BLIND TO ALL BUT OUR SELF

The garden of Eden with the fall of man (from here) *74.3 × 114.7 cm *signed b.l.: PETRI PAVLI RVBENS FIGR. *signed b.r.: IBRUEGHEL FEC *circa 1615
The garden of Eden with the fall of man
(from here)

silenceofmind‘s last post, The “Omnimalevalent God” – Or How the Atheist Ruthlessly Murders His Own Argument, left me mildly disgruntled. Why did he have to write a post that advertised the rantings of a rabid Atheist?  explained here, and I am not sure he is wrong.

Anyway, after I commented on ‘s post, that Atheist and I debated. What follows are what I think my best thoughts and arguments. These address and counter The Problem of Evil. Peter Kreeft states it this way.

If God is so good, why is his world so bad? If an all-good, all-wise, all-loving, all-just, and all-powerful God is running the show, why does he seem to be doing such a miserable job of it? Why do bad things happen to good people? (from here)

Since smarter and better people than I have addressed this subject, I do not pretend what follows is new or better. These are just my thoughts.

Let’s begin by considering something Jesus told His apostles.

Matthew 10:28 New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Jesus did not intend to frighten His apostles. For the sake of brevity, I have quoted the verse out of context. To make the point that pain and death don’t matter as much as we tend to think, Jesus spoke these words to his apostles reassure them. Thus strengthened with such reassurances, the apostles spread His Gospel, even at the cost of all but one of their lives.

Our existence is brief, but God offers us eternity. What do we have to do? We must love each other. That gift is free to all, except those too proud to accept it.

Imagine spending eternity with someone who is haughty and proud. Will God allow someone who is full of vitriol and spite into Heaven? If He did, heaven would not remain heavenly.

God detests the proud. He seems to consider pride the greatest sin. Why? You have heard of not being able to see the forest for the trees. There is a form of blindness that is far worse. That is the inability to see anyone but your self, to exclude even God from your vision.

Consider this string of proverbs.

Proverbs 16:16-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

Why suffering? Our own suffering and even the pain of others forces us to look outside of ourselves. Then we can learn wisdom. Then we can learn to trust in our Lord. However, when we are proud, when we fixate upon our self and constantly stare at nothing except our own belly button, how can we perceive anything else, even God?

John 9:39 The Message (MSG)

39 Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.”

4 thoughts on “BLIND TO ALL BUT OUR SELF

  1. Amen, Tom! God is good indeed and does not wish us to suffer. The older I get the more I come to believe that about 90% of our own troubles are self inflicted. Paul speaks of how, ” I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Stephen takes it a step farther, he’s being stoned, but his eyes are on heaven. The western world is an odd place, we have so much comfort and privilege and yet all this suffering, addictions, depression, suicides. It is not our circumstances that lead us to contentment, but our faith within us, our attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs.

    I often chat, debate, argue with people on the internet, when I don’t have to, when I could just wrap myself in His peace and enjoy my life, but there is also value in the words, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” In my case these discussions often clarify my beliefs, strengthen my faith. Sometimes dragging the muck out into sunlight or the Son light serves a vital purpose.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @insanitybytes22

      Thank you for a very thoughtful comment.

      It is not our circumstances that lead us to contentment, but our faith within us, our attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs.

      Similarly, the Apostle Paul said (Philippians 4:11-13) our contentment comes the One who strengthens us.

      Some wonder what purpose it serves to debate an Atheist. That proverb you quoted explains well. Until we carefully examine our beliefs, especially our assumptions, we cannot explain what we believe.

      Debate, however, only crystallizes what we claim to believe. Suffering, a more formidable adversary, tests whether our faith is real. Until suffering tests our faith, we cannot know whether our faith is real.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t remember the author (or the context) of the quote, but this one does dovetail with your thoughts and the commenter above: “We love to blame God for the mess we have made of our godless lives.”

    Liked by 2 people

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