Wednesday, April 13, 2005
By the way, as long as we're on the subject of Christianity, can someone explain to me how this isn't Manicheism?
What does it mean to say that pain and death have "no significance" unless it means that these things do not come from God? Well, I was taught that *all* things come from God, there being none other.
Satan is the adversary, yes. He's *our* adversary, not God's. He's God's *employee* - His prosecuting attorney, in fact, charged with proving humanity's guilt. Anyhow, that's what Satan is in the Jewish tradition, as I understand it. Am I wrong? Does Orthodox Christianity understand it differently?
God, for whatever reasons He alone knows, created a garden, and created us to dwell in it. That is where we *belong.* He also, again for reasons He alone knows, created a wilderness. We live in exile, in the wilderness, which we know as the universe, but we know we belong in a garden. It seems to me our job is to make as much of a garden out of this wilderness as we can.
As for God's reasons, I can't do better than the whirlwind's reply to Job, though I could take the time (another time, not now) to explain what I think the whirlwind's reply *means*. (3 hints: the whirlwind praises Job, not his comforters; the whirlwind extols the virtues of Leviathan and Behemoth as among God's greatest creations; and among the very few things we know about Job's post-whirlwind life are the names of his daughters. And remember, always, that Job does not accuse God of injustice, nor does he take his wife's advice and commit suicide - "curse God and die" - but simply asks to have His justice *explained* to him.)
Finally: how can I worship a God who is responsible for spina bifida? If God allowed the Holocaust to happen, how can I love Him?
Because He is my father. Hating Him will avail me nothing; I will still breathe His breath until I breathe my last.
And now I'm going to bed.