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Sunday, October 16, 2016

When life is like Blasphemous Rumors

I don't fault those who find it difficult to believe in God due to tragic events, particularly those that tend to smack of the Divine having a sick sense of humor:
Dennis Byrd, a former Jets defensive lineman best known for battling back from a serious spinal injury and recovering to walk again, has died at the age of 50. Byrd was killed in a car crash in Claremore, Oklahoma, today.

According to Fox 23, Byrd was driving down the highway when his vehicle was struck head on by another vehicle, which had crossed the center line. A 12-year-old passenger in Byrd’s vehicle was hospitalized, as was the 17-year-old boy driving the vehicle that hit Byrd’s vehicle. Byrd was pronounced dead at the scene.

A second-round draft pick of the Jets in 1989, Byrd played four NFL seasons before suffering a serious neck injury in a collision with a teammate. Byrd was paralyzed and his career was over, but after lengthy physical therapy he was able to walk again. At the Jets’ home opener in 1993, Byrd walked to the middle of the field to represent his team in the pregame coin toss, and there he was given the team’s Most Inspirational Player Award, which is now known as the Dennis Byrd Award.
In the 1980s, Depeche Mode wrote what may be the greatest philosophical lyric ever written in pop music.

I don't want to start any blasphemous rumors
But I think that God's got a sick sense of humor
And when I die
I expect to find Him laughing

As an indifferent agnostic, that fairly well described my religious perspective before I became a Christian. But that is why it is so important to understand the correct application of the Problem of Evil, and to grasp what it means for the world to be fallen, why it is necessary for Christians to be in the world, but not of it, and why the Word became flesh and died on the Cross.

Depeche Mode was right, in a sense, though it is not God who has the sick and sadistic sense of humor, but the Prince of this world. Neither God nor Jesus Christ rule over the Silent Planet, and they are not the architects of human misfortune.

I do, however, contra Umberto Eco, firmly believe that God possesses a sense of humor. I have sensed it. And one cannot read the New Testament without recognizing that Jesus was almost brutally sarcastic.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

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73 Comments:

Blogger Roger Hill October 16, 2016 7:12 AM  

"I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.”
― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Blogger Mighty Lou October 16, 2016 7:17 AM  

Castles in the sand.

Blogger Desillusionerad October 16, 2016 7:50 AM  

Sort of on topic, what did you think of Bob Dylan for the Nobel?
- A travesty as far as i'm concerned.

Anonymous Samson J. October 16, 2016 7:51 AM  

I've observed that "why do bad things happen" is one of the two most common justifications for not believing in God (the other being "Christians are such hypocrites!". Unlike that latter argument, I have sympathy for the former.

I threw away my faith in God for a year or more after my father's suicide, in my twenties. It's interesting that one of the things that brought me back - or, if you will, kept me from all-out nihilism - was that I had read so much apologetic material. I *knew* that the arguments I was trying to convince myself with just didn't hold water.

Anonymous p-dawg October 16, 2016 7:54 AM  

All you need as evidence of the Creator's sense of humor is the duck-billed platypus.

Blogger Ransom Smith October 16, 2016 7:55 AM  

Vox makes a reference to amazing CS Lewis .

+1000

Blogger Phillip George October 16, 2016 7:55 AM  

I spoke with a youngish cancer patient a couple of years ago who'd been in and out of hospitals for half of her shortish life and she said she'd had enough and basically was happy to get out of this life. I respected that. Respected she was happy to go. Not so much that the fight had gone out of her, more that, "O.K. God, Whatever".
Get me out of here. Beam me up, Mister God.
The matrix red pill was to get born again into sludge, grey, bleak, battle scarred apocalyptic type Earth.

Sometime I retreat to the one fact I have everywhere. The one thing Christianity has going for it in every situation is that it's true.

Getting Roman candled in Nero's garden wouldn't have had much else to offer at the time. Being right is some consolation. Right now it might be your only one. Make the most of it and laugh at everyone who isn't. Candles we are. To God or Nero. Burn well. Freedom at the end of the wick. Burn well and ascend.

Anonymous Clay October 16, 2016 8:14 AM  

I'm sorry , but OT...

