Friday, May 21, 2010

They Condemn in God What They Praise in Men!

I like the phrase, You can't fix stupid!

Sometimes, it applies to me.  For example, my inability to keep out of internet debates with atheists.  When surfing the various forums I belong to, I really do try not to click on any thread  with any remotely theological or political sounding title.

But like the moth, drawn to the proverbial flame, I cannot always keep away.  Sometimes I am drawn in by the amusing haughtiness of twenty-something atheists, so smug and certain, with such a great faith in science and in their own intellects.

But no matter how I get ensnared in the debate, it never ends well.  Most often, I let the atheist(s) have the last word:
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
But, of course, that makes him think that his argument is unanswerable:
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
In the lastest case, my opponent was railing against God for one of the usual reasons:  How could an all-loving God create a hell and send people there for eternity?  If that God does exist, he is a sicko!!

Being a predestinarian, most of the usual Christian answers are off-limits to me.  I won't go through them here, but please consult your nearest Chick tract to learn about them.

This exchange took place on a bodybuilding forum, where strength, violence, the use of force, and domination over others are praised as ultimate virtues.  There is a large sub-forum for the various modern gladiatorial fighting "games" in which the goal is to physically destroy ones opponent in a  brutal fashion.  On some such boards there are "Pit" sub-forums, where the goal is to verbally eviscerate all other forum participants.

It suddenly struck me that the exact same things that are always praised in this forum as virtues for men to hold sacred, suddenly became vices when God took hold of them.

This was my eventual reply to him:
The more I think about this, given the current love of whatever is strong, forceful, and violent, modern people should view this as a feature, not a bug.
I would think that this "badass God", taking names and kicking asses into the Lake of Fire, would have a certain appeal to modern men. I would predict this picture of God would be more attractive to many than the fading "Jesus meek and mild" paradigm.

So, while you wouldn't wish hell upon anyone, God would. Why? Because He is much more of a badass than you.  


Castanea_d said...

As I understand it, the "badass" God is pretty much how the Old Testament Hebrews viewed him. Citations abound: Psalm 68:21, for example -- "God shall crush the heads of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of those who go on still in their wickedness." Or Psalm 110:6 -- "He will heap high the corpses; he will smash heads over the wide earth."

I agree with you; a great many modern men would view this sort of behavior as virtue, in the Latin derivation of the word -- that which is manly, proper for a man.

"Gentle Jesus meek and mild" is more of a creature of Victorian gentility, and has continued because it supports many aspects of 20th c. liberal theology.

But that is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: "For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29)

Anglican Beach Party said...

I appreciate your comments, Castanea_d!

I think what I am noticing is nothing more than what G. K. Chesterton noted just over 100 years ago in Orthodoxy: That any stick is good enough for the purpose of beating Christianity.

For the opponents of Christianity, it does not bother them to judge God as being too pacifistic and too warlike, at one and the same time. Christianity is both too hard and too soft for them. Too hot and too cold, simultaneously.