Monday, May 6, 2013

Peacemakers and Persecution--the impossible and the obvious

Scriptural/Transhumanist Speculations on the Universe Part 8

Of the state of the Gods are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

I haven't found much hidden meaning or interpretation required by this verse. Peacemakers are people who make peace. Applying this to God might not prove completely straightforward, but if you do the things that lead to peace you are a peacemaker. If you do the things that lead to the most lasting peace possible, you are a more effective peacemaker than one who does what is needed for temporary peace. If you are a peacemaker, you will be a child of God. If you are a child of God you can grow up to be a God. God makes lasting peace. It's part of His job and part of His nature. It's really hard to be an effective peacemaker here and now, and there are indications it's not easier as a God. For one thing, look at the evil and chaos God has to allow in this world. Quite the impossible task we set ourselves as aspiring gods.

Of the state of the Gods are all those who are persecuted for the sake of their covenants with God, for their's is the kingdom of Heaven.

Covenants come with names, and names represent covenants, so I don't think I've corrupted the translation more than you are used to from my series of posts on the Beatitudes. I'm not sure how to read this as a characteristic of God. If ridicule, blame, denial, and abuse of delegated (or co-opted) authority count as persecution, then God continues to be persecuted. If He is as empathetic as I think, then maybe He really is hurt by his earthly children. Or maybe this only applies to a brief period in the past in God's eternal existence. Or maybe it only relates to the attitude of willingness to persevere in our righteous promises, whatever pressures there may be to go back on them. Or maybe it has to do with peaceful resistance to evil. I like this last one. Gods resist evil peacefully. They can't let it continue, eternally, but they can't resist it with violence that causes eternal harm or they fail to keep the very covenants they are unwilling to break.

Of the state of the gods are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake; For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you. 

Why shouldn't people make fun of me for believing someone talks to me who I will never be able to prove exists? The fact that their ridicule might turn out to be false in the end doesn't make it less natural for them to revile me for my seemingly crazy ideas that I use to shape how I live my life and how I tell others they should live theirs. It seems like there is some reason that God is not allowed to prove Himself to unbelievers on this earth. (Remember, I'm writing to other believers trying to understand this existence.) It seems he can't even prove Himself absolutely to believers like me until after I've met some conditions I haven't met yet. Occasional, well orchestrated miracles--like appearing and wielding His unequalled power from time to time--might be convincing for those who demand extraordinary proof that God exists (although maybe not the kind of God I'd want to worship). It would be nice to be able to say, "Hey, that guy over there who just put down Hitler and brought all the death camp victims back to life, see him? Yeah, he just gave me a message for you--you should be joining this church, giving all your money to the poor, stopping raping the earth's resources, and spending more time with your kids. . . ." Since that isn't going to happen (I think because Agency is way too important, perhaps even its own natural law, but that's another discussion) there will always be criticism of God and of anyone who claims to know God or His will. Admittedly, I think skepticism is due whenever anyone makes such a claim, and that most such claims are likely to be false, but what that tells me is that I likely contribute to reviling, persecuting, and saying false things about the people who truly know God. Personal experience tells me, with probability 1, that there is at least one stage in my existence where God is unprovable through the scientific method. It could even be the only stage. Yet I believe in God and in other stages of existence. So I believe in something unprovable and unnecessary to explaining human existence. Why shouldn't people make fun of me? Of course I think believing in certain types of Gods explains existence much better than theories that assume no Gods, but that's not proof. Of course everyone believes things that are unprovable, but that doesn't make everyone's claims equally silly. So as long as someone is alive in this one stage of existence that I know must be, God, His prophets, and his true believers are likely to be ridiculed. The more power any of those believers obtain, or threaten, the more likely they are to be actively persecuted. It just seems like fair warning from God, sort of a Surgeon General's warning on active belief.

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