In His image?

Life is full of trials and tribulations. We live in a world that has become so morally corrupt that many of us find ourselves questioning our own morality. The sad thing is many don’t even bother and have chosen to make themselves the center of the universe and that is a big problem. Especially when it’s done at the expense of those around you.  We elevate the most detestable people to almost god-like status and mock those who are open about their faith and believe they are accountable to a higher power, regardless of what that faith might be. We judge people without first putting ourselves in their shoes and we show favoritism to those whom we feel it would benefit us to do so.
 
Science and technology have changed the world so much that society has almost completely forgotten that there is an author of the laws of science and the revealer of hidden knowledge.  If we hold ourselves accountable to each other, while this is a valid pretense, it is not enough. The changes in culture and society have created a mindset of “I can do whatever I want and I don’t care what anyone thinks”.
 
What happened to Love your neighbor as yourself?
 
Since when did our own personal satisfaction outweigh the burden it could place on someone else?
 
Since when has aiding the distressed widow, orphan, and poor become someone else’s job?
 
When did charity become anything other than an obligation we have to each other?
 
We have lost our way and the less value we place on the lives of others the easier it becomes to turn a blind eye to abuse and to kill people because they live a certain lifestyle or follow a path we disagree with. When people feel this way, then the governments they control adjust their policies. When countries refuse to listen to each other than war is imminent.  If to many countries begin to fight each other than the results can be catastrophic.
 
The scariest part of all is this is it is a continuous cycle. Mankind goes through periods of enlightenment and then periods of darkness. In the Torah the creation account ends each day with “there was evening and morning”.   Have you ever wondered why this is stated and why it is repeated with each of the successive days?
 
Evening = Darkness
Morning = Light
 
Out of darkness came light and each day requires both to be complete.  Everything requires its opposing force in order to find equilibrium.  Darkness and Light, Good and evil, male and female, love and hate, liberty and oppression.  One cannot exist without  the other.
As people we can never be perfect.
 
Or can we?
 
What if “in His image” really meant it?  Is our Creator both good and evil?   What if “let US make man” meant a good god and a bad god?  That would go against the grain of monotheism and the concept of one Sovereign of the Universe. Some say our Creator is not evil and is all good.  Is that true?  How many babies died in the flood?  How many babies died during the Passover?  These were not holocausts inflicted by man like what the Nazis did.  This was a Divine action.
 
What if the Torah, the Christian Bible, and the Quran are just story books? Loosely based on facts, but mostly allegories and myths designed to teach lessons and an attempt to comprehend that Great Source of all things?
 
What if the concept of an interventional deity is completely bogus?  Not because of scripture, but because of what we see happening every single day.  If we were created with free-will out of love so that we would not be divine puppets, how can a loving father-like deity allow so much pain?  Why are innocent little children allowed to be molested and murdered? If Jesus, God, Hashem, Elohim, or Allah is an all loving God watching over us, why do these terrible things happen?
 
The argument against our Creator is the same argument that can be use to prove the existence.
 
As you gaze up at the stars and get lost in the cosmos, what do you see?
 
When you stare into a campfire at night, what do you see?
 
When you sit at the edge of the sea-shore and watch the tides roll in, what do you see?
 
When you walk outside and feel the wind blowing against your face, what do you feel?
 
The stars are beautiful, but an asteroid can fall from the heavens and vaporize everything on earth.
 
A fire can be hypnotic, can keep you warm, and provide energy.  It can also destroy everything in its path and cause a very painful death to any living thing.
 
The ocean can be soothing and provides life to billions of animals.  It can also create massive storms and tidal surges that can decimate everything in its path.
 
The wind can provide comfort on a hot day.  It can also form into a tornado and within a matter of second destroy everything that feels its touch.
 
Our every action has a corresponding reaction. Words once spoken can never be taken back and a heart once broken can never be fully mended.  The allegorical evils attributed to the Divine in all forms of scripture are myths. They are always tied to an evil provocation and the intent is to show a measure for measure form of Divine justice. This too is an allegory that shows that we have both darkness and light within us and that we ultimately decide our path.  The path we take does not just impact our own life but every person around us.
 

© Nelson Rose, The Quest for Light

Killing in the name of God – part 2

With the Jewish Passover and the Christian Passion Week now behind us, I think it is only fitting to address both of them through the eye of Reason.  It puzzles me that these events are so hallowed and revered because when considers their origins, they are both atrocities of the worst kind.  The Passover and the Crucifixion of Jesus, if they occurred as portrayed in the Bible, are brutal murders of innocent people.

The Passover – Divine Genocide

After the Plague of Darkness that occurs in Exodus 10, Pharoah still refused to let the people of Israel go out and worship their God.  Then Exodus 11:4-10 states “So Moses said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.  There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh. The LORD had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.”  Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.” 

Now before I go any further does this sound like an all-loving God?

Then it happens, according to Exodus 12:29 -30 “At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. “

So God slaughtered the firstborn of every living thing in Egypt except the Israelites.

Why? 

Was it because the people of Egypt were evil? 

Was it because Pharoah was oppressing the Jews?

All one has to do is read the Bible itself and it is crystal clear why Pharoah wouldn’t let the Israelites go after the ten horrible plagues –  God hardened his heart.  Now think about this for just a minute.  God hardens Pharoah’s heart so that he enslaves and forbids God’s chosen people from leaving and God then punishes Pharoah for having the hard heart that God gave him by killing every firstborn living creature that was not protected by the lamb’s blood in the doorway.

Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth – A Human Sacrifice

Christianity holds the belief that Jesus was sent to earth to be crucified for everyone’s sins. According to John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”   Eventually the church then traced this whole need for a sacrifice back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the doctrine of Original Sin appeared.  Ask any Jew you know if they believe in Original Sin or that the messiah is supposed to come down to earth and be slaughtered like a lamb and you will be surprised at what you hear.  To most Jews the Adam and Eve story is completely an allegorical story and it only takes an ounce of common sense to know that snakes don’t talk to people (unless of course you are a Harry Potter character).  OK, circling back now.  Jesus was crucified so that God would forgive our sins because without this sacrifice God will not forgive our sins and condemn us to eternal suffering.

So with the Passover we see God slaughter every firstborn child and animal because Pharoah with the hardened heart God gave him would not let the Israelites go.  With the crucifixion of Jesus we see God not giving us forgiveness without the torture and sacrifice of his “one an only son.”

With all this brutality on the part of God is there any wonder what drove the Holy Wars, Inquisitions, and witch hunts? 

Is there any credibility when the Jews and Christians claim their beliefs are on a higher moral ground then that of the Muslims or any other religion of the world and that they have the True Word of God and all other holy books are imposters?

The true infallible word of our Creator is not a book written by men.  For anything to be infallible it must have an origin that is infallible and man is just a part of the creation and not the origin of it.  The true revelation of our Creator was not handed to a prophet in the desert by  an angel or communicated to a man in a mountain of smoke.  All of creation bears testimony to the benevolence of our Creator for even the most vile of creatures and detestable characters are still given air to breathe. 

Is it reasonable to believe that the same Creator that so perfectly designed the universe and majesty of this planet and all the celestial bodies would be so tyrannical as to destroy that same creation in any way?

Is it reasonable to consider that man is just not capable of knowing the true nature of our Creator and uses pretended revelations to justify their own lust for blood and power?

© Nelson Rose, The Quest for Light (All Bible quotations were taken from the NIV)