Friday, August 1, 2008

Punisher: War Zone - and how to become an atheist

Last night, I went lurking on my old ethics and religion debating forum, and discovered once again the anger and pain that one forumite keeps posting about God.

This forumite graduated from an evangelical Christian college. He wanted to be a missionary. He wanted to serve God. He helped people with AIDs and preached the Gospel on the streets of Mexico. He married his college sweetheart and graduated with a pretty darn high GPA I guess.

Ain't no dummy, that's for sure.

But like our up-and-coming "If God ain't dead, He sure isn't doing enough" slew of movies in 2009 (Watchmen will also be coming out), he got bitter. He kept seeing the pain of a fallen world and he frankly got the idea in his head that God should be stopping evil and pain and do a LOT better job than He is doing. He has been overwhelmed and now he has for the most part, rejected the faith he was raised in by his lifestyle.

Pain and loss can do this to us. It is so common for us in this world, that it is used in the marketing campaign for Punisher: War Zone. Watch this clip and listen to what Frank Castle says (who lost his entire family to drug dealers):





Wow. That's us in our pain, isn't it?

But may I say something kindly even gently to those who feel this way?

You haven't made anything even remotely like God. And you haven't even on your worst day ever, ever suffered like His Son, Jesus.

This is not to say "Suck it up!" This is to say God knows MORE about pain and death and loss than you or I will ever know.

It is He who watched Cain kill Abel - after Adam and Eve wanted to "know good AND evil". God did not want them to know evil at all. He put them in a paradisical garden. He gave them all that is good. They demanded more - and it was more than they could handle.

It is in our nature to demand control, now. To consciously or unconsciously blaspheme God's goodness. Why? Because of loss. We do, as the Bible says have "eternity in our hearts" - but we do not have it in our HANDS.

And when we lose what we love, we get angry and blame everyone but ourselves.

"Have you eaten from the Tree I commanded you not to eat from?"

"The Woman YOU gave me gave unto me and I did eat!"

WHAAAAATTT? God needed some identification of which woman did it?

No. Adam needed to cast the blame on God.

You can 'hear' it in the parable of the Talents:

"Master - I knew you were a hard man, so I went and hid the talent. See? Here is what belongs to you."

"So you KNEW I was a HARD man? Well, why didn't you put it in the bank, so I could have received it back with interest?!"

It's ridiculous, blaming God for evil. Why not blame him for good while we are at it?

Why do we do it? Self-pity. "Pride when it is strong is boasting; pride when it is weak (unable to prevent) is self-pity." I think Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest) said that.

Frank wants to get his hands on God? Tell him a few things?

Bring it on.

'Cause when God replies, everyone shuts up.

Right, Job?

"Right!"

Amen, brother.

Amen.

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