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Shocked But Not Stirred


tariki
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Just thought I would place this here in the backwaters of the forum..........well away from the heat of debate. But it is something I just have to share.

 

I've spent a great deal of time recently roving around various forums, getting myself into hot water with those of a more robust and ardent belief system. It has been an education in a way, and I needed the exposure for one reason or another.

 

But I basically announced my retirement.... :P ........yet did pop back to various places just to take a peep at how things were going in my absence. Just recently when I did so I spotted a post by a particularly ardent believer that made me renounce my retirement. To me it was shocking.

 

This is what was said.....God definitely experiences joy when humans suffer because they reject him and his commands. That's why when we cry, he hears a melody.

 

Two of us asked for if he was serious, and I asked also for further "context", yet the words have not been retracted nor amplified.

 

Eventually I wrote this......Anyway, getting back to the question you have not elaborated on, all I can say is that recently I read a novel called The Kindly Ones, which was an account given by an Ex Nazi of his participation in the events of the Second World War. He was SS, and had a hand in a lot of the events of the Holocaust. He was seeking to exonerate himself by various rationalisations. Obviously, being a novel, this was all ficticious, yet actual historical figures came into it, like Eichmann. While reading it I did tend to reflect upon one of the Beatitudes, "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." Rather than thinking of this as the mourning of grief for loved ones lost or whatever, I related it to the book, and to the rationalisations of those seeking to "justify" themselves, to absolve themselves of blame for their actions. That in fact they would need to truly confront and acknowledge their crimes, that then their unshielded hearts would face the enormity of their actions, and in seeing that they had by choice killed fellow human beings this would be a form of "mourning". That the comfort offered by the Divine comes from this being a necessary part of redemption.

 

Anyway, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this was the way you see it? That you don't seriously see the Divine as "rejoicing" in human suffering as such. I think the NT (I John 4:19) speaks of the Divine first loving us. Its difficult to think of the divine taking such an initiative and acting upon it if He is busy rejoicing in our suffering and enjoying the melody of our tears.

 

Anyway, who knows? Perhaps, as St Thomas Aquinas once said, part of the enjoyment of the saints in heaven will be looking down to see and hear the sufferings of the damned. And that in this we become like God? That this is in fact the perfection of the Christian "saint", to look upon the suffering of another and rejoice? Perhaps this is how you meant it?

 

Again, no response. Since, he has responded to a new thread "Does God hear a melody when we cry?" and has chosen not to retract.

 

I'm not seeking condemnation of anyone. I just find it incomprehensible that a human being who claims to "know God" and His redemption - and who obviously reads the NT in depth - can express such a viewpoint.

 

:(

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Hi tariki,

 

While i do not share the poster's view, I can definitely see how someone that accepts the Bible as the literal Word of God and reads the Book of Revelations (Chapter 6 and elsewhere) could get that impression. Not of course without finding disagreement elsewhere among writings in the other books of the Bible but nevertheless if one wanted to justify ones personal position, it would not be impossible in my opinion to do so by taking the part that fit ones own rationalizations as you have pointed out. Even when reading the NT in depth, if one takes it literally, as long as one includes the book of revelations as part, there will be inconsistencies that will cause one to focus on the things that justify ones own actions and beliefs. That is one of the problems, IMO, in attributing absolute literal truth to any book.

 

Personally, i would have preferred that the Christian faith never included the OT as part of the Christian Bible except for possibly Proverbs and Psalms and definitely not included the Book of Revelations. But that is only my lightly held view since i can find some wisdom in every book. smile.gif

 

Joseph

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Hi tariki,

 

While i do not share the poster's view, I can definitely see how someone that accepts the Bible as the literal Word of God and reads the Book of Revelations (Chapter 6 and elsewhere) could get that impression. Not of course without finding disagreement elsewhere among writings in the other books of the Bible but nevertheless if one wanted to justify ones personal position, it would not be impossible in my opinion to do so by taking the part that fit ones own rationalizations as you have pointed out. Even when reading the NT in depth, if one takes it literally, as long as one includes the book of revelations as part, there will be inconsistencies that will cause one to focus on the things that justify ones own actions and beliefs. That is one of the problems, IMO, in attributing absolute literal truth to any book.