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/10/16/uss-mason-fired-on-a-third-time-near-yemen-cno-says.html

Remember when a "Destroyer" was just a ship to protect convoys?

Now, they can "destroy" punk nations....like, Yemen.

Blogger Lazarus October 16, 2016 8:15 AM  

From an article linked to the article from 4 years ago

Byrd, who turned 46 earlier this month, said he's in good health these days, although "it's still a process for me. With a spinal-cord injury there are times that it's very frustrating and progress can seem to be painfully slow. But as time goes on, I continue to get better and better with sensations, strength, stamina and all those things. With an injury I had 20 years ago, there's still encouraging signs of recovery, so it's a good thing."

..

"I have no fears of injuries and so on. You have to live life, go as hard as you can with as much passion as you can, and let the chips fall where they may," Byrd said.


Blogger Lovekraft October 16, 2016 8:16 AM  

OT but up at Breitbart:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2016/10/15/murdochs-louise-mensch-everyone-who-votes-trump-is-scum-of-the-earth/

Confirms my position that we owe the left and their globalist masters no sympathy whatsoever. Their true form has been revealed.

Reminds me of the Mark Millar comic "Wanted" where a major player was only neutralized once his name was revealed.

Anonymous Clay October 16, 2016 8:22 AM  

Damn. I can't think of a better time to try-out the F-35. Or, F-22, for to see capabilities.

Blogger Robert Coble October 16, 2016 8:23 AM  

My wife's mother committed suicide, eating a bullet. My wife was very angry at God for months, railing in anger at Him for not doing SOMETHING to give her mother another chance. When she got the final autopsy report, she found that the first time her mother had pulled the trigger, the gun did not fire. She has never questioned God since then.

Does God have a sense of humor? He must: he made me!

Blogger Akulkis October 16, 2016 8:27 AM  

Typical left award committee living an award to a fellow left primarily for being a particularly in-your-face left.

Anonymous Sensei October 16, 2016 8:35 AM  

Post about the debate and nobody bats an eye.
Post about God and everyone goes OT...

At least in the US, the Church doesn't clearly teach the idea that this world is fallen, enemy territory, so Christians don't live or think accordingly. That's one of the things I appreciate most about John C Wright's writing: he gets that fundamental fact about reality across poignantly and powerfully. We're in a war in enemy territory, but it's a fight that the Light has won in one sense and will win in the complete sense.

Wrt God's sense of humor, He does have it and I've experienced it before multiple times.
Once I lost my passport before a major international trip. Having looked everywhere, I stopped and prayed. When I opened my eyes, there was my passport right in front of me, where I swear it hadn't been when I closed them. Except it wasn't, it was a church event promotional brochure designed to look very much like a passport. I had to laugh--only God knew I'd prayed, that I'd thought about how when people prayed they sometimes found the things almost immediately, and that I even still had that silly brochure. He set me up perfectly. (I found the actual passport a few minutes later in an extremely unlikely place where it would have been thrown away momentarily.)

Blogger Leo Littlebook in Shenzhen October 16, 2016 8:42 AM  

One cannot blame God for the folly of the highway or the gridiron. Men built and manage both.

Blogger GracieLou October 16, 2016 8:42 AM  

I was an atheist for years. The thing that started to bother me about a God-less universe was the idea that there was no "watcher". Some horror happens to you and it's neither here nor there, no justice, no reward, no acknowledgement. It's all oyster and no pearl. It's all meaningless. You can kick the can down the road and say, "Well it's meaningful to a person if he chooses it to be" but who is he? A meat computer. In a finite universe. So basically atheism favors death. Suicide is the most reasonable response to a painful, meaningless existence. Probably why atheists have high suicide rates.

What I found intriguing about Christianity was the idea of Divine Justice. There is a watcher. Things are being noted. Your struggles do matter. There is a pearl. And best of all, in the end, God will make everything right. Perfect justice, perfect restoration. You don't even have to worry how that will happen. You can just relax in the knowledge that it will.

Anonymous AlmostAnonymous October 16, 2016 8:45 AM  

@4 I've observed that "why do bad things happen" is one of the two most common justifications for not believing in God

I've never been able to get past this. While I (now) recognize the importance of a belief system like true Christianity, and while I can (now) recognize the miracles of everyday existence, that's a step I have been unable to take.

As for proof that God has a sense of humour, you only have to look as far as women and our need for them to see it.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous Bob Ramar October 16, 2016 8:51 AM  

Vox: Humor is a sign of intelligence, if you think about it. The God of this World certainly exhibits a sick, twisted sense of humor in some things that he or his minions do. Our Heavenly Father also has a sense of humor, and I suspect that it occasionally manifests itself as a practical joker. Think about the Egyptian Army getting drowned in the Red Sea from the Israelite's point of view for instance. Or the dialogue with Balam's donkey; or Abraham's dialogue with the Angel of the Lord over Sodom (trying to save his nephew's life).

Humor can and often is the Lord's way of breaking through the noise of daily life to get our attention so he can comfort, instruct, chastise, strengthen, and inspire. It also shows that He is interested in having a very personal relationship with us as humor is almost always very personal in nature.

Blogger Cynic In Chief October 16, 2016 8:52 AM  

A reminder that we're all living life on God's dime. It is only by His will that we remain. Like others here, I learned this by tragedy. In my case, it was the death of my 6-month old goddaughter. Driving to the gravesite in the funeral procession, I begged Jesus that the moment He was done using me here on this earth, that I badly wanted to go home to be with Him and Evie. He does have a sense of humor, since right after that I had a hit-and-run driver destroy the bumper of my vehicle while leaving the rest of it untouched. He has since been using me in ways I never could have imagined, both online and in real life. Place your life, your future, and your impending death in Christ's hands and watch him work the impossible.

Anonymous Bob Just October 16, 2016 8:59 AM  


@14 OT - Old Testament or Off Topic?

I've always enjoyed reading the smackdown of Job's friends.

Back in the NT
What if "render unto Caesar" was sarcasm

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2010/03/jeffrey-f-barr/render-unto-caesar-amostmisunderstood-newtestamentpassage/

Blogger Robert Coble October 16, 2016 9:07 AM  

One of my brothers is a music minister. He has had cancer. His wife has had breast cancer. Their daughter has had breast cancer. My sister-in-law observed that before she had breast cancer, she would try to counsel women who had breast cancer, but she had no real idea of what it felt like. Now that she and her daughter have had it, she KNOWS what it feels like. She is THANKFUL for her own breast cancer, because it gave her true empathy for others who have it. Too many "Christians" (Churchians) operate under the false assumption that nothing "bad" in this life is supposed to happen to them merely because they are "Christians." Sorry, but Christians are also subject to "all the ills that flesh is heir to." The operative question is not "Why me?" but "Why not me?"

As for God's apparent "sick sense of humor:" Be careful what you pray for - you might just get an answer in a totally unexpected way. My sister-in-law prayed for empathy. She got it, but not in the way she thought she would.

Blogger MadMax 1861 October 16, 2016 9:10 AM  

@4 I've observed that "why do bad things happen" is one of the two most common justifications for not believing in God

I used to be an agnostic, too. Here's Tammy Wynette with an answer from "Wonders You Perform" (1970) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znAE9BCywdE

Anonymous AmericanGraffiti October 16, 2016 9:21 AM  

I've thought a lot about Vox's position over the last year and here's the conclusion I've come to:
Christ sits enthroned in heaven and rules over all life and history in all places. God is not separated from us, out there somewhere. He is closer than the air we breathe. All his purposes are accomplished (Isaiah 44 & 45), every word he's spoken fulfilled. Yet his full will is not done on earth as it is in heaven. It isn't his will that any should eternally perish. But they do. Bad people, rejecting right relationship with God through Christ, do bad things. Recklessness or negligence can lead to injurious accidents (Deuteronomy 22:8) like the one mentioned. Demons prowl the landscape of an ongoing spiritual mopup action seeking to inflict further harm. Still, we trust in God. He cares for you and knows every hair on your head, which is why he tells you to put on the helmet of salvation, the full armor of God, and join battle. The creation waits eagerly, longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

Blogger SouthRon October 16, 2016 9:21 AM  

The God has a sense of humor and it is not restricted to Jesus ministry on Earth. Particularly apt during this political season is the beginning of Psalm 2:

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

As they say, "He who laughs last laughs best" and you never want to be the target of God's laughter. He has, if nothing else, a divine and cruel sense of irony.

Blogger Basil Makedon October 16, 2016 9:41 AM  

No being that created the platypus lacks a sense of humor.

Anonymous fish October 16, 2016 9:56 AM  

Good thread for a Sunday!

Blogger Solaire Of Astora October 16, 2016 9:57 AM  

For me the problem of evil has never been an issue. If anything, it's the human ability to understand evil that tells me there is a God. Why animals developed a sense of good and evil and consequences from it such as shame, existential angst, etc. is actually fascinating. We're still subject to the randomness inherent in our universe. People should never expect God's intervention. We get a skewed picture from the bible since we're looking at the lives of prophets and other special people, and this leads to the problem of silent evidence. Like Christ said, how many widows did Elijah not help?

Anonymous Elenor October 16, 2016 10:09 AM  

@20 "Back in the NT
What if "render unto Caesar" was sarcasm"

My dad (as a young man a "Bible-thumper"; most of his life an agnostic and English teacher and musician), as he faced his death from cancer, gave a sermon he called "Needless Doubt: Mark 4:2-24, 33-34" at the church where he had been music director for years. An excerpt:

... Forty years ago I had a pretty standard conversion experience, such as characterizes the life of many sixteen-year-olds, and for some time I had wings. But I lost them, and maybe twenty years ago I decided to dump the whole God Hypothesis, bag and baggage, and take, like, one world at a time.
...
I entitled this message "needless doubt," but I could as easily have called, it "unnecessary doubt," which is a straight synonym, or "baseless doubt," a some-what metaphorical synonym, or "doubt built on sand," a straight-out metaphor.
...
... we have a paradox in Isaiah 6. It's as though you were to send someone a telegram saying "Ignore the contents of this telegram. Stop." On the one hand God is sending Isaiah to his people with a message, and on the other hand he is apparently instructing him to tell the people, "Hear but do not understand. See but do not perceive. Otherwise you might be healed."

Suppose, however, that God, who is extremely annoyed with his people in Isaiah 6, is being sarcastic. Then we have a situation which is familiar and understandable. Most of us have used sarcasm on our children, or had it used on us by our parents. It consists in saying the opposite of what you mean, and is another kind of metaphor. You are driving your father downtown, and you hit a hole in the road. He says, "There's another one down the road a ways. If you try real hard, you can hit that one, too," Or you say to your dare-devil 17-year-old at the beach, "That's right! Go ahead! Swim in that surf and drown yourself! Serve you right!" This is a kind of non-literal communication which we know how to interpret. And far down, sadly, we often know that our children are going to go right ahead and do what we are warning them against.
...

His sermon is here:
http://www.snowtao.com/family/daddy.htm#belief

Anonymous Dave October 16, 2016 10:21 AM  

Another sad twist of irony; Byrd was driving a 2004 Hummer H2 and the 17 year old kid that struck him was in a 2000 Ford Explorer. Most people would predict you have a better chance of surviving a collision in the Hummer.

Blogger stevo October 16, 2016 10:26 AM  

Or be terrified I suppose

Anonymous Vile Faceless Deplorable Minion October 16, 2016 10:28 AM  

Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all.

Blogger stevo October 16, 2016 10:38 AM  

The problem of Evil, or the problem of being emotionally unable to accept the concept of a God who could allow horrible things to happen, is easily reduced to absurdity.

Blogger stevo October 16, 2016 10:39 AM  

The problem of Evil, or the problem of being emotionally unable to accept the concept of a God who could allow horrible things to happen, is easily reduced to absurdity.

Anonymous Dave October 16, 2016 10:58 AM  

@32 Yes, exactly. Very quickly it turns into nobody should ever die as that would be a tragedy to someone.

Anonymous MendoScot October 16, 2016 11:11 AM  

Those who find talk of diabolic activity in this world might want to read this description from a psychiatrist on demonic possession. It's far from the first time that I have heard such opinions from practicing therapists - not all of them Christians.

I knew several psychiatric nurses that worked on locked wards. They had their own system of triage for the admitted patients - the mad, the sad and the bad. The mad were easy to spot because they responded to medication. The sad just couldn't cope with their lives or circumstances and treated the ward like a holiday camp from reality. But the bad were neither - they didn't seem to have a deficit, but something additional. A driving hunger to destroy regardless of the consequences. The more spiritually inclined nurses considered them possessed.

Anonymous Elijah Rhodes October 16, 2016 11:14 AM  

Vox, what would you suggest to a devout agnostic borderline autistic who finds belief in God wholly logical, but can't ever seem to move past agnosticism regarding Christ.

Blogger VD October 16, 2016 11:31 AM  

Vox, what would you suggest to a devout agnostic borderline autistic who finds belief in God wholly logical, but can't ever seem to move past agnosticism regarding Christ.

Pray. Ask God for faith. In my experience, He'll give it to you. Probably in a way you don't expect and may well not like.

Anonymous Susan October 16, 2016 11:38 AM  

@35
Funny you should mention that about mental hospital patients. My friend's husband worked for a couple of years in several of the wards of our state hospital.

While assigned to the worst ward, he said that he would walk past some of the locked doors and get physically sickened all of a sudden because of the unclean spirit within that particular cell. He transferred out of that ward as soon as he possibly could make it happen.

As to why God allows bad things to happen, the Bible talks about the trials we will go through during our lives. Sometimes the trials happen because God is testing us to see what we are made of, or He needs to prepare us for something He knows is coming to our lives.

Trials are also not just for us, but also can be to see how friends and family members react to said trial. Also, God didn't introduce evil into the world, man did that all on his own when he listened to the Serpent tempt with the apple.

Blogger Teri October 16, 2016 11:39 AM  

This reminds me of my mom. She was in a bad wreck when I was a junior in high school. (Car hit them head on as they were pulling back onto the road.). My moms knees were smashed up and they told her she'd never walk again. She did walk again in three years. She was finally getting her life back together, going back to work, when she decided to test drive a dune buggy. She was driving next to a large irrigation canal, hit a turning brake by accident and went into the water. She was knocked unconscious and drowned.

I can't say it did a lot for my faith. It took a good five years to get over it. I reminded myself that it would have been worse if she'd survived with brain damage. I finally accepted that she was gone for good.


Many years later, it helped me to deal with my husband's death. By then, I had faith enough. If you feel that your faith is weak, or can't understand why something happened, just keep trying. God has reasons that we sometimes don't understand.

Anonymous Rolf October 16, 2016 11:41 AM  

Of course God, if he exists, has a sense of humor. He got me, raised in a nominally Unitarian household in one of the least religious states in the US, to write a book about the founding of a fictional order of monks; it required me to accumulate a much larger collection of Bibles, and do far more reading on [religion, Catholicism, faith, monastic orders] than I ever thought I would. The book has been written and sent in, but I'm still reading. Who know?

But just because he has a sense of humor doesn't mean we have to understand it; it might be like trying to explain Japanese humor to a German, or British humor to a Zulu tribesman.

Anonymous Dave October 16, 2016 11:46 AM  

"...when she listened to the Serpent tempt with the apple

FIFY

Anonymous Danny October 16, 2016 11:50 AM  

I don't fault those who find it difficult to believe in God due to tragic events,

I do. It's an emotional and irrational response.

Blogger Nick S October 16, 2016 12:05 PM  

I remember playing along, partially because I thought it was cute and funny, when my daughter was little and she thought if she couldn't see me it meant that I couldn't see her. Genesis 3:9 reminds me of those days. One only needs to read it to know that our Father, limited by neither matter, space-time nor Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, has a sense of humor.

Blogger Unknown October 16, 2016 12:06 PM  

A friend of mine was in an ungodly relationship and desperately wanted to stop. He prayed for God to do something.

He got testicular cancer.

A few years and one less nut later, he's lying on the couch, sick with the flu, whining to God "Why did you heal my cancer but now I'm suffering with the flu?"
A thought pops into his head. Read Job.
He says "No. I've read Job."
The thought keeps coming back, and finally he decides to put on an audiobook of Job. He falls asleep after a chapter or two and weeks up to hear the audiobook at this exact part:

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Job 38:1-7

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 16, 2016 12:13 PM  

Pain often works as it is designed: it corrects and preserves man from self destruction.

