Thursday, March 17, 2011

Authority of God

"God is good, all of the time" is a fine gospel song. The Gospel mean 'good news'.  "Jesus saves".  "Trust in God".
Yet how come there is suffering?  There is much Christian apologia for 'suffering'.
- Various theories abound - eg - This is not the real world.  This is the material world. The spiritual world is the real world. When we awake we will look at the 'suffering' of this brief finite lifetime as nothing compared to 'infinite glory'.  Heaven makes right the hell of earth in this scenario.  I am a caterpillar now and when I die I enter a cocoon and become a butterfly.
But what about the suffereing?  How come there are earthquakes and tsunamis.
- Various theories abound.  The earth is a complex playground. Each soul has a purpose.  My purpose might be to not lie whereas another person's purpose might be to not steal.  Each person has a unique test. The eastern maya reincarnation theory says that we all are living according to karma and if I kill in this life I will return and be killed.  That's sort of satisfying. As I'm dying I can think the guy who killed me will get his.  These fixed cataclysmic events just are.
What about the person who dies as a young man versus the person who dies as an old man.  The young man doesn't have nearly as much opportunity to be bad as the old man who lives longer. The young can be trained and idealistic and die young and get rewarded by heaven. The good die young.  If God is good all the time then why wouldn't the old man get to die young and go to heaven rather than living long and screwing up on his 107th birthday cursing God.  Supposedly longer life means more time to atone for past sins.  Catholics have given this alot of thought and some old time nuns are quite explicit on these matters. Purgatory seems a solution.  This earthly place is just one of the 'cleansing' places where we can work out our sinfulness and be saved from heaven.  Purgatory may be below or above earth depending on perspective.
The real question is how to explain Ghaddafi?  Jesus said "Forgive them for they know not what they do."  Bad leaders in this sense were no different from earthquakes.
THe first thing is for me not to think that Bill Gates or Ghaddaffi or Obama or Sandra Bullock or Ralf Lauren has it 'better' than me.  I'm not supposed to compare myself to others because I don't know their insides or really their outsides.  Right now I think Mr. Rothschild or Mr. Buffet have it better than me.  That's because I don't know what  is the complexity of their lives.  When we actually get to know people in more depth we find out that the rich and famous and powerful have their own foibles, fears and obligations.  It looked like a good deal being a tyrant but tyrants have all these people trying to topple them.  I don't have to worry about having a food taster for instance.  Imagine being wealthy and powerful and not knowing who to trust.  I couldn't leave my cat and dog with a friend for fear they'd steal them.  My doctor might be bought. It looks good having the money and power but it's not free.  So my tendency is to think that others have it better than me and God creates this 'injustice'.  Yet as all artists know the bankers are generally incapable of experiencing true art because they lack the sensitivity.  Killers grow cold and can't love children or experience the love of children.  The movies show us a flick of the mafia without getting to the insides where the person 's emotional life is flat and depressed.  They have the gang bosses seeing psychiatrists but no psychiatrist can help the Hitler's of the world.
God is good all the time.  The Mishna says that God is responsible for good and evil. The story of Job is that there is no dualism.  God is greater than the devil.  There is only one Creator and the Creator creates all.  Those who have satanic force that's as powerful as Christ miss the message.
It's always easy to imagine the ruling forces as idiots and evil.  That's the angry child scenario.  Certainly there seems to be despots but does this perspective help me, personally. The media portrays this always.  It certainly sells books and magazines.  It's equally possible that the world is run by a benign dictatorship and that they're working for the best for everyone in the long run.  I have a lot of polly anna ideas but maybe civilization is just progressing with various strong men and strong women putting forward their best agenda for what's best.
God is said to have 'inspired' the Bible.  Similiarly my Christian friend believes that God 'inspires' the world leaders.  He would have thought overall that God was influences Hitler and Nero and today Ghaddaffi, reducing those tyrant's potential for violence.  Without God's albeit weak influence maybe Hitler would have killed 'all' the jews and 'all' the gays and 'all' the mentally ill.  Thanks to God his plot was vanguished.
There can be no appreciation of happiness without sadness.  Without pain there is a bland existence.  The convolutions of life give it's character.
The key seems to be 'trust' and 'faith' and 'love' rather than being in a state of 'fear'.  Certainly those who believe that we're really in 'good hands' and ultimately a good God is in charge do best in the long run. They seem to have better lives even if they are characterized at times as 'happy cabbages' and 'stupidly' 'spiritual'.
God is good, all of the time.  It's okay God's in charge.  Right.

No comments: