Thursday, June 19, 2008
Dogma Debate - [Rufus]
Troy/Vincent/Splash (and anyone else I've missed),
Thanks for the feedback on my post about the relationship between Creators and Creation and me and ants. You certainly hit on the salient scriptural points that challenge my opinion. But, and that's why I stress this is not a cop-out, that is the very nature of my point; whatever the answer(s) is(are) they are definitely out of my current intellectual grasp, and that just may be the nature of the relationship. Or, as with children, it may be that I can figure it out as I mature spiritually and we, as God's creation, can figure it out.
That's also why I liked the analogy with string theory and extra dimensions. Even though scripture says certain things that may seem very explicit and direct further understanding may lead us to comprehend that those statements can be true while still allowing for alternatives that seem otherwise contradictory. Some things have a dual nature and that dual nature may currently be beyond our comprehension.
As proof of this possibility I can think of no better example than the 12 men Christ personally chose as ambassadors for his teaching. They walked with the Man, spoke with Him. Listened to all His teachings and they still did not get it! It wasn't until the Holy Spirit descended on them that it clicked, and even then there were internal disputes about some of the details. Christ must have chosen these men because they were the best and brightest available, yet, even after first-hand living, breathing exposure to the Word, the Way, the Life and Light they did not understand. Maybe the separation between our intellect and God's is not as great as me and an ant but it is obviously very, very great. The one real world example we have of hand-picked men living with God on Earth shows us that direct exposure to His teachings was not enough for them (even them!) to understand His message. And we have example upon example of prophets being directly told by God that He cannot reveal His nature directly to us. To use a ridiculous analogy, it's like the Krell computer in "Forbidden Planet." We get a burning bush, a small sliver of God. If we got the whole thing in one swell foop we could not handle it.
The devil can quote scripture to suit his purpose. Just as you have quoted scripture that seems to state the answers are knowable, you all know I can quote scripture that directly makes it clear they are not. The Bible is full of contradictions. It's a great book full of wonderful, wonderful advice, history and spiritual guidance, but it also has some nonsense.
One thing we all seem to agree on is that God has given us the ability to live the life He wants for us if we so choose. Your choice tells you that if certain rules are not followed, to the letter, then salvation is lost. I read the same book and see a Man who, when challenged by Pharisees and Rabbis with dogma and doctrine repeatedly, consistently stressed another way.
"Whatsover you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me." I'm not God, but if I were I'd be much happier with a man who spends an hour ministering to a sick child than a man who spends an hour kneeling on a cushioned pew in a gilded, air-conditioned cathedral. Since God is infinitely more compassionate and infinitely less selfish than I it is impossible for me to understand why He would judge the first man lacking, and the second virtuous.
Oh yeah, whomever made the reference to Pascal's wager... Great stuff! I love that philosophical exercise. I have used that many times to convince my more "logically" minded friends they ought to give church a chance. Why do we buy lottery tickets? We know the odds of us winning are almost zero. Because the pay off in comparison to the minimal amount ventured is so immense.