"Our concepts of God’s character absolutely preclude a decent
relationship. God, as portrayed by Jesus, has no interest
in being the great controller in the sky, the “Lord”, the
"King", the one who is above all, the oxymoronic “benevolent
dictator”, the lawgiver, the final judge, the one being
served, the center of attention, the one who can outvote
everyone else, etc., ad nauseam. Accordingly he offers us peership
and, freedom just like I do for my son, yet we are so psychologically sick that
we think even thinking like this is the ultimate sin. Outrageous" -
Why is God Not More Involved?
As is often the case, Shakespeare put it simply but most eloquently. Hearing that
Macbeth has murdered his family and household, Macduff cries, "Did
Heaven look on and would not take their part?"
This question echoes down through time. Where was the God of Abraham or Allah when
the army of Rome under Titus destroyed Jerusalem and burned the temple,
when Christian crusaders slaughtered 30,000 to 70,000 Muslims and Jews in
Jerusalem July 13 through 15, 1099? Where was God in Auschwitz?.
Where was God in countless other manmade atrocities and natural disasters?
Now, the latest American version is: where was God on Sept 11, 2001?
We have to have a cogent, meaningful answer to the question: Why is a
loving God not more involved? Without this answer, theology just becomes
lame and shallow.
The "Frontline" documentary "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero" features
interviews with survivors, more footage of the disaster and a truly
systematic attempt to phrase the question, place it in context and
answer it meaningfully.
In Sunday school and catechism class the answer is so simple that the question
need not be asked: God is everywhere at all times. Nothing is hidden
from him, and to him the future is as clear as the past, but, "Who can
know thy ways?", which describes an enigmatic God
Yet the bigger question spirals back to Macduff and an implied contract between
the faithful and God, something along the line of why bad things happen
to good people. Many feel that the virtuous somehow earn–beyond
the efficacy of the virtues itself–a long, God-protected, blessed, happy
earthly life. If this isn't true, what is the point?
Thus some survivors of Sept. 11 are blunt in their disillusionment. Episcopal
priest Father Joseph Griesediech says, “God could not be counted on the
way I thought he could be counted on.” You think? What world, priest, have
you been living in?
Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld says, “Religion drove those planes into those buildings.”
Monseignor Lorenzo Albacete says, “Religion can be a passion. The same passion
that motivates religious people to do great things is the same one that
day that brought all that destruction. There is no greater or more
destructive force on earth than the religious passion.” You think?
Let's review what Will Durant writes about post-revolution
Europe in his chapter about Schopenhauer in his book The Story of Philosophy:
...And in truth it was hard enough to
believe that such a sorry planet as men saw in 1818 was held up in the
hand of an intelligent and benevolent God. Mephistopheles had triumphed,
and every Faust was in despair. Voltaire had sown the whirlwind, and
Schopenhauer was to reap the harvest.
Seldom had the problem of evil been
flung so vividly and insistently into the face of philosophy and
religion. Every martial grave from Boulogne to Moscow and the Pyramids
lifted a mute interrogation to the indifferent stars. How long, O Lord,
and Why? Was this almost universal calamity the vengeance of a just God
on the Age of Reason and unbelief? Was it a call to the penitent
intellect to bend before the ancient virtues of faith, hope and charity?
So Schlegel thought, and Novalis, and Chateaubriand, and De Musset, and
Southey, and Wordsworth, and Gogol; and they turned back to the old
faith like wasted prodigals happy to be home again. But some others made
harsher answer: that the chaos of Europe but reflected the chaos of the
universe; that there was no divine order after all, nor any heavenly
hope; that God, if God there was, was blind, and Evil brooded over the
face of the earth. So Byron, and Heine, and Lermontof, and Leopardi, and
When we look at the world, how can we say that God is fully engaged
and that goodness is winning? So, now that we as Americans have had our nose opened,
–remember Pearl Harbor–, why IS God NOT more
involved in human affairs?
The answer, if not flung like cold water in
the face from several pages of this site, should at least be seeping
into a growing awareness and acceptability. The central premise is that
there HAS been a historical, fully dimensional demonstration of God ,
the essence of which has been reported by credible eyewitnesses. But, we
have not listened closely to THE messenger, we have not understood HIS
message nor THE demonstration! What we have instead is the same old tradition,
but with new
idols. New misunderstandings now hold sway. This does NOT bode well for the