Children Behaving Badly
Just Wait Until Your Heavenly Father Gets Home!
Children need discipline, this we all know. When a child steps over the line his parents discipline him, or at least we hope they do. Discipline keeps the child in line and hopefully teaches him right from wrong. Any reasonable, prudent person would agree that this is a good thing. But no matter how you slice it this is the most basic form of control. Usually some form of punishment does the trick (e.g. spanking, grounding, taking away toys or privileges) but more often than not just the mere threat of punishment keeps the child in line.
But who disciplines the parents? Who keeps them in line?
We have legislative bodies to write and enact laws of man. And then there are courts of law and enforcement agencies to ensure compliance and intervene when compliance is breached. And don’t forget about the ever watchful eye of society to rat out those who can’t play nicely with the other children. But you can’t be arrested for having an impure thought, lying to your spouse, or cheating on an algebra exam.
And then there are acts that are illegal but too trivial to prosecute or too difficult to prove. Stealing towels from your hotel room, overstating charitable cash contributions on your tax return, parking with a handicapped permit even though you’re not really impaired, oooh, and lying about your age! Everyone is guilty. Shame, shame on us all.
Man keeps himself in line by believing in god (any god), whether it goes by the name Jehovah, Jesus, Allah, Krishna, Brahma, or Supreme Being Billy Bob: Dispenser of All Things Good and Overseer of the Universe. But regardless of the name and natured ascribed by any one believer, it’s all just a facade to mask the true driving force and its motive.
What’s actually at work is a blend of man’s life experience, sense of fairness, parity, perspective, empathy, common sense, and (most importantly) his conscience.
To Thine Own Self Be True
The threat of god’s wrath is nothing more than a deluded manifestation of one’s conscience. It’s that inner voice that tells us what’s right and what’s wrong based on what we’ve been taught (by society), what else we can figure out as we go along (through logic and common sense), and what we fear (breaking man’s law).
Those of us with an unimpaired, fully functional conscience don’t need the threat of any god’s wrath to keep ourselves in check. Likewise, those operating with a weak, impaired, or malformed conscience tend to stray from the path of acceptable behavior. Simple as that.
These people are so weak and morally off-center that they just can’t accept ultimate personal responsibility for their own failings when their conscience turns weaker than their urges. So they mask the aforementioned qualities of conscience with the facade of a forgiving god and then tender the cop out excuse that they fell short of his glory.
God: Commander in Grief
Christians are much like low-ranking military personnel. When it comes to the rules of engagement, they’re not allowed to think or make decisions. Soldiers do as they’re told. They follow orders from their superiors.
Christians do as their told. They follow orders from their superiors. The only difference is that they have only one superior.
And in the absence of a direct order, both soldiers and Christians follow their designated standard operating procedures which ensure that everything goes as desired. For the military the SOPs come from a military manual. For Christians they come from the bible.
Just as a soldier fears the repercussions of disobeying or questioning an order, Christians fear eternal backlash from disobeying, challenging, or even questioning the god’s words or rules.
How many times have you heard a Christian vomit forth the following (or similar) tripe when confronted by questions the couldn’t answer or life events they couldn’t explain:
- God moves in mysterious ways…
- God’s ways are higher than ours…
- God knows what’s best for us…
- We’re not to question god’s plan…
If god allowed man to question his word then he’d be giving man intellectual authority to interpret and therefore change the word to accommodate his desires, biases, and hypocritical proclivities. So to control man and keep him obedient, god ordered (and threatened) man not to change anything stated in the bible.
This is best illustrated by the words of The Holy Book of Standard Operating Procedure itself:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. - Revelations 22:18
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. - Revelations 22:19
These are just patent threats, like a parent threatening an act of discipline to their child: “Don’t question me because I’m your father and while you’re living under my roof…”
We’re allegedly living under god’s roof, and if we disobey him he’ll take away our toys and kick us out of the holy city and write us out of the book of life. He’s threatening to take away special privileges (e.g. god’s gifts) and to send us to bed without dinner…for eternity.
I find it interesting that these two verses are nearly the final words of the last book of the New Testament. (Only two short verses follow.) Only a punk ass bully like god would finish it off with fear and intimidation to control the scared little puppies of the world.
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” – Albert Einstein