The opinions expressed on this blog are the personal views of Andreas Kjernald and do not reflect the positions of either the UMC congregations in Skien or Hvittingfoss or the UMC Norway.

måndag 10 april 2017

Don't waste a tragedy

Only a believer in God can claim that there are absolutes since if there is no God everything that we believe is just people believing stuff. Evil, for instance, is just what some people think is evil. It's all opinions. Since most swedes are not believers most swedes can not believe in absolutes and therefore can only offer opinions.

Then tragedy strikes, such as a horrible terror act, and all of a sudden people talk about absolutes as if they exist. Of course, most people do this all the time without realizing that they can't (since they don't believe in God), but tragedy makes it so much more obvious.
I once had a friend who was a staunch non-believer. he realized that only a believer can believe in absolutes, to the point that Hitler wasn't evil, only wrong according to my friend's opinion. However, one day his friend's grandfather was brutally assaulted in his apartment and he called the act "evil". I pointed out his error a little later and he denied that he had ever called the assault evil.

Which is weirder? To not call something "evil" evil or to deny doing so?

When swedes jettisoned their ancient religion of Christianity they didn't really think it through. It just sort of happened as if it would have little to no consequence. When life is good what need is there for God? I mean, it's not like atheistic humanism has anything enticing to offer, is it? Here is the truth (that we proclaim without proof)...that there is no truth. Just opinions and whatever you make of life. You don't really matter. Comparatively, you are nothing. There is no God. There is no purpose to your life, except survival (and hollow comforts and pleasures). There is no such thing as good and evil, right and wrong, just what the majority currently decides (which means those in power).

Yeah, and these people call themselves free. Some freedom. The worst sales-pitch in history...unless you subtly tell people that no God=do whatever you want, without the dire consequences.

But my point is, what do people do when almost all vestiges of true Christianity are gone and there is obvious evil happening? How do people deal with absolute and objective truth about evil (and good, for that matter) when all such categories are gone? When an entire country has decided that right and wrong and good and evil are all relative attributes, not objective realities, then how do they process senseless evil?

Ok, so they gather for "love manifestations". Hold speeches about unity and We shall overcome and put flowers on the ground. Change a profile picture on Facebook. Good things, to be sure, but do they work?

No, they don't because they don't deal with the reality of evil, properly understood. They are reactions, not actions; bandaids, not cures. Driving a truck into a crowd and killing children is evil, pure and simple. That man is going to Hell unless he repents and turns to Christ, which is unlikely but preferable. It is not a matter of poverty or lack of education or hopelessness or poor parenting or any other such thing. The crux of the matter is that an adult male (or two) decided, out of their own free will, to murder innocent people. Period.

That is evil.
That is sinful.
That is damnable.

The only thing for people to do when faced with such a reality is to realize that there is good and evil, right and wrong. Their innate tendency to claim that the terror attack actually is evil points that out. That truth in turn points to God, the only source for objective truth and good/evil, right/wrong.

I repeat, godless people can not talk coherently about absolutes, such as good/evil or right/wrong. They don't, can't, talk like that because to them it's all people's opinions. Only a believer in a supernatural Creator God can do that because only a supernatural Creator God who is outside our reality can step in and say this is right, this is wrong, etc..

Therefore, let's not waste a tragedy with only flowers and Facebook pictures. Let's find a way for people to productively turn this horrible moment of clarity (into the reality of objective truth) into a possibility that they may be able to find the source of objective truth, Jesus, and be saved.

After all, this is Holy Week.
This is the week when a horrible act of state-sponsored terror murdered an innocent man to instill fear in a nation and hope to extinguish all hope.
We who believe in a risen Christ will do well to help our neighbors to not only see the reality of evil but also the empty tomb of a good God.

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