Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2 of 7: Our God is a tolerant God?

So I spent most of the day traveling to Key Largo. I managed to get my rental car just as rush hour was starting so it took me almost two hours to get from the airport to the hotel. On the way I passed two strip clubs, two adult video stores, one adult movie theater, an oriental massage parlor, and a sleazy lingerie shop called Dirty Laundry. I felt like The Block in Baltimore had been transported to Florida and stretched out over 50 miles of highway. Let's just say I'm really glad I brought a spray bottle of holy water and some blessed salt. Who knows what kind of creatures have been cast out of this hotel room! ;o) But seriously, pray for Southern Florida!

Anyway, since it's almost my bedtime I'll share an excerpt from The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis:
By the goodness of God we mean nowadays almost exclusively His lovingness; and in this we may be right. And by Love, in this context, most of us mean kindness--the desire to see others than self happy; not happy in this way or in that, but just happy. What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, "What does it matter so long as they are contented?" We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who, as they say, "liked to see young people enjoying themselves", and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, "a good time was had by all". [...] Kindness, merely as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering. [...] It is for people whom we care nothing about that we demand happiness on any terms: with our friends, our lovers, our children, we are exacting and would rather see them suffer much than be happy in contemptible and estranging modes.
Is our God such a tolerant God? Lewis says, "though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never regarded us with contempt. He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense." As far as Lewis was concerned, the cold indifference of tolerance is a kind of contempt.

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