UI – Part 411 – The Goodness of God
God is good. If your god in not good, then your god is not the God of creation. Discussing good and evil is a continuous topic. But there is evil in the world which God allowed.
Whether you believe the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, or not, you cannot deny that humans, you and me too, have sin in our hearts. We can be, have been, and will be tempted. Between humans, conflict can arise. Brothers, sisters, families, husband and wife, business partners, co-workers, political leaders, and other groups, can have conflict, inherent in which there is a sinful element. Violence can arise when opposition becomes heated and cannot calm the storm in a peaceful way. It takes both sides. Just opposing what another says can stir ire. It is the sin nature of humans that is evil in itself, and when spread throughout the world, chaos is the outcome.
There are, as we are aware of today, groups, sects, factions that are filled with such hatred they only attack and fight and seek to exterminate their opponent. Ideological thinking cannot be softened through reason. The established order, or order to be established, must conform only with that of the hate group. The opposition considers words, actions, drawings, and even overhearing beliefs at variance to their own as persecution. Attempts to divert attention from their focus are wrong and referred to by some as hate speech. This is evil taken to a coordinated level that makes no effort to alter the thinking, or approach, to take over the world for a god they use as a shield covering and hiding the blackened hearts of the perpetrators.
Death to America
A call of Death to America from a leader in Iran does not fall on deaf ears. It cannot be heard as a cry or desire for peace with a world neighbor. Shouted often enough, all too frequently, repeatedly, the populace comes to believe Death to America is the objective and intent of the governing body of their Country. It is also the theme of the national goal for all Iranian citizens. Agreement may not be in the heart of all, but certainly recognized as words proclaimed by the religious leaders, the spokes-person for god, and considered Allah’s Will. If the citizens are all as fundamental in their Islamic belief as the Ayatollah, Allah’s intercessor, they represent an army of hatred towards the West. Many may be closet Christians or doubting Muslims, either infidel or heretic, and not feel the same level of hatred as flows from the Iranian dais of Islamist bias. But their fear of being an apostate and the associated consequences keeps them in line.
Even the appeasing nature of the past president Obama and the debate over whether or not the Nuclear deal had benefits for all parties has done little to curb the hatred vocalized by the mullahs and clerics of this Shiite nation. Iran received amounts estimated to exceed $1 billion and continues to take Americans captive for possible ransom, pursues ballistic missile capabilities than can launch nuclear weapons and maintains communications with North Korea. North Korea can be a source for the nukes that Iran will not be producing at home. I am not clear on what America received in exchange.
In the battle between good & evil there are many weapons that have been brought to bear on the enemy. Probably the leading industries in the world make military equipment, to spy, to bomb and to shoot others, all in the name of defense. Yet the defensive gear can provide significant offensive capabilities. Is this a preventative measure, pre-emptive measure, or just plain evil to extirpate those who are non-believers? If the party that objects, questions, raises doubts or preaches another philosophy is labelled as the aggressor, then defensive acts, using offensive tactics, is justified (by Allah).
Driven by the thought behind the comment George Washington made, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace,” justifies a strong army . But it does not suggest using the power of the gun pointed at the head of an enemy to alter their thinking, just preparedness keeping them away from disturbing our freedom and peace.
Over history items used for the good of mankind, advances in technology, have benefitted humans and transitioned them from hunter-gatherers to many today dependent upon technology. The use and dependency on computers, smartphones, power-grids, bio-engineering, robotics and even nano-stuff is evidence. There are those too, unfortunately, lost in the arena of life hooked on the opiates of dependency and addiction. The future of miniaturization may someday have a bumblebee buzzing near you that is actually a robot equipped with camera, GPS, sensing, sniffing and listening devices, that can track your every move and provide feedback to an observing corporation or government. It might even smell your breath and measure blood levels warning you not to drive. The bug may be innocently monitoring your interests to select or design products just for you, or it may be ease dropping, considering you as a suspect or dissident that needs to be observed.
In their book (Benjamin Wittes & Gabriella Blum) The Future of Violence (2015, Basis Books, NYC) they point out that technological advances since the cave man have made improvements in the standards of daily living. But the technology advancements have also been used for evil purposes. Their example was a rock used to crush food, like nuts, for the primitive man, who then discovered that same rock could be used to harm his fellow man.
Ideally our focus on what we produce and make should be for the common good. That is God’s truth and desire. But we are flawed and need to understand this. We cannot use evil methods to correct the wrongs of society. We cannot end debate by force. Being a bully may quiet the opposition for a time, but in time that will change as retribution will always be hidden in the darkness. It is inherent in the nature of man, all men, to include Christians, Jews, Muslims, to be and do good. It is how the environment and society directs the individual, alters their thinking, takes advantage of their good nature or coerces, and co-ops their mind with rewards, with temptations and with threats. The nature of the authoritarian or the power hungry is to assume the divine mantel that is only for our sovereign lord.
God is Good
Yes, God is good. I am saying, and this may be upsetting to some, that my God is good. My God is loving and caring. My God has protected me and gives me purpose. My God has provided for my salvation. My God has given consideration to my sin nature and made it possible to be made right with God and assured Salvation. My God has filled me with a Spirit that reminds me and assures me of his gift. I am reminded that I am a sinner and have accepted that as fact. There is evil inside me, but I can now deal with that evil, the temptations and follow God, his begotten son Jesus Christ, as my example. He came to live among mankind so we can know him, and know his truth, divine truth. The Bible makes it clear and is our guide. It is his Word. He then took the punishment for my sin, your sin, the sin of others. He was punished in our place so that we are made free. We are saved by the grace of God, not by what we do, but by what we believe. We then volunteer to do what is right. Our GPS keeps us on the path, creating happiness along the way, a heaven on earth, a precursor to the eternal happiness we will enjoy. Through atonement we are in accord, united, accepted and thankful for his ultimate sacrifice. Thanks be to God. God is very good.
Grace and Peace