Wednesday, May 2, 2007

More God and Safety

A similar discussion is raging on the Bethel Facebook network in the Bethel Philosophy Group. And here someone wonders whether all tragic situations can be redeemed.

This is tough stuff, because we have such a different emotional reaction to evil than we do a logical one. Logically, I think it's pretty easy to solve the problem of evil... but we're not Vulcans.

Can all evil be redeemed? I guess we Christians believe that in the end, yes, all will be redeemed. Evil's reign is only temporary. All will be made right. But here is where Ivan Karamazov objects: he doesn't want the lion to lie down with the lamb; he doesn't want the afflicted to embrace their afflictors. Forgiveness doesn't take away the fact that someone has been severely wronged.

This is the natural emotional response. Evil ought to evoke anger in us. In the wake of the VTech situation, I was angry that my kids have to grow up in a world where stuff like that happens.

But then unforgiveness doesn't take away the evil that has happened either. And here, then, is an opportunity for us to be chiseled and shaped into people who more fully reflect the image of Christ.

This is still so abstract and impersonal. It used to be much easier for me to reflect on what it meant to love my enemies, because I didn't really have any enemies in the normal sense of the word. Then in the past few months a situation occurred in which I had a very identifiable enemy in a fairly significant and potentially dangerous way. How could I love that person? The situation prevented any personal contact at all, so taking her cookies was out of the question.

To love (in one aspect of the word) is to genuinely will what is best for another person. Could I genuinely pray for God's best to come to her (and not just the heaping of coals variety of best)? I'm pretty sure that one who can do that, conforms more closely to the character of Christ. And in the economy of the Kingdom, there is some redemption that happens.

No comments: