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The arrogance of man

March 5, 2009

arrogant2I read an interview recently that sparked the most amazing reaction of righteous indignation in me like I didn’t even know I was capable of. It probably has a lot to do with all the study of Revelation over the past few months, but it surprised me.

I’m not going to dignify the source or the individual by naming either one of them. Suffice to say the person was being interviewed as a non-Christian who read the Bible in a year and blogged it daily.

The part that set me on fire was the answer given to “What story surprised or challenged you the most?” The interviewee gives a horribly skewed version of Genesis 18, where God and Abraham discuss the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. Then he said this,

“As it turns out, God decides there are not 10 innocent people in the cities and He does destroy them anyway, but that moment of the human arguing with God about justice and morality I found to be incredibly powerful. It’s sort of like the student has surpassed his master in some way.

“The most disturbing part of the Bible for a non-hardcore believing person is that you read it, and God is a monster a lot of times; He’s terrible, cruel and merciless in His collective punishments, which are horrifying. So if you’re sympathetic to God’s cause, how do you deal with this monstrous person?

“And one insight (sic) I had was that the great heroes of the Bible to me are the people who are not exactly skeptical voices, but voices of moral righteousness that stand up to God and challenge and question God. You have Abraham doing it; you have Gideon [doing] it. Moses does it sometimes, and Job, obviously.”

I read that and where, normally, I’d shrug within myself and shake my head that he doesn’t get it – and maybe even commit to pray for the guy for a few days – I was so appalled at the arrogance in people.

His whole “insight,” this whole way of thinking, is dripping with arrogance and it’s gross. People really think they can “surpass” God. That we, with a few decades of wisdom under our belts, can teach the Alpha and Omega a thing or two about morality and justice. That the Lord of lords needs our “voice of moral righteousness.”

Where have I heard that before?

I pushed the paper away, never more sympathetic to the cause of Christ’s return than I was at that moment. My sympathy for the blind man was gone. My mercy (unlike God’s, somehow) had ended. I closed my eyes and heard the angel say, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments.”

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