"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."
April 25, 2010
The issue I have with this story is not that it's horrific, though it is. Thankfully, it never happened. There is no God to send she-bears after kids, this is a stupid story. My problem exists in the fact that so many Christians paint their God as a man of love and compassion. They make bold claims about his perfection and his omni-benevolence. However, they make many claims about him being all sorts of "omni" characteristics. And most of those characteristics contradict one another. Let's just take the omni-benevolent one for now...
What is kind and loving about sending bears to rip apart 42 children for mocking an old man? Sure, what the kids did was insensitive, but that's what kids do. And I wouldn't expect kids who lived thousands of years ago to be any more kind than children today. Couldn't the God who created the entire universe be able to show the kids they were wrong without having them killed? Couldn't he just soften their hearts to Elisha's condition the same way he hardened the Egyptian pharaoh's heart when Moses asked him to release his people? Couldn't he just send down an angel to explain the situation to the kids, to explain the importance of Elisha to the Lord, and therefore, the respect that Elisha was due?... I'm not going to claim that any of these actions I suggest would be "easier" for the Lord, since he's an all powerful being, and therefore any action no matter how taxing it would seem would be equal to any other action no matter how relaxed. So the question isn't about which response would have been easier for an all powerful being, but which response would have been representative of an omni-benevolent being?
How can Christians claim their God is the acme of love and kindness when it's quite clear that he is not? Some Christians would say that since God is perfect, anything he does, no matter how evil it may seem to us, would be good. But isn't that just a huge excuse to keep from critically examining the facts!?!?... Perfection is both futile and relative. No one can be perfect, it's just an unreachable goal. And perfect is relative to the situation at hand. Given the situation of the mocking children, isn't there a plethora of alternate responses you can think of that in relation to having bears kill them, would seem quite perfect?
No matter how you rule, it is quite obvious, that this story and many like it, are not read to you in church for a reason.
Author: SgtHaile at 12:39 AM