Help In Things Great and Small

Yesterday, a FB friend posted something about creationism vs. atheism (for the former, and against the latter), and almost immediately got a nominally argumentative and sarcastic comment from someone against creationism and, apparently, for atheism, containing a quote from some comedian or commentator which went something like: “What arrogance to believe that a god that wouldn’t stop the Holocaust will help you find the keys to your car.”

I think they thought that was clever.

My first reaction was to think: whoever said that is either making a deliberately specious argument about “mainstream” Judeo-Christian beliefs about the Sovereignty of God and free-will, or is simply unaware of them, and also unaware of the rules for valid rhetorical argument.

But the very real arrogance of the person making or endorsing the quote continued to “niggle” at me, and then, after one of my morning devotionals ( reminded me of it, I created this response:

What arrogance to believe that your finite understandings of cosmology, metaphysics, human history, science, mathematics and philosophy, and your subjective experiences and encounters with life on life’s terms, enables you to sit in negative and final judgement of the personal beliefs of literally billions of others; beliefs based in their understandings of such matters and their profound but equally subjective experiences.

And what supreme arrogance or profound confusion to ignore all best inferences from evidence and pronounce that existence is without deliberate cause or meaning, while simultaneously denouncing the aspects of it you don’t like, as if only your opinions about good, better and best, and bad, worse, and worst are correct and meaningful.

I have a friend who helps me and guides me and comforts me in matters great and small; this friend’s existence and actions and activities are ongoing and real, even though you may not know my friend yourself, and even if you refuse to acknowledge my friend’s very existence.

If I then tell you that friend is my wife, or an old Army buddy, you may easily acknowledge that you could be wrong about denying that she or he is real, even though you haven't met them and don't know anything about them.

If I tell you that my friend is a powerful politician and you then refuse to believe he would help me find my car keys because he didn’t take action to stop some much larger problem or some terrible thing or another, or actually does terrible things (in your opinion on such matters), then you are being childishly disingenuous or seriously irrational.

Of course, politicians help their friends; some people think that’s one of the things that many of them carry too far.

Sometimes, they surely help friends and loved ones in very small and somewhat inconsequential matters, if they’re present with their friends when the matters occur, even doing somewhat trivial things like helping locate lost keys; it has absolutely nothing to do with any larger issues or responsibilities or authorities or decisions to act or refrain from action.

Politicians also oppose their enemies, and make decisions sometimes misunderstood or inexplicable to supporters and foes alike; and their foes are foes because they disagree with or oppose those policies or decisions; but few people are so irrational as to suggest their political opponents don’t exist because they don’t like their policies or actions, or inactions.

Many people will move to escape the jurisdiction or control of human rulers or organizations they oppose, or will actively and violently oppose them, as the Allies (finally) did against the Axis of Evil that perpetrated the Holocaust.

However, the fact human powers continue to fail to stop, or even try to stop, some of the evil acts of other human powers has nothing to do with wheather or not those human powers, good or bad, help or don’t help their personal friends.

I also have a friend whose jurisdiction is unlimited and eternal; in His sovereignty, omniscience, omnipresence and infinite understanding and wisdom, He has granted us free will to follow His guidance and “rules” for justice, mercy and grace, or not. To those that choose to do so, He grants friendship, and help in matters great and small.

To those who prefer their own finite judgements on all matters, He lets them be lost in their arrogance and irrationality, and to some, to go to their own, personal, holocaust.

Some of His friends also go thru temporal hells resulting from the evil and deadly consequences of their own or other’s choices and actions – but for His friends, they keep going, and the suffering is only temporary.

I’d love to introduce to my friend.