The Foolishness Of God: A Mad Sad Plan?
An advertisement for a new book, Bad Laws by The Daily Telegraph’s assistant editor, Philip Johnston, has just caught my eye. The book is subtitled An explosive analysis of Britain’s petty rules, health and safety lunacies and madcap laws, beneath which is the following statement: For 13 years, a war has been waged on British liberties, traditions, and even religious conviction.
It's launch is obviously timed to precede the UK's General Election, but it particularly interested me because of its juxtaposition with the Easter weekend. I have no idea whether Philip Johnston is a believer, or not, nor have I read the book, but the title, and perhaps ethos, of his book appears to sum up much of what I have to say in this article – written before I came across the advertisement.
The malaise he identifies is not exclusive to Britain, but can, I believe, be applied to much of the Western world. And it is this: we have thrown out God’s laws in favour of our own bad laws. Let me explain.
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD
There is something paradoxical about what secularists and atheists would like us to think is the foolishness of God! The more they try to disprove his existence, or convince society that believers are of lower intellect than themselves, the more publicity he receives.
True, most of what we read and hear is bad publicity. From the political correctness of the suspension of nurses for wearing a cross, to the dismissal of social workers for offering to pray for a client, to the renaming of Christmas as WinterFest, or some such thing, the media coverage is relentless. But perhaps the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity is correct?
Never let it be said, however, that I would skirt around the terrible consequences of child abuse. I have my own opinions about the Roman Catholic Church’s views on celibacy (and on contraception, for that matter). But nothing that I, or anyone else might say, can alleviate the seriousness of the claims that dozens of children have been sexually exploited and abused by priests.
The gravity of the accusations lies in the fact that clerics are the very people who should be guiding and protecting - not only those in their care - but the very integrity of the God they profess to follow. The innocent victims, of course, deserve every ounce of compassion that we can offer.
Nevertheless, neither God's character, nor his existence, can be proven by the (mis)interpretation or misuse of his Word by his followers!
BELIEF AND UNBELIEF
There are those who would like us to think that the bad behaviour of some believers is grounds for unbelief. ‘How can God exist when there’s so much war and poverty?’ they proclaim. But that is like saying that if I murder my spouse, steal my neighbour’s car, and libel the local librarian then my actions prove that British law and sovereignty do not exist, but are merely a figment of imagination. The truth is that, in human terms, anarchy may have dethroned the King of France, but it can never state that he did not exist.
So how best can God’s existence be proven? Not by my arguments, that’s for sure. Only by his. By making comparison between what we know of God, and what we know of the gods of our age. And the best way of doing that, in my opinion, is by looking at God’s rescue plan for human beings, in relation to the mess we continue to make of things through our own plan of salvation. For that read: our bad 'laws of life'!
Easter is God’s plan. It is the prime example of the foolishness of God being wiser than the wisdom of men. Take a look below.
THE WISDOM OF MEN
- Communism: which promised equality, produced a polarisation of power and poverty, and has fallen, dramatically.
- Capitalist excess: which promised glib guarantees of prosperity, but resulted in greed, global economic meltdown, and has brought nations to their knees.
- Consumerism: which promised happiness with each new acquisition, delivered dissatisfaction by superseding each ‘new’ model with a later one, and encouraged lust and envy.
- Credit card borrowing: which promised ‘instant access’ to ‘take the waiting out of wanting’, fed a voracious and addictive appetite for more, and left consumers debt-ridden and in despair.
- Clemency: which veered towards offenders by looking for mitigating circumstances, rewarded young criminals by giving them ‘remedial’ holidays, and left victims helpless and undefended.
- Compassion: which devised and founded a Welfare State and benefit system to help the poor and helpless, but has undermined personal responsibility and encouraged profligacy and dependency.
- Tolerance: which purported to offer acceptance to all but has been seen to be intolerant of those whose beliefs clash with its ideals.
- Freedom: which espouses sexual promescuity, but undermines love and commitment between a couple, and often results in sexual disease, infertility or unwanted pregnancies.
- Rights: which permit virtually unfettered abortion facilities in order to free mothers from unwanted pregnancies, but do so by denying the Right of life to their unborn children.
- Secularists and atheists: who, in their ‘wisdom’ and ‘strength’ are arrogant enough to look at the cross at Easter and see God’s plan of salvation and redemption only as foolishness and weakness.
God's laws are seen, by unbelievers, as foolish because they are in direct opposition to what is perceived as 'success' in worldly terms.
GOD’S SAD MAD PLAN
- Easter is a celebration of sacrifice: God’s for all human beings, in taking on human form in the body of Jesus, and allowing the blame for all the wrongdoing and non-doing (of good) in the history of the world to be laid on him.
- Easter is a celebration of death: death with a difference. Jesus’ death and burial ensures the forgiveness, death and burial of the past, present and future wrongdoing and non-doing of all believers.
- Easter is a celebration of resurrection: rising to new life, a new creation and new beginnings. Like Spring bulbs, that have been buried in the dark, believers rejoice in the fact that they can burst forth, strain towards the Son, and emit the fragrance of the Father to the world.
The fact is that throughout the ages, many have done so. Around the world and throughout millennia, there have been millions of Mother Theresas, William Wilberforces and Florence Nightingales – and there continue to be today. The only sad mad interpretation of God’s plan is in the minds of those who pursue worldy success - hence the sacrificial activities of believers rarely come to public attention. The only 'foolishness of God' is that instead of the good that is done in his name being a source of rejoicing, the media sees only the failings of believers as newsworthy. And the only reason that bad laws are passed is because those who govern us appear to believe that they can by-pass or better God's Easter message.
What are your pet hates when it comes to Bad Laws? Leave your comments below.
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Author of a number of books, one a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV. This article, in its original form, can be found at http://www.melmenzies.co.uk/
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