loving pierced hand of Jesus, but the iron fist of legalism. You, oh men who held up the name of Christ as a pretention, as a symbol, but your black hearts were just as stained with sin as any other man. Woe to you! Cursed be the man who brings disgrace to the name of Christ by killing natives. By punishing them. By oppressing them. By making them afraid. Did you not realize that men in the future would look back in utter disdain for a Christ you did not preach? I am filled with rage.

                You built your cathedrals on top of pagan temples, you condemned hula-hoop dancing, you bound men down with European morals, you forced them to learn an angry foreign tongue, you made them farm and make hay-bales, you kidnapped their children to “re-education schools,” you ravaged their lands, you flaunted yourself, you raped their women, you despised their culture, you hated their skin-colour. Woe to you! You claim to be religious, but true religion, says God, is helping the widow and the orphan, and being unstained from the world! But you slaughtered the husband, raped his widow to death, kidnapped her orphan, and showed your evil worldly heart. In the name of Anglican and Puritan and Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox values, you ignored Christ’s sacrifice and bound them with the law of Moses. Woe to you! Says Christ, teachers of the law, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

                You preached a false gospel, you trampled on Christ’s sacrifice, you broke every law of God, you did not remove the plank from your own eye, you lived to please man, you sat down at the head table, you exalted yourself, you did not become a Jew for the Jew or Gentile for the Gentile, you considered yourself better than others, you treated others as you would not want to be treated, ad nauseum. How do you think you shall escape the fires of Hell? Jesus saved his most bitter rage for the most religious of hypocrites. And you are such a man. You are a hypocrite. Repent from your wicked ways, perhaps the light of Christ will shine in your heart still. It is truly a wonder and astonishment that anyone at all was actually brought to Christ through your cruelty. I am sickened.