Monday, June 03, 2019

Is God The Author Of Sin?

The question of good and evil is intimately linked with God's and man's nature, as is to be suspected. We have seen that God is a spirit who has a spiritual soul, mind, and body.
Man also is a spirit, soul, mind and body, but the body is material. From these come four aspects.

The mystic says, "God is good because He truly loves us. Only His love is far higher than ours." However this kind of emotionalism is bound to run dry. We cannot be high on God all the time as if He were dope. Our spirits must lift us up regularly and our mind must give us reason. If we try to live on emotions only then we will soon find out that we lose heart. For what will we say if sorrow upon sorrow hits us. That God has lost His love? To escape from such an impasse one might embrace fideism (spiritual faith only). However fideism by itself is a dry, emotionless, impractical, though suprarational attitude towards God. To withdraw into an ivory tower of adamant faith is escapism. Our bodies, minds and emotional souls must participate in the flights of the spirit. If we do not see a practical purpose, or rational explanation, we must still believe though that God does. Paul says that, "... all things combine to work for the good of those that love God ( Rom.8:28)... " This is divine purpose in the practice of our daily lives. To say in a fideistic manner that God simply is good, no matter what He allows or does, is bound to let our heads bang into a wall of concrete reality.

On the other side of the balance there is the rational attitude that God is good because He has a rational reason for everything. However if we bank on rationalism too much then we will soon run out of reasons to believe in God's goodness. Our minds cannot grasp everything, not by far. If we demand complete rational understanding, we are really trying to reduce God's mind to ours. To escape the tension of rationalism one might embrace some kind of pragmatism. "God is good because everything serves a practical (material) purpose. Now pragmatism is very practical, but to try to find it in every event is also an impossibility. If you make yourself too dependent on material practicality, then you are really trying to make God the slave of your pleasures. However the Bible says, "As heaven is higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts ( Is. 55.9) "

Therefore we must combine material practicality, reason, emotion and spiritual strength in order to lay a good foundation for our faith. All four together can help us to cling to God. If we rely on reason only we will end up concluding with the deists that God just is not able to help us any better, or that He simply does not care about us. For if He were almighty He would not allow anything to go wrong. However we have already judged that such a God is a mad genius. If He is almighty but does not care about us, that makes even less sense. For what kind of a God is it that first creates us only to subsequently abandon us? Both forms of deism really imply that God is guilty, one way or another. But it is clear that if we are at the mercy of a psychopathic God that there is no hope for us at all. We had better become atheists then. However then we land in the following vicious vortex. For if there is no God, then the world was made by chance. But chance will destroy us in the end again. Atheism offers even less hope. Whereas deism is a break away from the truth, atheism is a double break. Whereas the deist more or less still believes that good and evil are absolute things, the atheist considers them relative. Good is simply that which serve practical purposes.

In nihilism there is even no difference between good and evil. And in some forms of existentialism good and evil are ignored or declared non-existent. Many atheists reason that evil does not exist in us, but it is the system that is rotten. However if we are so good, why then did we create a rotten system? If we are innocent than our forefathers are evil who made the system. But if they were evil, why aren't we? Clearly this is a contradiction in terms.

On the intrinsic side of the scales a similar glide into despair takes place. If we overaccentuate the mysterious and emotional side of God's love, we are likely to wind up saying with pantheists that there is some kind of hidden, mysterious link between good and evil. For clearly if the world emanated out of God, rather then was created by Him, then we have inherited the problem of evil from Him. God and evil ultimately must form a secret ununderstandable harmony in Him.

Somehow evil must be necessary, and somehow God knows how it all adds up. However if this is true then it must be argued that God is schizophrenic. There is no hope in an equivocal and labile madman. We cannot expect any kind of stability from a dualistic God. This kind of pantheism is emotional escapism, childish naivete. God cannot be partially evil, for good and evil are absolute things, infinitely more unreconcilable than fire and water. To escape from this tension one might embrace the following kind of spiritism. There have been polytheists that have claimed that good and evil are just human concepts, and ignorant at that.

Good and evil are chimerical appearances, illusions really, caused by the mirror play of empty phenomena. God or the gods are neutral, they are altogether beyond good and evil. But if this is really true then it just does not make any difference whether somebody kills his wife, or honors her. Here we can see that philosophy is truly ancilla theologiae, the handmade of theology. Logic, a philosophical discipline, clearly shows us that if a=1 then a≠2. If God is good than He cannot be evil. If I am falling from a roof, I cannot at the same time be going upwards. Without clear thinking we cannot distinguish between God and Satan, good and evil. Eastern religions that believe in the emptying of the mind, have very poor logical thinking indeed.

For your information we will discuss in short. Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism. Followers of these religions believed in a dualism of matter and spirit, equated with evil and good respectively. For them good and evil exist from all eternity. One day the good God will vanquish the evil one. But if these two uncreated gods have co-existed already an eternity past then what hope do we have that the good one will win out in the future (eternity)? Clearly the good one must be the stronger for there is more good in nature than evil, for else they would cancel each other out. But if the good god is so mighty than why hasn't he overcome yet? What guarantee do we have that he will overcome? And even if he turns out the conqueror, then evil can crop up again any time. For how could one eternal god destroy another one completely? Or how could he hold him in prison for ever? Also if they are already enemies for an eternity the good one will never be able to convert the baddie into a goodie. It is evident that these religions hold out little hope for us if any.

Another view is the following. There are certain theologians that claim that God and Satan are two figures of the same reality. God "plays the devil" only in order to test us to see whether we really will adhere to the good. This kind of dualism is a mix-up of pantheism and monotheism, whether these divines proclaim themselves as monotheists or not. Is it justice for God to send a family into the gaz chambers of Auschwitz just to see whether they will cleave to Him? What kind of a mephitic actor is this? What kind of a God is it that does not shrink from posing as Mephistopheles to a degree that shatters all moral equilibrium?

But the bible declares soberly, " Let nobody that is being tempted say, "I am tempted by God?" for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But everybody is tempted being lured out and baited by his own desire. Then desire, having conceived, brings forth sin, and sin having been completed fully, produces death (James 1.13-15)."

Further there is the gnostic view that finiteness implies sinfulness. God gave us finite bodies to teach our eternal spirits how good it is to be fully one with Him. Clearly this kind of theory makes God the author of sin. We are hardly, if at all, responsible for our actions in this case.

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