Friday, February 23, 2024

PS - Hey, Alabama SC - Rendering Justice VS. "God's Wrath" - "What About the Love (of God)?"

*Edited - content added.

(The title of this post refers to an old Amy Grant song, actually written by 60s folk singer, Janis Ian, which I've included at the bottom of this post with lyrics.)

So another fertility clinic has stopped doing IVF treatments after the Alabama SC ruling.

Apparently, the basis for this ruling is preventing embryos from being destroyed, even though they're only destroyed if there is a problem with the fertilization and the embryo is not viable anyway; otherwise, all are inserted in hopes of even one attaching to the uterus instead of being sloughed out.

I read in the NYT today, that even most anti-abortion, Christian Republicans find this ruling strange, as well as government overreach. 

You know, not everybody is a Christian - and preventing couples from having children because the woman has had trouble getting pregnant and/or miscarrying is NOT the way to draw more people to Christ! 

In fact, it's a sure-fire way to "shut the door of kingdom of heaven in people's faces," as Christ warned the Pharisees about.

Also, you're enforcing just your interpretations of the bible onto everyone - which is what many of our ancestors came to America to escape from!

So also in that NYT article, I'm reading the asinine things that a few if my overly-literal fellow Christians are saying, and so I'm really questioning their ability to understand the bible, and why they continually fail to negate the entire NT and Christ's own words in favor of the OT.

But then again, even Paul had trouble with that, after Christ. He kept waffling between OT law and Christ, often choosing OT law to please the Pharisees, to keep himself alive longer (which is something Christ would never do.)

But they're saying things like quoting Proverbs 31-8: “Speak up for those who have no voice.”

Erm - do you think Solomon meant only those who are mute or unborn children?  

Pretty sure he did  NOT mean just people literally without a physical voice, but also poor, oppressed, vulnerable people without representation or power, and Christ, our actual Messiah,  said the same, by the way.

But if you're such a fan of that verse, then why aren't you speaking up for  marginalized groups like people of color?

And particularly in this case, what about speaking up for WOMEN, of both political parties, who had no voice in this?!?

But instead, you vilify and scapegoat these groups without power or money for all societal problems, now even making up stories to make it appear that they do have power and rule the world, trying to justify your racism, classism, and bigotry?!?

Why do y'all continually quote the OT and negate Christ, when you do merciless stuff like this, misapplying/failing to apply these verses equally and fairly?

Then I read Chief Justice Parker's own words, on some backwoods Tennessee preacher's broadcast say:  “Life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God.”

Of course quoting the OT and Genesis that life was created in God's image, but then added his own stuff, like"Even before birth, all human beings bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.”


Where is that in the bible, exactly?

Yes, we were made in God's image, but that doesn't make US holy; otherwise, why would there be a choice to to choose God and Christ or not?

Do you mean the lives of people of color,  too?

Jews and Muslims, too?

Do you mean killing by taking part in wars that we have no business being in and dirty actions we've taken like killing even innocent citizens trying to win these wars? 

Do you mean the death penalty?

Because I don't think you do, based on how you vote.

Where IS God's wrath for destroying life, because I haven't seen it?

In fact, no one has seen God's wrath since the Old Testament,  and there may be a NT scriptural reason for that (see verse below). 

Also, he doesn't seem to actually intervene with justice, and Christ never promised he would - just that we should seek it.

But since y'all are such fans of the OT and Paul re-adhering to it, here is one possible reason why nobody has seen God's fire-and-brimstone wrath since the Old Testament: 

"Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Christ redeemed us from God's wrath for us with his death, and if we sin - according to whomever's interpretation of scripture and sin - all we need to do is ask forgiveness or not - and there is nothing in the New Testament otherwise about God's wrath other than the time of Revelations upon Christ's return. 

In other words, we were born into God's wrath already - and only through Christ taking on the wrath of God for us, paying the ultimate price with his life, are we saved - through grace.

Believe me, I would looovvve to see God's wrath myself, on some people - particularly people that act as if they are speaking for God , twist scripture for their own selfish purposes, and do horrible things in Christ's name - but that ain't gonna happen, because God, in his infinite mercy and grace, gave us Christ to pay the price, and thus we have a choice, right up until the very end.

This is why I'm not God and cannot speak for God, none of us can, though we imagine we can render what other people deserve from a subjective, limited perspective, without considering all aspects of a person's life, what we would do in certain situations, and our own sin.

Again, there is a difference between vengeance/wrath and justice that we humans just can't seem to wrap our heads around.

Vengeance/wrath is delivered subjectively out of anger, malice, and/or bias.

Justice is delivered as objectively as possible, without anger, malice, and/or bias, and includes mercy. 

So even IF these couples are sinning with IVF - which no one has proven to us they are, that's not supported anywhere in scripture without twisting it - then all we need to do is ask forgiveness.

There is no imminent societal danger at large, here, there are no victims, so no need for state or federal law - these people are just seeking assistance at starting a family, a "sin" born out of love, if you will, and it is God who determines the consequence for such sins, not us - no need for a law.

Also, don't forget that though Jesus paid the price of redemption from God's wrath, there is no scriptural passage in the bible that God has claimed his dominion over the earth just yet; in fact, quite the opposite, according to numerous scriptures, and further explained in Revelations.

According to Revelations, "Satan" - and the rule of Babylon, which doesn't mean what you think - has been given limited authority over the earth to give us a choice between light and dark - but will fall and God reclaims total dominion upon Christ's return.

"Babylon" in Revelations is a metaphoric concept - NOT literally the region of Babylon or the Persian race of people.

In fact, Revelations itself is entirely a metaphoric vision. So the infamous "mark of the beast" of "666" isn't literally accepting a mark of 666, it's a human choice to follow fake ideology.

The metaphoric concept of Babylon refers to a persistent, oppressive, destructive, merciless, falsely-accusing (Revelations 12) ideology/philosophy, while simultaneously excusing themselves from adherence to the same moral code.

Or if you wanna use more biblical-sounding/spiritual terms, it's an oppressive, negative spiritual energy stronghold that "rested" in the region at that time by human choice (see the passage from Daniel below).  It could happen anywhere, with anyone - but at the time, it was in Babylon.

Think of the Nazi regime in more modern times as being an example of the concept of "Babylon."

The ideology is deceptively seductive, too easy to resort to, and spreads like wildfire by appealing to the worst of our human nature; fear, hatred. materialism/greed/lust, and idolatry - thus, why this element is represented as the "Whore of Babylon."

*Aside - Revelations says "Babylon" will be represented by three entities or spirits, like an unholy trinity - and John does NOT explicitly say  whether or not they will have a physical form, but that they are spirits -  the Antichrist, the Whore of Babylon, and the Beast - but they are all part of the same spirit, just like the Holy Trinity.  

What I find particularly interesting about this is that there's a father, son and mother, rather than a genderless third being.  

This lends credence to my theory that the original translation of the Holy Spirit wasn't genderless; the Holy Spirit may have been, and was even likely, originally female energy - represented by a dove, the nurturer, comforter, healer - and the gender may have been removed by the church at the councils of Nicene or even at Trent, as we know that many stories about women were removed into the apocrypha during that time, and that some things were destroyed/lost entirely, but that's a whole other post. 😉

(Not that I care what gender it is, as Christ said after death, "neither marry nor be given in marriage, we will be like the angels in heaven," meaning genderless anyway, the soul has no gender - Matthew 22:30)

Back to my point, this ideology or "unholy spiritual trinity" will apparently be false religious doctrine that could be chosen by any group of people at any time; therefore, to blame any race, region, or even religion for it isn't an accurate interpretation of the concept of Babylon - so to say all Persians are "Babylon" is like saying all Germans are inherently Nazis.

In fact, our own OT law borrowed heavily from Babylonian Hammurabi's code stone, as their captors' law, which is why Christ specifically defied it or repudiated it - because nothing based on fear and hatred would ever come from God.

Because basically, at the time, Babylonians did not believe in an afterlife and thus all punishment for "sin" was swift and merciless, whereas Christ said that all law "should hang on love" and promised an afterlife.

The only problem today is, light and dark are not as simple to distinguish as we try to make them (for example, Christians sometimes do bad things in the name of Christ).

There are numerous hints to support this theory, even before Revelations, for instance in Matthew 4:8-9 - where Satan tempts Christ by offering him power, money, and rulership, if he will just bow down and worship him.

This suggests that "Satan" has the authority over all of those things to give, doesn't it?

Which means, of course, that all of that "Gospel of Prosperity" and that God blesses us with material stuff  - is complete nonsense.

In fact, having so much materialism may leave us suspect for idolizing the dark side, because in many cases - but not all - what did you have to do, or who did you step on, throw under the bus, or  enslave to poverty in order to get that wealth, if you're honest?  

Regardless, if you believe that you've been blessed financially because you're such a good Christian, then you've already received your reward, and thus may be among the last in heaven - "The last shall be first and the first shall be last" - Matthew 20:16 

I personally began thinking more about this concept when my friend - more like a mother - was killed by a drunk driver last May. There was no one more faithful to God, more exemplary of Christ's compassion. 

I could not reconcile why she was killed and the drunk driver walked away without a scratch.  In fact, I still can't. It really shook my faith to the core, such that I considered disbelief/atheism again.

But her pastor said "Remember, Satan still has a certain amount of authority over this earth; which means, people can still become be slaves to addiction, or just live selfishly, even Christians.  This person, whether because of being a slave to addiction or just selfishness, chose his addiction and/or himself over the safety of others and God unfortunately does allow that, for the time being."

'm not really sure where I stand on "Satan," but I definitely believe in negative spiritual energy. And I guess if you allow for the possibility of God, you have to allow for a dark side.

Regardless, I never really thought of it like that before, actually, as an explanation for bad things happening to good people, but it makes more sense than common Christian logic that bad things only happen to bad people, or that bad things happening are necessarily a result of our own poor choices.  

In fact, some things appear to happen just randomly, wrong place at the wrong time, regardless of how good of a Christian or person you are.

He's not necessarily saying that "Satan" is actually doing these things (though he does believe that in many cases), but that God has given the world a choice and some people choose selfish things, and others pay the price for it, Christian or not. 

The bible says the rain will fall on the just and the unjust, of course, but also, there doesn't seem to be any special protection from the selfishness and evil of others for believers, like many evangelicals think there is, despite special incantations and prayers - or my friend, who prayed over herself, her family, and even her car, every day, would've been spared, of all people.

As I said, I think sometimes things just happen randomly, regardless of what kind of person you are, and that God has nothing to do with  it; but at the same time, there are people with stories of miracles and angels - were they more special to God or better than my friend? 

Then I heard something in an Adam Sandler comedy movie, recently that helped. 😂

The female rabbi said that God is random. 

Not only do things happen randomly with no respecter of persons, but that God himself is random as far as intervention - and it has nothing to do with what we do or don't do, it has to do with God's ability to see the bigger picture, as well as where his attention is turned at times in priority.

Interestingly, there is a verse in the OT that I've struggled to understand that actually supports that theory, in Daniel 10.  

Remember when I said above about the passage in Revelations about "Babylon" having nothing to do with race or region, but was an  "oppressive philosophy" or "negative spiritual stronghold" that "rested over" Babylon/Persia at that time?

Here it is again, in the OT, actually, long before Revelations.

An angel came to Daniel in a vision and said:  

"Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

So clearly, these "princes" are to mean archangels, because we know that the Michael that he mentions coming to his aid is an archangel, and the angel speaking to Daniel is referring to a struggle with another prince that we can only assume is a fallen angel since they were in conflict, which kept him for three weeks from getting to Daniel.  

Also, Genesis 30:22, "And God remembered Rachel, listened to her, and opened up her womb."

So did God, like, forget her or was he just busy? 😂

This would suggest that it may not be that God doesn't exist or that he chooses only the most righteous, or even that he's necessarily random  - perhaps he just prioritizes? 😊

Who can say, but regardless, it is God who determines what is light and dark, what is sin, and what the consequences should be - especially with "sins" that are born out of love, since Christ commanded that all law should hang on love.

Which brings us back to my point - how arrogant are YOU, Alabama SC, vainly imagining that you have the authority to speak for God, twisting OT scripture to your own strange personal interpretation of scripture into state law? 

Your job is to render justice - NOT "provide God's wrath,"  based on your personal interpretation of scripture.

Christ said that all of the law and the prophets should hang on love - and he specifically defied or repudiated OT scripture that did not.

If you're such a believer in basing all current government laws on the bible, where is Christ's call for love in this ruling?

FYI, God and science are not mutually exclusive - God IS the ultimate scientist, just waiting for us to discover his science and things we may find useful to cure what ails us.

Also, if you're not viewing the bible as an evolutionary piece of work from OT to NT - separating out our Messiah Christ's words from all other humans - then you'll stay perpetually confused when reading it.

The bible evolved along with humans, Ladies and Gentlemen, and in my opinion, we shouldn't stagnate and stay in either testament, but continue in Christ's ideology of all the law should be based on love.

In writing this, I am reminded of an old Amy Grant song, actually written by 60s folk musician, Janis Ian, called "What About the Love?"

The song is encouraging us to speak up for the powerless, but to be careful in rendering judgement without love and mercy, because all of us are only saved by grace. 


I went to see my sister
She was staying with a friend
Who had turned into a preacher
To save the world from sin

He said, "First deny your body
And then learn to submit
Pray to be made worthy
And tithe your ten percent"

I said, "Is this all there is
Just the letter of the law?

Something's wrong"

I went to see my brother
On the 32nd floor
Of a building down on Wall Street
You could hear the futures roar

He said, "Here we make decisions
And we trade commodities
If you tell me where there's famine
I can make you guarantees"

I said, "Is this all there is
Power to the strong?

Something's wrong" ...

Something's wrong in heaven tonight
You can almost hear them cry
Angels to the left and the right
Saying, "What about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love?"

I went to see my neighbor
He'd been taken to a home
For the weak and the discarded
Who have no place to go

He said, "Here I lack for nothing
I am fed and I am clothed
But at times I miss the freedom
I used to know"

I said, "Is this all there is
When your usefulness is gone?

Something's wrong" ...

Something's wrong in heaven tonight (Something's wrong)
You can almost hear them cry (Cry)
Angels to the left and the right
Saying, "What about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love?"

I looked into the mirror, (Yeah)
Proud as I could be, (Yeah)
And I saw my pointing finger (Yeah)
Pointing back at me,

Saying, "Who named you accuser? (Yeah)
Who gave you the scales?" (Yeah)
I hung my head in sorrow; (Yeah)
I could almost feel the nails

I said, "This is how it is
To be crucified and judged
Without love"

Something's wrong in heaven tonight. (Something's wrong)
You can almost hear them cry (Cry)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, "What about the love?"
What about the love?
What about the love of God?"

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