Monday, April 27, 2015

Religious Massacres Will Become Worse

Recent religious massacres in the Middle East could bring to mind the fact that God often authorized the Jews to conduct massacres. It may also remind us that there has been savage infighting between Christian groups over the centuries. With typical discretion I will avoid that issue. I will also avoid discussing biblical massacres that had no specific divine authorization. That would exclude, for example, the story of future king David and his mates who killed 200 Philistines, cut off their foreskins, and presented the foreskins to King Saul in order to win the king's daughter as David's wife. The Bible mentions a war in heaven. (Revelation 12:7) Evidently Satan found some grievance with the divine management, and evidence of the conflict showed up in the garden of Eden. The first chapter of the book of Job, written much later, features Satan implying God had no earthly supporters at all. Clearly Satan thought he was in charge of the Earth. When Jesus, a member of the Holy Trinity, came to Earth to sort things out Satan confronted him right at the beginning of his ministry, and offered him a great deal. He would give Jesus full control of the Earth if he fell down and worshipped him (Satan). Jesus declined the invitation, and was eventually crucified, presumably through the intrigues of Satan. (Matthew 4:8,9) That the cosmic war came to Earth could suggest that our planet was specially set up (with its light and darkness and potential for good and evil) as a laboratory in which to test rival theories on how the universe should be run. We could be a "spectacle.. to angels". (1 Corinthians 4:9) The Bible predicts that Satan and the third of the angels who back him will eventually be massacred. But God would not want to do that until Satan's real motives are on clear display to the whole universe. What better place than the Earth to expose the universe to the real issues! Arguably there still are arbitrary tests of human obedience, as was the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. For example, God tested the father of the faithful (Abraham) right up to the last second to prove that he really would sacrifice his son Isaac in obedience to God's request. The New Testament book "Hebrews" mentions some of the tests of faith, many doubtless engineered by Satanic influences, that followers of God have faced down through the centuries - jeering, flogging, stoning, being sawn in two, execution by sword, and general ill-treatment. (chapter 11) All higher animals, including humans, are charged up with hormones that push them into wanting sex. Multitudes of males throughout history have been tested by the charms of women. Animals aren't fussed about adultery or singles' sex. But poor humans are loaded up with guilt over this somewhat arbitrary test, which is listed among the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments may contain other arbitrary tests. Is coveting your neighbour's ass really all that bad? And why should every seventh day be nominated as the day for rest or worship instead of, say, every tenth day - or none at all? Jesus produced his own predictions of future massacres through a new kind of whole-nation warfare that included pregnant women and nursing mothers becoming casualties, and possibly including ordinary people being blown up in their beds. (Matthew 24:3-19) St Peter has the helpful thought that our Earth won't again be destroyed by a flood. It will be destroyed by fire next time. And the last book in the Bible rounds it out with seven bowls of God's wrath, including the battle of Armageddon; and a final massacre in which birds feast on dead human bodies - the "supper of God". (2 Peter 3:5-7; Revelation 16,19) Now you want to know how a God of love could possibly do this? Well, I don't think there is a nice way of getting rid of people en masse. God tried to nip moral problems in the bud early in Earth's history with a much smaller massacre through Noah's Flood, but it wasn't effective in the long term. Loving parents and caring teachers punish children for their own good. Schools may feel forced to expel students; governments may choose to execute criminals; and God may feel compelled to expel people from the universe. In his sermon on the future Jesus predicted "great tribulation" such as had never been seen before. If it isn't cut short nobody would survive. We have seen some very torrid warfare in the last hundred years, so things could turn very nasty if a final great tribulation is worse. Then we would have some real massacres! Article Source:

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