Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Rights of God


Along the way in debating religion, a lot of people find fault with God. Generally, they use their arguments as proxy; they either do not believe in God, and use their argument as some kind of straw-man against those who do believe, or else they believe in God, but only on their terms, and rather than defend their position with reason, try to discount other beliefs by heckling God as they pretend the others see Him. Neither course is valid, I think, but it does raise an interesting often ignored in these conversations; the rights of God.

Humans are innately selfish. The secular sort would like to claim that the worse behaviors and attitudes must be taught, but in fact it’s the good which has to be learned; children sometimes become the worst of monsters if they are not shown a better way. When Jesus spoke of the need to be like little children, it was because little children have learned from their parents how to be good, but have usually not yet strayed from what they know to be right. By the time they’re adults, people have become very good at lying, especially to themselves.

I love the Declaration of Independence, not least because the document lays out rights pretty directly; all men are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights. Life, Liberty, Justice, Mercy, Hope, Honor, Love, all these things come from God. Indeed, by their very nature they could come from nowhere else, and so, all these things by right belong to God. That is, man does not have the right to deny these things to another human, but since they belong to God, they remain His rights in any dispute, not Man’s. This is not to say that God does not give His gifts freely, but receiving these gifts does not mean that Man may disparage God while claiming His grace.

No comments: