Friday, December 09, 2005

A Reading From "Soul Harvest," pgs. 323-24

For generations people have called natural disasters "acts of God." This has been a misnomer. Eons ago, God the Father conceded control of Earth's weather to Satan himself, the prince and power of the air. God allowed destruction and death by natural phenomena, yes, because of the fall of man. And no doubt God at times intervened against such actions by the evil one because of the fervent prayers of his people.

But this recent earthquake was indeed an act of God. It was sadly necessary....

Let me see if I understand this correctly.
The Lord, who is a loving God (sometimes) chose to allow "the evil one" to seize control of Earth's weather (like Lex Luthor, but with horns), standing by as millions of his children were destroyed because Adam and Eve did something they weren't supposed to do.

From time to time God chose to step in. Sometimes. When he felt like it.

But then God took control away from "the evil one" in order to destroy millions more, because it was necessary to cleanse the world of...evil?

This is some twisted theology. Would someone care to explain to me why any of this is supposed to make me want to get all evangelical? Other than being scared out my ass that God is going to smite me for not praising enough?

Snarky tone aside, the question's very serious.


At 8:55 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

According to Billy Graham, fear is an acceptable motivation.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

Hi, cap.

I know you aren't Billy Graham (you aren't Billy Graham, are you?), but I'd like to ask this question of you all the same:

Should fear be the only motivation? Because operating under the assumption that this stuff is "true," most seemingly-positive motivations go right out the window.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

I'm not Billy Graham, I'm not even Franklin (though having that much hair at that advanced age would be nice) and I don't think that one should become a Christian out of fear. Neither that nor Pascal's wager seem to me to be genuine reasons for conversion. You are believing out of your own self interest.

I don't love and serve God because I'm afraid of the consequences if I don't. Truthfully I don't understand exactly what those consequences are as Hell and its nature are a huge matter of debate. I know I don't want to discover it first hand though.

Having said that I think a healthy fear of God that comes from reverence is good for a Christian to have. It's the fear that any of us might have for a benevolent dictator (which is basically what God is, though that's a crude descriptor). A fear that one might have of one's parent. Born not out of a desire to escape punishment, though Christians are disciplined by God and that can be a fearful thing, but out of the knowledge that God has supreme power over everything. I'm not sure if any of this is making any sense. It's like the fear that keeps us from breaking the law vs. the fear of a serial killer.

That fear doesn't make or keep me a Christian. The reason I say that is if I were to cease being a Christian, I would no longer have that fear because I would no longer believe in God.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Also as far as seemingly positive motivations go, I think you can have that reverential fear and still desire to please God because you love him. Of course the argument could be made that you want to please him because you're afraid of what will happen if you don't, but I guess that all depends on what you believe about a Christian's relationship with God.


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