Saturday, September 11, 2010
I have found this quote to be very true. I have also found its inverse to be real ... rejecting cruel dogmas helps develop compassion.
I can give a scriptural argument for the rejection of an eternal Hell - a place where all hope is lost, redemption has died, wrongs can never be made right, and unforgiveness reigns - but my rejection is much more experiential. When Jesus prayed to God, he was praying to a Father. Being a Father has given me a sense of what God feels toward us. At some point in my faith, I decided to reject the "cruel dogmas"; the dogmas that, if true, could never be advanced by a good father.
I think a very good picture of a Father's love - a love that goes the distance, risks, and never quits - can be found in the movie "Blood Diamond". It is a story set within war torn Sierra Leon, where cruel rebel armies conscript children into their ranks.
In the story, Solomon is kidnapped and made to work digging for diamonds. His son is taken to be a soldier. The son is brainwashed and commits many evil deeds while with the rebels. Solomon escapes and spends the movie trying to get to his son. When they first meet, his son denies him; so deep is his brainwashing.
At a later point, Solomon rescues his son, but his son threatens him with a gun. Solomon appeals to the boy to remember who he is. He goes on to say:
"I am your Father, who loves you. You will come home with me and be my son... again."
This is not the message of most modern religion. In our religions, "God" will burn you down if you dare to point your "rejection" at him. This is not the view of a good Father.
To borrow a thought from Bart Campolo:
"I may be wrong in this matter, but I am not in doubt. If indeed faith is being sure of what we hope for, then truly I am a man of faith, for I absolutely know what I hope to be true: that God is completely good, entirely loving, and perfectly forgiving, that God is doing everything possible to overcome evil (which is evidently a long and difficult task), and that God will utterly triumph in the end, despite any and all indications to the contrary."
This is how I view God.
Posted by Andrew at 11:40 AM