Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nice Soul You Got There; Be a Shame To Lose It

From one of K-Lo's inept, leading interviews, this time with Fr. Thomas D. Williams:

God expects more of us than we think we are capable of. He demands selfless, faithful love. He demands that we pardon our enemies and those who have hurt us. He demands that we give from our want, and not only from our surplus. Why does he ask such difficult, such “unrealistic” things? Because he is calling us to greatness. He is calling us to realize our potential and to grow in resemblance to Jesus. Is this unrealistic? If we were left to our own devices, yes. With the assistance of his grace, no.

Part of God’s greatness, according to Christian theology, is his willingness to allow people to act without coercion. He assists us, but our lives and our world are truly in our hands. He made us free and respects our freedom. This means that things will go wrong.

Christian religious institutions have a problem: They feel the need to explain why bad things happen when God is supposedly good and loves us, cares for us, and is omniscient. Their response is Free Will; God is good but people are bad, so bad things happen but it's not God's fault. But they also say that God demands we follow his example (Jesus) and obey his laws at all times or we'll go to hell. So God demands we follow his laws which are so rigorous we can't follow them without his help, but he also gives us utter freedom.

You have to tie yourself up in knots to live with the contradiction. You also have to tell yourself that you are inherently sinful and bound for hell unless you hand your life over completely to God. Yet the Church also tells you to live in this life, marry and have children, get a job and tithe. The illogic of it all causes needless anxiety in people. I've seen people weep with distress that they aren't doing enough to worship God, despite their blameless lives. It's cruel.

No comments: