Systematic Vegetarian Theology
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Sin and the Fallenness of
Creation (Part 9)
A commentary by: Michael Shaw
Some churches believe that all aspects of human beings, such as reason, sexuality or the physical body, have been affected by the so-called fall. However, how can this be? For the Bible tells us...
(1) "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves." (Romans 2:14). Notice the words "by nature." If all men are in a totally fallen state, then there nature would be fallen and thus unable to guide them. Indeed you may have heard many fundamentalist type Christians say that man has just such a fallen nature; well, not according to the Bible. Further to Romans 2:14 is verse 27 found in the same chapter, it reads... "And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?" Again, Paul is mentioning a Gentile, (uncircumcised) as doing good by nature. If nature was in a fallen state, then this would not only be a wrong statement, it would be ridiculous.
(2) As a punishment for idolatry, God causes a group of people to give up there natural sexual desires for those of unnatural Homosexual desires, causing them to commit unseemly acts..."women did change the natural use to that which is against nature." (Romans 1:26) The key again is the word nature. The wrong thing they did was against nature and the only reason they went against nature is that God caused them to as a form of punishment for idolatry. We can see by the above quotes that nature is in accordance with the law and guides our conscience.
Questions and Answers Q.
If, as you say, God is the cause of all the evil in the world, why is it that we are punished for our evil actions?
A. The problem really lies in the ultimate understanding of what is happening when we experience evil in our lives; whether or not it is evil that we do or evil that is done to us. To God, however, there is a higher purpose for all that happens. Perhaps God wants us to feel the pain so that we will seek a better way. God's corrective powers are channeled through our reactions to painfull situations with each other. This is not to say that our reactions are always perfect, for all of us are working the cosmic energies out in order to find balance and perfection in God's Universe.
To answer your question more directly, let me say this: Whether we are punished in Hell, Purgatory, through Reincarnation or some other Person's Reaction, we are simply being shaped into a perfect vessel for God's spirit to indwell. It is like the potter, who when making a vase, expands the clay by putting his hands inside and lightly pressing out. We can say that this is like God granting us something good, while when the potter presses on the outside to give the vase shape, this can be likened to the wrath of God, which restricts our personal expansion, which, unbeknown to us would only cause our own destruction if not stopped by the potter.
In brief, what we call punishment is really shaping. We are spiritually evolving into divine sons and daughters of God. In reality we have no choice in the things we do. However, we cannot see this very clearly from our present position in time and space. Since we cannot see clearly the future events, we are unsure as to the choices we will make in any given situation. When we are confronted with what appears to be a test, we should be aware that God is not testing us so that He can see what we will do or what type of person we are. No, He already knows both of those things. The temptations that come to us are for our benefit. Since we cannot truly see ourselves because of our position in space and time and because of our personalities which clutter up our ability to see clearly our own motivations and desires, we must be given a test. A test for us, so that we can gauge our progress. So even though we think we have free will to choose, we really don't, for we will choose what we will choose and it already has occurred.
End of part nine. If anyone has questions, I will be glad to answer, but I am not
posting to argue.
Mike Shaw email@example.com
Or you may send your comments to all-creatures firstname.lastname@example.org
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