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Monday, May 05, 2008
Armageddon outta here
In my view, the need for the cross was there because there was nothing that we could do or think that would make us righteous, therefore there is nothing we can do to be readied for a judgment of any sort. What if you were wrong in your doctrine? What if you were born into a Muslim family and Jesus came? What if you were a tribe in the woods that knows nothing at all? Those questions are rhetorical but also demonstrative of a life of fear in the face of saving grace imho.

Many religions believe that there will be an end of everything culminating with a final battle between good and evil. A large portion of Christianity subscribes to this view as well. Personally, I am not among those who do. I want to share that with you in effort at being open about my own point of view and hopefully demonstrative of my not having a hidden agenda in bringing this up.

I watch the "Ultimate Fighter" reality tv show with my husband. Before each match it is common for the fighters to say a prayer and victory means that God heard them and was with them. Does that mean that God is not with losers? I don't think so. I don't know that all of the "losers" would agree with me. I'm sure that at least some sit in the corner, head in hands, feeling utter abandonment.

I have known people though, that feel abandoned by God, or disowned, disapproved, and/or not loved because their lives have been hard. They look at their life and the world around them and see that as a testimony as to goodness and evil and many find assurance in their beliefs be that doctrinally related, per a religion, or even a denial of God all together.

According to the bible story, Adam and Eve were naked and without shame up until the point that they noticed. Before that though, God knew that they were naked and didn't shame them - shame was self-inflicted. Coming clean for consuming the fruit meant making themselves vulnerable before God. They were afraid to be exposed and naked, and hid - they were "bad" in their minds, because of what they did.

God had lovingly warned them previously that if they ate poison, they would die - so don't eat poison. The fruit of the tree, where there was knowledge of good and evil meant death and they indeed were buried beneath that fear and shame. This wasn't cured immediately following, the problem created other problems.. like the need to prove one's worth for one.

God put that problem under a magnifying glass through Israel and then solved it in Christ. YET, how in the world did Jesus solve what was came into the world through our knowing good and evil? I think, because unconditional love makes moral judgment, even according to the law given Moses, obsolete.

Some argue that abortion is morally wrong and evil. I knew someone in high school who got pregnant and she was too underdeveloped to carry a child. She will have died trying and the baby wouldn't have made it either. A mistake? Yes, and she surely suffered sorrow for it. Would we condemn her? Or children who are even younger and become pregnant whether voluntarily or through rape? Would we condemn them? Definitely this has been holed up in moral courts for years now and we still don't have a consensus on who the bad guy is - and especially don't have a relational solution because none of us are interested in perpetuating sorrow.

While we argue over good and evil, each religion owning their view of it, and each sect within each religion, and each individual we also forget God's warning: "You shall surely die".

Moral court would have us condemn the enemy when love on the other hand doesn't keep score (ie 1 Cor 13:5, 2 Cor 5:19). Love makes good and evil obsolete. Parents love their children even when they grow up to be serial killers. Just look at Dahmer's dad. That doesn't mean that he would say "Well, I love you son so go eat more people." The absence of condemnation does not mean the lack of boundaries. He sure wasn't out buying pom-poms to wear to his son's death either. Is God not as graceful?

"Sure my child is bad", God said through the law, "Do I not love them?" he said through Christ. How do you think he would want humanity to respond to a sibling in trouble? Does our goodness evidence that we have a higher worth? ("The first shall be last")

The issue becomes one of love and relationship, and how to thrive among one another. The idea of the moral war will fade the more love is reflected in humanity because it just won't matter anymore. And then humanity might question if it ever mattered to God.

We don't have to put down the fruit, love rendered it powerless. I could say that I know that because of how I understand the bible story, sure. I could say even further that I know that because my heart tells me so -- when does law ever trump love after all. OR, I could say so because it is reality.

God used to have a people who believed that they were his people because he turned a river to blood for them. There was an "us" and a "them", a "clean" and "unclean", "good" and "bad" -- albeit their purpose was intended as mediator. They became corrupt and monopolized God on earth. They began to determine who was in and who was out, who would live and who would die - and they based those determinations on a law given them by God himself -- though it was interpreted without true righteousness as Jesus did. We still fight like siblings over who gets our Daddy's love - who is good and who is bad.. BUT whose side does God actually choose? Does a won war actually say that God was not with the losers? We can hold our breath until we pass out, blow one another up, throw bibles at each other and the cross is still demonstrative for all. Because who is not a sinner? This was about God's demonstrative acceptance of sinners. Isn't this the gospel? ...the war of good and evil, internally as in the garden, and externally as that played out, defeated by love.

I'm not presenting this as dogma, but in hopes of a great conversation :-).
 
posted by Amie at 1:42 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


7 Comments:


  • At 5/05/2008 10:03:00 PM, Blogger LietoFine

    Hi Amie,

    I agree with a lot of what you wrote...especially the part about which person God is with (winners or losers). But at the same time, while I can agree people make mistakes and love can make that "mistake" obsolete. Somehow that doesn't seem to cover the need for remorse and even possibly restitution. I don't think I have a good answer for any of it right now. I don't believe anymore that we're all "sentenced to hell" unless we've said the magic words, but I also don't think it's as simple as "if we all just loved each other". Somehow it always feels like we're missing something big. I do like most of N.T. Wright's take on evil (his book Evil and the Justice of God was pretty good) and he refers to some stuff that I haven't read yet (like Miroslav Volf) that I've got on my list. One thing that he mentioned is that no matter how hard we try, the world is not getting to be a better place (less evil things in the world) and it's difficult to make a case that at some point we'll all just sort-of be able to put all the evil aside. I think there will be an end to things, but I think it'll need more of God's intervention besides just what Jesus did in the past. I don't really see it as Armageddon anymore though or any sort of war. Maybe we should look at it more as a final peace.

    Definitely a good conversation...I don't find anyone in person interested in discussing these sorts of things.

    Cristi :]

     
  • At 5/06/2008 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Amie

    Christi,

    Why do you think that love means the absence of remorse or restitution?

    I agree with you that it isn't as simple as "if we all just loved each other". I understand the story of Israel under the Mosaic Law to tell that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We had a dire need for a Savior.

    I think if good/evil were put aside and we focused on relationships with one another without that distraction, peace would be advanced. I think though, that the world has been getting better. I can remember just from when I was little and there were piles of trash on the sides of the roads, waste being dumped into rivers and the Berlin Wall (lol). Seriously, comparatively to the past, we're progressing.

    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Seeing "Armageddon" outside of the box gives me lots to ponder :-).

    Amie

     
  • At 5/07/2008 10:12:00 PM, Blogger LietoFine

    Hi Amie,

    >> Why do you think that love means the absence of remorse or restitution?
    Maybe it's just my impression of stuff. I know I'm not very good at making boundaries and everytime I do it seems that someone is upset with me and acts like somehow I don't love them for making that boundary. I'm just not sure how you love someone and still reconcile with them when they hurt you if they do not have any remorse.

    >>I think if good/evil were put aside and we focused on relationships with one another without that distraction, peace would be advanced.
    I totally agree...although I think it has to be two sided. I think that's part of what Jesus was trying to teach. In reality, most "evil" seems to be someone not caring/thinking about someone else in what they do (lying, manipulation, murder, etc).

    I guess I'm just not sure how all this works when the large majority of people really don't seem to be thinking about it.

    I agree that there have been lots of advancements in the world, but it just seems to me like every advancement includes a pretty big step backwards as well. (Interestingly enough, today the paper in my town had an article about people throwing beer bottles out their car window and dumping trash on the highway.) For all of our good medical care, we have hugely high cancer rates (and other diseases and infant mortality rates compared with other countries). We may be look out for more organic/local food and fair trade clothing, but most people buy more clothes and food than anytime in the past (consumerism/materialism and all that). Even if we try to get away from coal and oil for our power, there are still drawbacks to wind and other "green" energy. It just seems to me that we're just replacing one thing with another.

    Like I said before, I'm really excited to discuss stuff like this...most people that I run into are not at all interested even in the possibilities and/or imagining outside the box.

    Cristi :]

     
  • At 5/13/2008 06:45:00 PM, Blogger Euodia

    What do you mean by "love"? This is probably one of the most over-worked, ill-defined and thus murky words in the English language.

     
  • At 5/14/2008 08:14:00 PM, Blogger medium guy

    On love, my mouth is agape with an agape grape. I have a sports a-philiation with Philadelphia phileo. And my heroes all died for eros.

     
  • At 5/14/2008 08:15:00 PM, Blogger medium guy

    btw are those chocolates, euodia?

     
  • At 5/20/2008 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Euodia

    Absolutely.

     

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