Friday, April 24, 2015

Billy Graham: Does God Love (all) Children?

Q: We're devastated, because the doctor has just told us our 3-year-old son is autistic and will never have a normal life. What did we do to deserve this? We'd looked forward so much to having a normal family. God must hate us. — Mrs. D. McL.
Of course God doesn't hate Mrs. D. But not because he's loving, but because he doesn't exist! But I know that the usual theistic response is to blame it all on sin. But tell me this... What could a child do before his birth to warrant them being born with such a life altering disability? And what about children born with lethal conditions?
Lets not forget that time God sent bears to kill kids for making
fun of a bald man...

I find it unlikely to accept that they popped out of their mother one night, became a despotic drug
lord that engaged in a bit of ethnic cleansing, then climbed back into the womb without her ever noticing. There are only two option here. Either their is no god, or there is, but he's a monstrously cruel one.
A: No, God doesn't hate you, nor does He hate your son — not at all. I don't know why He has allowed this to happen to you, but I do know this: God has not abandoned you, and He wants to help you become the best parents you can possibly be to your child. Your son needs you, and you need God.
So special needs child equals closer, more attentive parents? If that's the case shouldn't every child be born with some type of condition so that all parents have this same supposed 'opportunity' to become the best parents they can possibly be?
Hard as it may seem right now, may you come to see your son for what he really is: a gift from God. The Bible's words include every child: "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him" (Psalm 127:3).
It would be nice to believe it was that cut and dry. But the fact of the matter is that the Bible is far from clear on the topic of every child being a gift. Hell after the Psalms talk so fondly of children, they go on to promote infanticide! Don't believe me? Take a look at these ugly verses:
This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'
-1 Samuel 15:23
Ordering the killing of infants and children is an odd way to show that you think all children are a gift...
The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.

-Hosea 13:16
Wow, that can only be described as gruesome. Yet more ordering to kill children. And remember kids, God totally hates abortion... Except for when he forcefully demands it of course.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.
-Psalm 137:9
Ah yes... Kids are gifts, but God manufactures a situation
where he kills a ton to make a point.
Yup, Psalms jumps from all children being gift from God to glorifying those who would smash them to death against rocks... The Bible is certainly one very disturbing book.

But how can the same book really tell two very different narratives? Unlike many Bible contradictions, the context explains this one. But it's a very troubling explanation.

You see, when the Bible says that all children are a gift, what it really means is that all our kids are a gift. It's a case of separating the in-group from everyone else. The in-group could be cultural, national, or religious. In this case, it's a bit of them all.

But what these verses are telling us is that the children of your group/religion are special (Unless they talk back. Then you have to stone them to death. -Leviticus 20:9) , but those that are outside the group aren't. More than that, their murder is sometimes demanded.

Sadly, this isn't the only case of stressing harmony within the group and demonizing those outside, but that's for another time. But this is a very dangerous precedent. This kind of in-group vs out-group thinking (especially as drastically different as it is in the Bible) is a perfect recipe for xenophobia, racism, and other prejudices.

-Brain Hulk

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