Chronicles in Ordinary Time 122: “…the rich would live and the poor would die…”

“If religion were a thing that money could buy, the rich would live and the poor would die…”
All My Trials

Religion has become a thing that money can buy; if the Republican Congress has its way with Healthcare, the rich will live, and the poor will die…

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of evangelical Liberty University and early supporter of then-candidate Donald Trump, said in an interview with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro that evangelicals “have found their dream president.”
Sojourners, https://sojo.net/articles/jerry-falwell-jr-evangelicals-have-found-their-dream-president

Vice President Mike Pence hailed President Donald Trump as a “champion of the freedom of religion” in a speech at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Washington, D.C..

https://sojo.net/articles/summit-global-christian-persecution-pence-calls-trump-champion-religious-freedom

The above statements are so ludicrous that I can’t think of what to say; so I’ll let an expert respond, instead:

Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

The West Wing, “Mr. Frost“—
“To be a person of faith is to have the world challenge that faith. Was the universe designed by God? That’s up to everyone in this country to decide for themselves; because the framers of our Constitution believed that if the people were to be sovereign and belong to different religions at the same time, then our official religion would have to be no religion at all. It was a bold experiment then, as it is now… It wasn’t meant to make us comfortable, it was meant to make us free.

“God has a plan for your life.”
“Their deaths are part of God’s plan.”

Probably two of the most damaging phrases a Believer can ever use, when speaking to a non-Believer. To the non-Believer, these statements evoke the image of a cruel God. It seems to me that a large percentage of people believe that God’s work in the world is much like that of the image above. That God sits in heaven deciding what should happen next. Who should die [removed from the chess board], who should get cancer… People don’t know what to say when disaster strikes a person’s life; so, they say it anyway.

I know an old person who never planned for a life without their spouse;  nor did they have their own goals yet to be accomplished. They have absolutely no idea what to do with the coming years. They think that God is punishing them by having taken their mate, but leaving them on their own. Punishment for some bad thing they did in the past.
I commented the other day, ‘God isn’t doing punishment here. Your spouse got cancer and died. You don’t have cancer, your heart keeps ticking, and you’re in reasonably good health; you are still alive. It’s good health, not punishment.’

I’m of the opinion that those who believe that ‘God has a plan for their lives,’ don’t really understand the meaning of the word, ‘plan,’ as it is used in Scripture.
“Plan”
Isaiah 14:26
“This is the plan [etsah] determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations.”
etsah: counsel, advice
Original Word: עֵצָה
Part of Speech: Noun Feminine
Transliteration: etsah
Phonetic Spelling: (ay-tsaw’)
Short Definition: counsel

‘This is the counsel determined for the whole world…’
This changes the meaning.

If you do a word study in a Bible Concordance [a listing of the all the words used in the Bible and their original-language meanings], you will find that ‘plan,’ in the Bible, never means what people in the late 20th Century and beyond think about when they use the word, ‘plan’. Most people think in terms like Mapquest or a set of construction documents. ‘Start here, make a right at the third stop light you come to…’
A path set in Eternity, from which the righteous will not waver…

We aren’t chess pieces that God moves around each day. While an eternal and omniscient [all-knowing] and omnipotent [all-powerful] God could sift through individual sperm and egg cells to match them in a certain pattern, it would be incredibly inefficient. Instead, the Creator made all life start with DNA:

What percent of their genes match yours?

Another human? 100% – All humans have the same genes, but some of these genes contain sequence differences that make each person unique.
A chimpanzee? 98% – Chimpanzees are the closest living species to humans.
A mouse? 92% – All mammals are quite similar genetically.
A fruit fly? 44% – Studies of fruit flies have shown how shared genes govern the growth and structure of both insects and mammals.
Yeast? 26% – Yeasts are single-celled organisms, but they have many housekeeping genes that are the same as the genes in humans, such as those that enable energy to be derived from the breakdown of sugars.
A weed (thale cress)? 18% – Plants have many metabolic differences from humans. For example, they use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide gas to sugars. But they also have similarities in their housekeeping genes.
https://www.koshland-science-museum.org/sites/all/exhibits/exhibitdna/intro03.jsp

All life begins with replicating cells.
You are still a unique Creation, loved by the Creator from the beginning of Eternity; however, the Creator did not design you to have Bipolar Disorder, or any other ‘flaw’—this happened because of the way your genes came together. An element of non-design mixed into an incredible system for creating Life.
I don’t believe in accidents or coincidence. Unplanned-for events happen in our lives; but they are only a surprise to us. The Eternal and Omniscient Creator has known everything about you since the beginning of time.
Scripture says we humans are created in the image of God, somewhat lower than the angels. In my opinion, that ‘image’ is best described as the composition of our brains.

Della’s Brain

All we learn, all we create, all we believe results from neurons firing in our brains. Little electrical connections between neurons in our brains. When I showed this image to my wife, she responded, ‘the Universe in our brains.’ Genius is found in being able to use the same pattern throughout the entire Universe.
When we encounter Life beyond our own, in the galaxy, we will find that we have much in common; particularly in the formation of our brains. C.S. Lewis hoped we would never leave this Solar System, to prevent our spreading of evil to parts that might not know evil. Free Will means the choice to choose good, instead of evil…

We connect new thoughts to existing thoughts by exposing ourselves to new ideas, new concepts, new experiences. One of my favorite quotations, by Charlie Black, Jr; “one of the lawyers who had worked on the case of Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared school segregation unlawful and thus began the end of the old Southern racist regime:

“In September 1931, posters appeared in Austin advertising four dances, October 12 through 15, to be played by one “Louis Armstrong, King of the Trumpet, and His Orchestra,” at the old Driskill Hotel. I was entirely ignorant of jazz, and had no idea who this King might be; hyperbole is the small coin of billboards. But a dance at the Driskill, with lots of girls there, was usually worth the seventy-five cents, so I went to the first one…

“He was the first genius I had ever seen. That may be a structurable part of the process that led me to the Brown case. The moment of first being, and knowing oneself to be, in the presence of genius, is a solemn moment; it is perhaps the moment of final and indelible perception of man’s utter transcendence of all else created. It is impossible to overstate the significance of a sixteen-year-old Southern boy’s seeing genius, for the first time, in a black. We literally never saw a black man, then, in any but a servant’s capacity…

“Every person of decency in the South of those days must have had some doubts about racism, and I had mine even then—perhaps more than most others. But Louis opened my eyes wide, and put to me a choice. Blacks, the saying went, were “all right in their place.” What was the “place” of such a man, and of the people from which he sprung? “

http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/persp/black-armstrong.pdf

 

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