“The same God who brings the storm to your life is also the One who will rebuke it.”
-Christian Pastor, speaking in pagan western European mystical terms to describe Jewish metaphysical TRUTH. This of course is appalling; and made more so by the fact that Greek-inspired gnostic contradictory philosophy comprises a significant portion of Protestant “Statements of Faith”. These statements should be regarded as merely the interpretive assumptions of men; for the most part, they have little or nothing to do with God’s rational work in relating to man, and vice versa.
Now, when the Calvinist pastor (who, ironically, may not THINK they are Calvinist; they will laud “free-will” when you confront them about it, and then proceed to wring man and his relevancy to God and Christ clear out of the scriptures like so much dirty dishwater…and this is what is scary: so many “pastors” just simply don’t know the difference between what is “true” and what is “suspension of disbelief”…to them, if an opinion is based on the Bible, then it’s just true, no matter how rationally impossible)…anyway, when the Calvinist pastor refers to God bringing the “storms” to your life, it is important to understand that the word ‘storm’ is, of course, a metaphor for whatever pain or struggles or suffering you may be enduring. You see, before, in the world of rational metaphysics, suffering and pain was a consequence of willfully opposing God (either by man or the devil and his demons)…it was seen as something which, was justly reaped by free opposition to the existential reality of man’s moral obligations to pursuing love and purity and reverence, especially to his fellow man. And this, incidentally, is how man shows his love to God and his willingness to pursue true personal freedom; his sole purpose for existing…and so, yes, though pain was justly reaped it is decidedly NOT and never WAS God’s desire to inflict pain. Indeed, the entirety of scripture seems to reveal a God who promises not to bring pain, but to act as a divine hedge against it, assuming man uses his free mind and will to pursue those moral truths that allow God to grant such protection and blessing, as opposed to forsaking God’s omnipotent protection and fend for one’s self in the sea of capricious worldliness; which may be fine or, given the historic trends of men and women left to themselves, may be not.
I submit that we need to understand that human beings are really at the sole mercy of their own ability to WILL and to DO, and never at the mercy of God’s “control”; which simply makes man an extension of God; and this of course is impossible for God because to be the “ability” of man and Creation makes God a total hypocrite and pretty much invalidates the entirety of the testimony of Moses, the Prophets and Jesus. Therefore, IF we decide we must rationally be the authors of our own moral dichotomies, then we accept the existential truth that we will rise and fall with our choices. And, really, this is precisely HOW we can exist at all…that WE create OUR OWN reality, physically and morally; meaning that our actions are OURS, of OUR WILL, and thus we justly reap the consequences, be they blessings from God, blessings in the form of worldly reward, or pain and destruction (mind you, I’m not speaking of salvation right now, I’m speaking of man’s practical living here in the world, in THIS reality).
And again, this may be fine, or it may not be. The point of God is not to frustrate or torture those who refuse Him, but to leave them to their own devices. For that is their prerogative, and metaphysically, He cannot and will not stop them (though there may be consequences…but this is NOT control; and divine consequences, frankly, are really rare and MUST be specifically revealed as such to more than just one person…and even then they are likely going to be subjective; for really, practically ALL of faith and morality is subjective empirically speaking…you cannot “prove” necessarily GOOD; and Christians are just going to have to accept this, and stop demanding hypocritically that the government tell two law-abiding citizens that they will go to jail if they marry and are the same sex; and on the other hand declare that the solution to the issue is to send these people to clinics to “make homosexuals straight”. The tyranny and irony (the truth shall make you “free”) and lack of empathy implicit in this kind of thinking is a byproduct of attempting to make moral GOOD, objective, without the ability to objectively define it. I’m not saying that Christians must accept that homosexuality is right, and I’m not saying that I support it. What I am saying is that Christians should be, having TRUTH, the the epitome of rational thought because our God is decidedly rational, decidedly TRUE, and decidedly NON-arbitrary. Thus, we must seek to restrict our use of FORCE in opposition to people’s personal moral choices unless we can show rationally beyond a reasonable doubt to ALL, believers and non-believers alike, that any moral truths we wish to enforce by threat of criminal prosecution are going to result in measurable, observable societal outcomes with regards to PERSONAL freedom of body, mind, and property. In other words, let’s go to the government to help us keep people from murdering others, or stealing from them, or raping them, or beating them, or bullying them, and resort to winning over other moral objections with superior IDEAS, not threats of stake-burning, banishment, or prison. Let’s leave that behavior to rank heretics like John Calvin and Martin Luther, who perfected either the propaganda or implementation (or both) of such action.
Yes, sooner or later Christians should recognize the importance of thinking. And unless we want to give all our “pastors in the stead” machine guns and licenses to kill on our behalf, we will need to start using our brains and defend our ideas at some point in a way that doesn’t make our faith seem about as deep and wide as a post-it note or “Vote for Jesus” bumper sticker.
So, getting back to our topic: the “storm” is a metaphor for all suffering. Which now, instead of being contrary to God’s divine Will–s a reflection of his love and affection for man, and His desire to reach out to him in order to protect and care for him–God’s attitude toward the pinnacle of His Creation, man, is wholly opposite. And now, God doesn’t simply WANT man to suffer, He purposefully ordains it, controls it, and intentionally brings it to bear.
Think about what that says about man’s chances of being relevant? I would say exactly zero…and even less if there was a logical lower-value abstraction. For IF God is the One who is sending out His “storms” to torment you, then your chances of resisting are, again, zero. And if this is the case, then God MUST be the One who rebukes the storm, of His own utterly arbitrary/pointless will, timing, and pleasure.
“The same God who brings the storm to your life is also the One who will rebuke it.”
He would HAVE to be the One to rebuke it, if rebuking factors somewhere into the equation…which, given the insanity and the nonsensical nature of this statement, is certainly possible. Hell, why not? Let’s have God come down and do show tunes with Liberace in his “Back from the Dead” tour. With Calvin’s philosophy, just about anything is possible…because nothing really means anything. And by that I mean: nothing is based on reason. If it is ALL contradiction (and reformed theology is), then ANYTHING can mean just about ANYTHING the gnostics (and God, apparently) say it means. God doing show tunes with a diamond draped cape and eye-shadow has as much relevance to your spiritual walk in light of TULIP as God giving Moses the stone tablets or Jesus’s dying on a Roman cross. It’s all nonsense. Hell…really, as God-in-the-stead, Calvinist overlords are literally permitted, according to their doctrine, to keep writing books of the Bible (which really is kind of what their hermeneutics are, in essence…they call it “Systematic Theology”). We can have Batman and Bugs Bunny sharing a scene in the Wilderness or at Goshen with Elisha, the Virgin Mary, and Captain Ahab.
So, yes…duh. If God brings the storm, then by definition man cannot resist it, so God must rebuke it, because…who the hell else is going to? The only way for this scenario to work with “rebuking” coming in stage left is for God to rebuke Himself. To declare that what He did was done for the sole purpose of arbitrarily undoing it. That’s the only way this makes any sense at all and….
Wait. Did we just declare that for this nonsense to make sense God has to rebuke His own work?
Does that really square? I really…er…I just don’t think it does. God’s work IS God; and so, if He rebukes His work, He rebukes Himself. And that, my friends, is what we call here, outside of Calvinist Fantasy Land, a metaphysical contradiction in terms.
Unfortunately, I actually have friends who still insist “Nah…it’s just a paradox.” And I say, “My Aunt gave birth to a bicycle. Ten Speed. I know, I know…it’s a paradox, man. [shrug] But with God, all things are possible.”
Stay tuned for part four…