Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sin, salvation, and all-mighty God‏

Question: In an online interfaith forum, someone recently lost his wife. He poses questions about sin, salvation and all-mighty God (his post is reproduced below after my answer).

Answer: I believe in an ever-loving God whose Love extends over all creation. I also believe that Beauty is an intrinsic value of the Divine, and hence all Do's and Don'ts are based upon beautiful moral and ethical values! Sin is a deviation from those values, and this information is ingrained in our consciousness. Furthermore, God also has sent prophets and books to supplement our conscience.  

I also believe that God is able to do all things. 

I believe that it is if no benefit to God to punish people. I also believe that God is the Supreme Judge. And I also believe that Resurrection and the Day of Reckoning will be established, primarily to bless those whom God considers worthy of His Heaven and eternal bliss. Punishment and Hell are but consequential to the establishment of justice. 

As I understand from the Quran, a basic principle is that God is neither cruel nor is He unjust. I also read there that God will have to judge us because we humans chose the responsibility. (Quran, 33: 72, 73 Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man assumed it. Lo! he hath proved a tyrant and a fool. So Allah punisheth hypocritical men and hypocritical women, and idolatrous men and idolatrous women. But Allah pardoneth believing men and believing women, and Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.     

Complete Question: My wife thought maybe sin is like flame. You can't wish it away. You can't make it not bring a blight on your soul. You can't make it not bad. Neither can God. Do you suppose that God would have sent his son, I speak to Christians here, to die as a sacrifice to atone for human sins if instead he could simply have ignored sin and shown his grace without such sacrifice?

We are all very aware of physical laws that we cannot break. We cannot flap our wings and fly from a tall building--although, God knows we try, we do try. 
My wife suggested there are also spiritual laws which cannot be broken, not even by God. God can't really create a rock too big for him to move. It would violate an inviolable physical law, one based upon the principle of paradox.

You see, she didn't believe that God would damn us, any of us, for all eternity. She didn't believe it because she couldn't believe it. She saw it as a violation of spiritual law based again upon the principle of paradox. Love is incapable of invoking such a thing as eternal damnation upon its creations. She believed instead that damnation is the outcome of an inviolable spiritual law that Love did not create and cannot destroy. If you stick your hand in a flame it will get burned. If you commit certain sins against spirit, you will suffer some manner of damnation. God cannot stop it. He can only offer a way of salvation from it, a loophole as simple as accepting that Jesus is God become man to die as a sacrifice for human sin, and accepting that simple belief can allow you to elude the spiritual tide that washes the sinner into damnation.

It's a tricky concept and I can only hope I've done it justice to the best of my understanding. I hope we can discuss not only the full concept, but also its intrinsic parts. For example, does anyone here believe that God can do absolutely anything, even though it seem paradoxical? Does anyone believe that there are limitations upon God? that there are things not even God can do? And if you believe that God can do absolutely anything without exception, why did he create a world in which there is sin and evil unless it was his choice. I ask this because, like my wife, I do not consider the view of God as absolutely all-powerful (omnipotent) to be a tenable position.

What say you all?

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