Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Original "Problem Child"



Disclaimer: This post is about theology, about religion, about questions human beings have been asking for centuries and centuries. If you are uncomfortable with the subject, do not read any further. This post examines my beliefs. I respect differing opinions and ask kindly that mine be respected in turn.*

The other day on Facebook, a friend I will call "Ethan" had a question, something he had been confused by for some time. While I do not often discuss religion publicly, I felt compelled to make an exception for him. I have a great deal of respect for Ethan, and I knew his question came from his desire to understand his Christian friends better. So I answered it as best I could... 


ETHAN'S** QUERY: 

This is a question for my Christian friends:  If God knew that Lucifer (Satan) was going to convince Adam and Eve to sin (via the forbidden fruit), then why would he allow it to happen in the first place? He surely knew all the suffering that would be the result of that. Either God is omnipotent or he is not.


MY RESPONSE: 

I see G-d*** truly as a Heavenly Father, and I think I understand Him more now as a parent--and especially as a parent of adult children. I love my kids, but I have to let them make their own choices and their own mistakes. This is so incredibly difficult at times. You could swoop in and save them from themselves, but what does that teach them? We've all met people whose parents treated them this way even into adulthood...and none of us envy them. I have one such in my family: almost 40, her parents pay all her bills and bail her out of any trouble, no matter how small, and refuse to believe the cause of her problems is not that the rest of the world is "mean" to her! What will become of her when they are gone?

We also all know someone in our lives who is a "problem child," and we see their parents continue to support them and hope they will change, because they love their child. At the same time, they can't make the decisions for them. 

And we also all know someone who broke that final straw with their parents and were disowned. The parents are usually heartbroken over it...but they realize that A) at this point, the kid will not get better until or unless they hit rock bottom and B) you have to save yourself and your other kids from them. 

That is exactly what I think happened with Lucifer. G-d tried, gave him chances, wanted to believe he could get better. But in the end, like the parents of drug-addicted kids or kids with violent tendencies, He had to disown Lucifer for the good of the other heavenly denizens. I have no doubt it caused and continues to cause Him great pain and grief. But as any parent can tell you: parenting is not for the weak at heart. Sometimes, for their own good, you have to put your foot down. And when you do? You just hope those who love you will understand and show you the support and compassion you need.

And that's my two cents' worth. I hope that answered your question.





*For the record: I am a Christian and consider myself an adherent of the Native American Church (Big Moon.) 

**I have slightly altered the contents of "Ethan's" post in order to preserve his anonymity. The essence of the post remains the same. 

***Yes, there is a reason I spell "G-d" without the vowel. My husband is Jewish. In their belief system, it is a grave sin to erase or obliterate the name of G-d. This, they don't spell the word out completely to make erasing the full word impossible. Leaving out the vowel is therefore a sign of respect. Some time ago, I decided this made sense to me. Also, my husband admitted it made him feel uncomfortable when I would wrote it the "wrong" way. He insisted that I should do what I feel us right (and he would never have told me he felt that way...but I had asked, and he wasn't going to lie about it.) As I have no desire to disrespect either G-d or my husband, I now spell the word in line with the traditional Jewish tradition. I have yet to use it online, however, without bring accused of DISrespecting the Creator...thus, this footnote. 



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