Friday, May 24, 2013

The Pain of the Truth

Every day, all over the world, sin is committed. And this sin, by my lights, brings God to suffering. God suffers every time someone inflicts sin on another. Every rape is a rape of God. Every murder is the murder of God. Every torture is God's torture. Moreover, every act of separation from God, every personal sin, visits on God the pain of adultery, of betrayal, of abandonment (Hosea). This is the real truth of the Cross, a truth that most Christians give lip service to, but rarely ever truly face.

I believe this to be true. I believe in God the eternal, and I believe in His Incarnation, and I believe in what this really means for humanity, and for God. And yet I think, if my wife or my niece was pained every time I sinned, what would this mean for me? Would I sin as I do now? I doubt it. Yet I love God, I believe in God, I do have faith. But do I? If I did, would I not live as one who realized the real weight, the real consequences of his sin?

Ask yourself the same question: if your loved one was physically pained by your sin, how would your behavior change? Does the Cross cause that kind of change? I doubt it. I know it doesnt with me. Yet I also know that I should love God as much as this. What little faith we all have! Praise be to God his love is stronger. I know the pain my sin causes, I know the true cost of grace and the reality of the cross. It pains me, this knowledge. It also pains me that I am surrounded by Christians who think their faith saves them. Their faith saves them? They have no faith! Well they do (as do I) but they don't (nor do I). If they did, their answer to my earlier question would be different.

We murder God daily and proclaim our faith. What hypocrites we all are. We have faith, but less than an atom's worth. Always dubious, rarely effectual (and then only miraculously), this faith-that-yet-allows-deicide couldn't save anything.

I'm not judging, I'm not. But I know I'm judged. I'm judged because I truly rely on God's suffering love alone. My universalism brings condemnation to hell by my fellow Christians. They hate what I believe. I feel it wrong usually to say, "I hate what you believe." For I want us to focus on Jesus, on unity through love. Think however of the God-experience I wrote hear. How do you think I feel about your confidence in your faith to save? Answer that question honestly: if the weight of sin were borne by your closest loved one, how then would you live? Does your life with your faith look this way, honestly?

Maybe I'm projecting. Maybe I'm a bad dude who thinks I know your answer but do not. I don't think this is the case. And from my vantage point we are all faithless and without hope within ourselves. But in Christ there is hope for all. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Josh, to be honest, if I thought my sins, however slight, could physically pain my loved ones in the way you suggest; I would suicide. Because such sin is evidently inevitable. Rather than harm them I would remove myself from the equation.

    If you hate that idea, alright, the next best idea would be to remove myself to a remote place and hermit up so that I could simply never harm anyone or do anything again. Crawl into a hole and pull in the top after me.

    That is, to me at least, the only moral options to such a thought experiment; destroying myself or utterly removing myself. Who could do otherwise?