Of course it has also been corrupted: it drives men to despair, causes disbelief in God, and opens minds to trust in demons, if not the devil himself.

Should we expect somehow for this fallen world to have everything good corrupted, except for pain? What an odd exception that would be!

May Dennis Byrd rest in peace, and enjoy the Resurrection with great rejoicing.

Blogger Nick S October 16, 2016 12:14 PM  

"Probably in a way you don't expect and may well not like."

^THIS^, but I was a particularly stubborn seeker. It's entirely possible you won't need to be repeatedly pummeled by the obvious before the light switch turns on. Prayer works.

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 16, 2016 12:15 PM  

The rendering to Caesar was using the trap on the trappers. And yes, if you could imagine yourself neing there and watching the contorting faces of those puporting to entraping a simple self-laneled rabbi from good for nothing Nasareth.

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 16, 2016 12:19 PM  

Elijah, obviously, belief in God is the result of evolutionary improvements that leafs to more successful sex and the perpetuation of your genes. Everyone knows that.
No, sex with virgins in the hereafter does not, cannot, count.

Blogger Wanderer October 16, 2016 12:23 PM  

Elijah Rhodes wrote:Vox, what would you suggest to a devout agnostic borderline autistic who finds belief in God wholly logical, but can't ever seem to move past agnosticism regarding Christ.

There is more evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ as a real historical figure than nearly anyone from antiquity. It would make more sense to say that Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar never existed than Jesus Christ. The oldest surviving piece of evidence for Alexander the Great is about 300 years after he lived. For Jesus it is within a lifetime of his existence. Go read Josephus Flavius if you don't consider the New Testament as good enough historical record because you've been (((overeducated))).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLPemFuJJuk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay_Db4RwZ_M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAN3kQHTKWI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bLlpiWh9-k

Anonymous Didas Kalos October 16, 2016 12:27 PM  

Rolf: Brithis Humour? Japanese Humour? Now that's funny!

Anonymous Dave October 16, 2016 12:31 PM  

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/721771/Tyson-Gay-daughter-dead-Trinity-Gay-Kentucky-shooting-Cook-Out-restaurant

Daughter of Olympic sprinter shot in the neck and later died. Cue anti-gun nuts in 3, 2, 1...

Anonymous Kolya October 16, 2016 12:37 PM  

Yes, God has a sense of humor. One need look no futher than Europe who thought how more enlightened our culture will be without God.

We are spiritual beings residing in a physical body for such a brief brief time. What we do in that brief time determines our eternal destiny. Fear God. Love God. Obey His Word.

I once thought how could I judge angels, and condemn them to an eternity in hell. Then I thought of the loss of my loved ones and all the suffering all the suffering caused by Satan. Yes I can send them there. Life is beautiful, life is cruel, then you die.

Anonymous Didas Kalos October 16, 2016 12:46 PM  

Psalm 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Also, I think this is one of the funniest scriptures in the whole Bible. Isaiah 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. Always remember that in His presence there is fullness of joy.

Anonymous Ken7- October 16, 2016 12:56 PM  

No, this is awesome. We're all down here to aquire the tools we need for Eternity. God may have forgiveness, but Eternity is indifferent.

The Challenger, the one tasked by God Himself to push us, cajole us, and toughen us up for the unforgiving Eternity, is Satan himself.

A lot of atheists and agnostics -of which I used to be one- call this the "Problem of Evil" and ask, "how could God do this?"

How could God not?! God is like a loving parent allowing his children to be pushed down so they may learn to stand up!

This guy, Dennis Byrd, overcame a great challenge. Undoubtedly, he had to discover and then acquire the various armaments of the Armor of God. Longsuffering, which is that Eternal Godly trait of having Patience under duress, is one such Armor of God that Dennis had to put.

Dennis Byrd did what he had to do here on Earth. He was Recieved by God unto the next phase. This life here, on this temporal, temporary, painful physical world that is ruled by an Accuser is not the prize. This is just the classroom.

Blogger dc.sunsets October 16, 2016 1:02 PM  

Everything that has a beginning has an end. The trick lies in realizing that whatever occurs in between is just a game where you are both the only competitor and the judge. Aspire to win each day by hewing to a continuously higher standard. Present the world (or God if you prefer) with one improved unit...you. Do it with honor, i.e., call no attention for your path is not for display purposes.