 

Personally, i would have preferred that the Christian faith never included the OT as part of the Christian Bible except for possibly Proverbs and Psalms and definitely not included the Book of Revelations. But that is only my lightly held view since i can find some wisdom in every book. smile.gif

 

Joseph

 

Joseph,

 

Thanks for the response. I will heed your implied warning, and steer clear of Chapter 6 of Revelation!....... :D

 

Anyway, as an update, the self same poster has now begun to demean Thomas Merton.............NOW he HAS got my gander up!!! :P

 

All the best

Derek

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I like the Blues, but I find it hard for anyone to rejoice in another person's hardship. Compassion is a component that is respected, the same way as superiority is looked down upon in religious matters.

Edited by soma
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I like the Blues, but I find it hard for anyone to rejoice in another person's hardship. Compassion is a component that is respected, the same way as superiority is looked down upon in religious matters.

 

soma (and Joseph)

 

Yes, I think we have to remain focused on our own various "lacks". Just as an update, my poster friend (if friend I can call him!) has now moved on from Merton to claiming that the Bhagavad Gita is the word of "satan", this after a brief foray into how "heavens army" will eventually gather at the end time and sweep the Catholic Church into the lake of fire.

 

Certainly I feel that Merton can in all probability look after himself, and hopefully he is now looking down (rather than up!) and smiling a saintly smile at one who questions his salvation.

 

To be totally serious, this poster actually claims that it is those who dispute his outlook that "drive people from Christ". One can't but help but feel anguish - even shock - at such claims.

 

Often I feel like the old punch drunk boxer returning to the ring for just one more bout.....after anouncing retirement! There was, I think, a thread on this forum concerning just how to approach or deal with this sort of thing, whether to plea or not to plea? Was that the one? Whatever, for me I think it is more just the simple realisation that even if, after ten years of debate, some sort of "communion" could be gained, there would remain countless others saying and claiming the same.

As Merton once said, we can only speak our own truth, seek to share it...........assume they will accept it, if they need it. And if they don't need it, why should they accept it? That is their business. Let me accept what is mine and give them all their share, and go my way....

 

Derek

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(snip)

As Merton once said, we can only speak our own truth, seek to share it...........assume they will accept it, if they need it. And if they don't need it, why should they accept it? That is their business. Let me accept what is mine and give them all their share, and go my way....

 

Derek

 

 

Merton's quote seems so true. That's probably what that poster thinks also...except that he/she thinks they are speaking "the truth" rather than their own truth and expecting that you should accept it.

 

Sounds like your friend is definitely heavy in the Book of Revelations using the literal and some symbols to come to his/her conclusions. That interpretation looks plausible in that book if one ignores the first Chapter versus. The book is about the revealing or uncovering of Christ which was shortly to come to pass. If it is looked at internally, it would not be so literal and people would still not be waiting for external events to happen. The book claims to have been written in the Spirit on the Lords day and therefor would need that selfsame spirit to interpret it. My vote, if i were on the council, biggrin.gif is to never have included it in the NT. It strikes fear in people and and in my view detracts from the real message of Jesus,

 

Joseph

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Merton's quote seems so true. That's probably what that poster thinks also...except that he/she thinks they are speaking "the truth" rather than their own truth and expecting that you should accept it.

 

Joseph

 

Joseph,

 

yes, it makes me remember something that Billmc posted, like "there is reality as God sees it (Truth) and reality as we see it (truth). Trouble starts when we take our truth for Truth." (From memory, which tends to show slippage at my age...... :o )

 

Anyway, I don't really want to turn this thread into a Soap Opera, BUT.........the latest update is that another poster (I think a lady, but you never can tell, especially these days....) said to me....."you seem like a GENUINELY spiritual individual" (her capitals.... :rolleyes: ) to which my "friend" responded with a Biblical quote....."Romans 7:14

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." He may only have been speaking of himself, but I suspect it was aimed at me..... B)

 

Well, as someone once said, you can't fool all of the people all of the time! I think the lady was impressed by my honesty in declaring that I often nipped out of a hostelry just prior to my own turn to buy a round. Anyway, as you can perhaps gather, the forum I am speaking of is just a little bit more robust and rather less heavily moderated than here (no complaints mind!)

 

Anyway, as you can see, I'm in a slightly frivolous mood, and I could get myself in trouble if I continue.

 

All the best

Derek

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know I'm late to this topic, but the guy tariki was referring to in the OP really, really saddened me.

 

It hit me really hard. Even in all my years as a fundamentalist, not one of the preachers I heard, even on their worst Sunday, went there. Not live in church, nor on radio or TV. Not even the tracts. Nothing. No inkling.

 

I don't know which possibility hurts worst--that he was enough oppressed enough by outright evil to think such a thing, or simply broken enough. (On Edit: I must confess I originally said "given over to evil" but thought better of it.)

Edited by ParSal190
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