Thursday, May 04, 2006

God is Good*

* but maybe we need to break this word down...

Today I took one of those great afternoon naps. I fell asleep praying outside, and when I woke up thoughts were drifting at random through my head, and I was pondering a line of thought, and came to the question that people often ask... "If God is good, why would God send us to Hell?" A doozy of a question.

On this season of Lost, we have found out that The Others, a mysterious group in the jungle steals the children and people they deem to be "good." Of course, their judgements at this point seem to line up with what we know about the characters’ pasts. So how do the Others know that Anna Lucia killed a person, but Locke more or less been a victim in his past?

And what do they mean by "good people?" That word has so many meanings, and I don't think that this is the same kind of good that we claim God to be. There's an interesting pattern in this show... generally if a character seems to resolve its issues, that person is promptly killed off. Is that because only the complex and tortured characters are interesting? Or is it a property of the island? Either way the show focuses on how the characters’ lives have shaped their choices and their feeling about themselves.

And what about Hell? I don't claim to know much about Hell, but I do know that it is a state of being separated from God. So really, who is to say that God sends us to Hell. Its more likely that we go willingly, chasing after the wrong things, or being driven by hurt, fear, greed, anger, etc. On Lost the island is either Heaven or Hell to each character depending whether they have responded to life with hope and faith, or with anger and fear.

If God is good, it doesn’t necessarily mean that God is cuddly and indulgent. But among other things it means that God is just, and also that God cares for us. Whether or not there is a physical Hell, God is seeking to bring us out of our personal Hell. God seeks to help us untangle the past choices and hurts and ghosts, and help us to experience life as it is given to us.


Blogger B said...

Hey, when you wrote "we need to break this word down," I first thought you meant the word "God." :) Which also should be broken down, IMO.

The question I most often hear is, "If God is good (or, if God exists), why is there suffering and death?" Which is kind of related, because I think that's people's "personal hell" on earth. It's sad because a lot of people stop believing God exists when faced with something horrible in reality. I don't think there's a permanent "hell" after death, but I think it's definitely present in people's lives and it can be hard to focus on the world's good instead of the evil.

9:40 PM  

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