And should it seem like the field is tilted against you too far to tolerate, know that this too will change...if you are patient enough to wait through the rain. Suicide is an exhibit of impatience.

Where there's life there's hope.

Blogger Bibliotheca Servare October 16, 2016 1:07 PM  

And now I have archived and bookmarked that tweet, just in case I ever need a reminder of what a contemptuous, puling little wretch that woman is. "This means everyone" indeed. Imbecile.

Blogger MeneMene October 16, 2016 1:25 PM  

One of the funniest lines in the Bible:

And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? Jonah 4:11

Blogger residentMoron October 16, 2016 2:36 PM  

@Didas Kalos & @SouthRon

In Psalm 37: 13 we also get an interesting insight into what makes Him laugh.

Blogger Sean Carnegie October 16, 2016 2:59 PM  

Also former atheist here, too.

There is no problem with evil upon investigation. God uses evil, but does not do evil as it is against His nature, to do His Will and His glorification. Evidence for this is throughout the Bible. The King of Assyria, Paul's continued beatings and whippings, Ananais and Sepphira...

Anonymous LES October 16, 2016 3:20 PM  

God has a sense of humor. After my vasectomy I went home to lie on the couch with an ice bag on my crotch.
My wife asked if I wanted anything and I asked her to read from the Bible.
She sat down and let the Bible just randomly fall open and read:

"He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.”
Deuteronomy 23:1

Anonymous LES October 16, 2016 3:25 PM  

Or maybe God was not amused. I was 22 when I had the vasectomy. Ten years later I had a reversal and two sons.

Blogger Ultimus Americanus October 16, 2016 5:08 PM  

I know what you mean about Jesus being sarcastic. I think he was sarcastic for the same reason that today's dissident right is sarcastic and memetic - sarcasm is one of the only ways to resist a dominant cultural regime based on insincere moralizing.

Jesus battled against legalistic Jews who selectively cared about morality and law, when it could be used to maintain their power and institutions. They had no actual devotion to God, Truth, or even the principles they claimed to uphold.

We, on the other hand, are fighting against... Oh.

Anonymous Bukulu October 16, 2016 5:33 PM  

VD @ 37,

"Probably in a way you don't expect and may well not like."

Another echo of Lewis, who described himself at the moment of his conversion as "probably the most reluctant convert in all of England."

Anonymous Tipsy October 16, 2016 6:22 PM  

VD wrote: I do, however, contra Umberto Eco, firmly believe that God possesses a sense of humor

I do too, and in fact, when I was reading John C. Wright's conversion story, I was struck that in the mystical union he was graced with, that he too apprehended a divine sense of humor:


And a week or so after that I had a religious experience where I entered the mind of God and saw the indescribable simplicity and complexity, love, humor and majesty of His thought, and I understood the joy beyond understanding and comprehended the underlying unity of all things, and the paradox of determinism and free will was made clear to me, as was the symphonic nature of prophecy.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable October 16, 2016 7:37 PM  

Clay wrote:Remember when a "Destroyer" was just a ship to protect convoys?

Now, they can "destroy" punk nations....like, Yemen.


I think we should make a new ship class of Destructor, and give all our enemies a vote on its form.

Aside from not being in the Navy, I have no idea why I'm not an admiral. It's very confusing.

Anonymous Jamie NZ October 17, 2016 3:14 AM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKDaPVSkQdw

I was granted an audience in the devils maze,
I sat by his throne and we talked for days,
He told me about his ancient battles with arch-angels,
He told me loneliness was the torture most painful,
He said if I filled my lifetime with sin,
I could earn myself a seat that was right by him,
And if I didn't, that was fine by him,
Cos everyday a million souls just fly right in,
He could barely keep up with the souls of all the people,
It's not easy being sole controller of all evil,
He said “Too many people want to burn with me,
I swear free wills a bitch and so's eternity,
So what you learn from me might save you from suffering,
You don't want to see the bowels of the earth rupturing,
Take a breath, suck it in, I got more to tell,
And time's of no consequence when you're in hell.”

