Two phrases that set the hairs on my neck on edge are: The Bible says and the corollary, Scripture teaches. Yet millions of our fellow citizens model their lives around these beliefs. Furthermore, their minds are locked tight to any interpretations or deviations from the literal words of the Bible.
Scripture teaches began a paragraph posted on CNN’s Religion Blogs this morning, a post titled, My Take: This is where God was in Aurora by pastor Rob Brendle, Denver United Church. Hmm. So “God” was there at the massacre? Brendle writes, “Scripture teaches that God made people in his image.” Later he says, “But Scripture also teaches that God is totally in control.”
I could spend some time debating those two statements, but here’s the answer to the title of Reverend Brendle’s piece:
Where was God in Aurora? He was on the lawn in front of the Civic Building as thousands gathered in solidarity, hope, and love at a packed prayer vigil last Sunday. He was in University Hospital as neurosurgeons groped for synonyms for miraculous.
Please stop it! Utter nonsense. If as the preacher stated earlier- that God made people in His image- then what made the killer open fire on innocent movie-goers? Is God a homicidal maniac, too? And what about that second statement- that God is totally in control? Then God was in control of the actions of James Holmes? Is your brain throbbing?
Earlier in the article, Brendle admitted, “We pastors face the unenviable task of being asked to answer for God. Most people ask the big questions in times of irresolution, times when satisfying answers are scarce. Let’s be clear: there are no easy answers to the deepest questions of suffering.”
No easy answers, indeed. Even more complicated by attempting to fit in some supernatural deity into the drama of human activity. I think back to my grandchildren playing with Little People® play set pieces on the carpet in our living room. Often the younger children would arrange the people in a particular setting, following some imagined scenario. Then, an older one would ‘bomb’ the setting with a large dinosaur, ruining the entire scene. Supernatural Deity.
Imagine [as in the imagination of the child] how terribly intrusive that dinosaur became in the mind of the child. Tears and screams followed the intrusion. It was a totally unnatural and unexpected and unwelcome violation of the ‘natural law.’
Too simplistic? I don’t think so. Rather, what is even more simpleminded is an imagined, human-like creator of the universe with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. A Deity who creates and destroys, who loves and smites who rewards and punishes.
Seems to me like the play scenario of a 5-year-old.
Yet, multitudes of our fellow citizens base their entire life upon this imagined plot and set of play pieces, hoping that the sky-monster won’t suddenly descend upon them to wreak havoc, destruction and death.
Pastor Brendle concludes: Where is God in Aurora? He is shining brightly from the hearts of his people.
Worse yet, they vote!