Imagining a Different World

By Jon Kauffman

In his book “Is God a Moral Monster?” Paul Copan says:

What if the world of humans turned out to be different from the way we happen to find it? The philosopher John Hare provides a thought experiment. What if God rearranged the world so that it had different features and thus different ways to apply moral principles? Say that God willed that at the age of eighteen, humans should kill each other but that God would immediately bring them back to life and in robust health. In that case, killing people at this age wouldn’t be a big deal-or that big a deal. Is God a Moral Monster? Page 50.

Meteor n Milky Way. Courtesy Leon Kauffman

Let’s turn that around a bit. What if the world turned out different? What if in this world God told His people to not fight back when evil tyrants came? What if the tyrant killed innocent men, women and children? What if God took those people to heaven immediately and gave them a special place and special reward? What if God gave those people a life of bliss and joy forever?

What if in this world God told His people to turn the other check? What if God told His people to love their enemies? What if God told His people to give their extra coat to the poor? What if God asked His people to feed the hungry? What if God told His people to be the light of the world? What if God sent His innocent Son to die for His people? What if God asked His people to be like His Son and die like His Son? What if God’s Son asked God’s people to take up their crosses and follow Him?

What if in this world God promised great reward to those who followed His Son and were faithful to Him until death?

What if the rewards were so great that only a fool would not to be willing to die?

C.S. Lewis says:

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink, sex and money when infinite joy is offered us. We are like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. The Weight of Glory

What if in this world God’s people die like sheep?

Origen said “Nowhere does He teach that it is right for His own disciples to offer violence to anyone, however wicked. For He deemed the killing of any individual to be against His laws which were divine in origin. If Christians had owed their origins to a rebellion, they would not have adopted laws of so exceedingly mild a character. These laws do not even allow them on any occasion to resist their persecutors, even when they are called to be slaughtered as sheep.” Origen, Against Celsus, book 3 Chapter 7, about 250 AD.

Mother Teresa said, “In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth, a life full of the most atrocious tortures on earth, will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient motel.

Copyright © 2019 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Picture: Copyright © 2019 by Leon Kauffman

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