But rogues prosper; the innocent suffer most!
A question not touched upon may be: ‘Why do the
innocent often suffer the most while evil folk such as Kaiser Wilhelm of
World War 1 and Emperor Hirohito of World War2 were able to live out
their days on earth in security, Yet their thousands of victimd were
denied all this? Yes, it’s a most sensible kind of question, and
methinks – to put it in right up to date appropriateness: why can Tony
Blair now live in true affluence and cheesly grin, when responsible for
a modern war in which there are still appalling casualties ocurring?
Well, the simple answer is that there is a future hell to shun as well
as a heaven to win. And whereas we have brief foretastes of both in this
life, they are undoubted realities to be faced beyond the grave.
And never tell me that God is too good to allow
anyone to go to a hell. I tell you that there are hells all around us in
this life that He allows. ‘Nature is raw in tooth and claw’. May it not
be that to be re.born as a beetle under a stone or as, indeed, a
vivisector’s victim, could be the kind of hell that Jesus would use
today to express the same? Could this not be why Buddhists, and others
who believe in reincarnation across the species, are more friendly and
protective of animals than Christians are? Thse may be unpalatable
things to discuss, but they need to be said. I see no basic
contradiction between certain theories of
reincarnation and in those of Christianity. However, what church folk
find morally uncomfortable to face, they so often intellectually seek to
discard.. The fact remains, however, that Jesus used common imageries.
In this case a local rubbish dump to warn religious leaders with false
priorities, of their future beyond the grave. (Today He might have used
analogies like vivisectors ‘models’, or veal crates!) He spoke of
“weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth; where the fires are never put
out.” “How could such hypocrites possibly avoid the fires of hell?”
He asked. . No wonder they came together to plan His downfall!
Like today’s religious elite, Christ’s religious
contemporise made much emotion over insignificant issues, while major
moral issues they they completely overlooked. In figurative language,
conveying a sense of humour Jesus said: “You pick out gnats while you
swallow camels whole!” Well is not this precisely what leading
churchmen are doing in our time? The Lambeth Conference spent much
emotion and energy over women bishops and gay clergy – minor
self-motivated pressure groups, never satisfied! – But imagine the
Conference debating animal cruelty or the need of the world to go Vegan
because of humanity’s sake – regardless of animal rights – and they
would be dumbstruck. I very much doubt whether there is even one
Anglican prelate in the world who is as much as vegetarian. How sheep
are abused and mistreated doesn’t appear to bother them one jot. Yet
hypocrites that they are: we find them parading around with shepherds
crooks. Supposed symbols of their calling!