I had a lot a questions;
I asked the devil to explain
Why I always think that people have it in for me?
And why I always feel like the sky's closing in on me?
This is what he said,
“The sky's not falling it's just angels committing suicide,
Cos they're so saddened by humans using genocide,
As a political tool, considering all you humans have,
The way you act belittles you all,
Now hell is so full that we started expanding,
Damnation is a business and the markets demanding.”
I asked him if the city streets buckled and cracked,
And hell rose to earth then would heaven collapse?
He smiled; I knew that smile was his response,
I thought to myself, he's almost got what he wants,
He said “I'll tell you my one desire,
That's for earth itself to become my empire,
Every politician's like a gun for hire.
Even the church of nativity's come under fire,
So you can tell I'm getting close to my goal,
Of creating a world where I can torture every soul.”

Blogger residentMoron October 17, 2016 7:29 AM  

Les

Just being nosy here; but why the hell would you have a vasectomy at 22?

I had ontat 30 and have never been sure it was right, although I'm sure glad I didn't have any more children with my first wife

Anonymous LES October 17, 2016 1:09 PM  

@67 Well, that was in the early '70's and the days of women's empowerment. My wife wanted a MA (in math) and a "career." She didn't want any children or to use the "pill" till menopause. After getting her MA and several jobs she realized it was all a chimera (both definitions.) She realized her true calling was motherhood. We've been red-pilled for some time now.

Anonymous IkyD October 17, 2016 9:11 PM  

Personally i like to read with cold cynicism the popular phrase "..and the meek shall inherit the earth.." as to mean- instead saying that the meek shall the earth that, instead, the "meek" shall inherit only dirt by being sheepish.

I do think the Lord meant that only the Strong shall rule.

Somewhere i read that the Bible was written tongue-in-cheek.

Blogger Technocratic Union October 18, 2016 7:05 AM  

If god takes away and gives, why the fuck did he create anything at all? Why make anything if you know it's only going to betray you? Why create humanity and give it free will if the end result is the same as if you mind controlled everyone from the beginning? (AKA the kingdom of God/New Jerusalem at the end of Revelations)

Why create Lucifer at all if you knew he was going to lead a third of angels in rebellion? Why give your revelations to only one obscure group of desert tribalists and expect everyone alive to follow that instead of giving it to more than one race?

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd October 18, 2016 9:58 AM  

Technocratic Union wrote:If god takes away and gives, why the fuck did he create anything at all? Why make anything if you know it's only going to betray you? Why create humanity and give it free will if the end result is the same as if you mind controlled everyone from the beginning? (AKA the kingdom of God/New Jerusalem at the end of Revelations)

Why create Lucifer at all if you knew he was going to lead a third of angels in rebellion? Why give your revelations to only one obscure group of desert tribalists and expect everyone alive to follow that instead of giving it to more than one race?


If you were God, you could answer that. If you were God, you could understand the answer. You aren't God, so just accept the facts as you stated them, and remember that God is what defines good.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat October 18, 2016 12:54 PM  

If god takes away and gives, why the f*** did he create anything at all? Why make anything if you know it's only going to betray you? Why create humanity and give it free will if the end result is the same as if you mind controlled everyone from the beginning? (AKA the kingdom of God/New Jerusalem at the end of Revelations)

God likes it better.

We don't know exactly why it's not possible for an omnipotent God to create free creations who won't do evil deeds, it just seems reasonable under the circumstances to assume He can't. Plantinga's defense is fairly simple: if God can't create both free will and perfect obedience, and God wants free will, then the problem of evil isn't avoidable. (For a Christian, the defense even works for Nature; even nature was corrupted by Adam's misuse of free will.)

Once the Kingdom comes, we will have the ability to remember our former sinful nature, and our uniqueness will be intact. I won't pretend to understand the mechanism. I just look forward to the results.

Anonymous Jamie October 19, 2016 3:40 AM  

"Why create Lucifer at all if you knew he was going to lead a third of angels in rebellion?" Technocratic Union

Buggered if I can figure it out.
You got to give the bloke his dues but, he makes some pretty good tunes....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I50LfERpgQ

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game....

__________________________________________

My only question would be when the Kingdom comes will we still be allowed to listen to the devils music or no?

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