Ethics, Pharaoh, Egypt’s First Born, Enoch, Harvest, Love, & Logical Necessity

We Are All Pharaoh – We Are All Enoch – We Are All Egypt’s First Born

That’s a peculiar statement and it’s not meant to be the “beginning and end” sort of sitting in some kind of “ontic-vacuum”. Not at all. Instead, something quite different.

But first, very briefly: Given the tendency for these topics to be a bit emotive at times, particularly as our Non-Theist friends display or emote an actual ANGER-AT-EVIL (and/or) an actual ANGER-AT-GOD within such topics (and/or) and actual Anger at the fact that “Evil Exists” fails to translate to “God Condones Evil” it is helpful to point out four initial primers with respect to that tone over there as it relates to the occasional tone over here in this essay — but briefly before those initial primers a reminder that this is one of two parts in which there are several overlapping segues. Those two parts are as follows:

PART 1: ETHICS, PHARAOH, EGYPT’S FIRST BORN, ENOCH, HARVEST, LOVE, & LOGICAL NECESSITY

We Are All Pharaoh – We Are All Enoch – We Are All Egypt’s First Born – at https://metachristianity.com/ethics-pharaoh-egypts-first-born-enoch-harvest-logical-necessity/

PART 2: ETHICS, ANANIAS, SAPPHIRA, HEROD, HARVEST, LOVE, & LOGICAL NECESSITY

We Are All Ananias – We Are All Sapphira – We Are All Herod – at https://metachristianity.com/ethics-ananias-sapphira-herod-harvest-love-logical-necessity 

Additionally: “The Cursings” via The Psalms – at https://metachristianity.com/the-cursings-via-the-psalms/

Now for those four initial primers with respect to that tone over there as it relates to the occasional tone over here in this essay:

First: there will be, at times, a sort of tongue-in-cheek bit of levity in reply to that anger  and then…

Second: the reason for that occasional flavor or tone is that the Christian AGREES with the Non-Theist’s sentiment on the horrific nature of War — even Just War — and of Evil, and of Death, and of Slavery, and so on. Of course the Christian doesn’t make the mistake of leaving out huge swaths of Scripture’s definitions when it comes to these topics and so the “Agreement” is “in-principle” with respect to “At-God”. A very basic example: God’s treatment of Enoch and of Egypt’s First Born converges for a wide array of reasons, reasons which we cannot just “leave out of” or “expunge from” Scripture’s singular Metanarrative. We must read whole narratives:

“…if I believed about God what the atheist believes about God, I wouldn’t believe in God either. So to be induced to somehow change my mind about belief in God…. I would have to accept the atheist’s misunderstanding of what God is…” (J. Black)

Before getting to the third primer, a brief observation: This is not an essay on Just-War or anything else over in that corner. No one “Wishes-For-More-Just-War” in the same way that no one “Wishes For More Rehab” — and so on. Rather the focus here isn’t any of that but instead carries us towards the contours of Egypt’s First Born, of Pharaoh’s pliable heart, of the nature and expanse and reach of both Time and Harvest, of the Means and Ends and Modes of that same Harvest, of Mutability giving way to Immutability, and of far more with respect to Enoch, and Children, and Pharaoh, and our own Hearts as we race towards Time’s End and taste of it whether such is traversed before death, or after death, or some never seeing death, and so on.  Scripture for eons (…and now also of late Science is finally catching up…), informs us that Time itself is an entirely contingent frame of reference such that it, Time, is not the Absolute’s Reference Frame. Something else is.

With respect to the fact that no one “Wishes-For-More-Just-War” — all of that reduces to a contradiction within Non-Theism’s available tools and yet “makes sense” given the Ontic of The-Good and the Ontic of Privation (…think of Privation as “The Good Minus Something” …), and so on, which brings us to our third initial primer:

Third: the misconstrued ideas of God and Scripture and Christianity which our Non-Theist friends so often have are at times unfortunate and somewhat ironic and so there is at times on the part of the Christian an emotively felt eye-rolling-sort-of an ever-so-slight raising of the corner of the mouth in an almost-smile that he or she (the Christian) feels when observing the ANGER-AT-GOD of our Non-Theist friends GIVEN that the Christian AGREES with the Non-Theist simply because that Anger-At-God is a correct and a right and a just-anger GIVEN what the Non-Theist THINKS he is reading there in Scripture’s singular Metanarrative, as per the following, yet again:

“…if I believed about God what the atheist believes about God, I wouldn’t believe in God either. So to be induced to somehow change my mind about belief in God…. I would have to accept the atheist’s misunderstanding of what God is…” (J. Black)

Fourth: This will be looked at in more detail towards the end of this essay but briefly here as Pain & Suffering is obviously what our Non-Theist friends believe applies in these UN-Natural events and just as obvious is the fact that we need only to remind them of a few key facts:

A— On Scripture’s definitions wherever we find someone in the Old Testament (…Enoch, Egypt’s First Born, Etc….) or in the New Testament (…Rapture, Christ, Harvest, Etc…) in these discussions we have to view all vectors through the Singular lens of the Singular Metanarrative of the Singular Christian Metaphysic and therein we find that all such individuals are obviously beneath/within the Decree of Non-Culpable or else Innocent or else a New Creation’s Redeemed.

B— There is (necessarily) no such thing as a Person or Man or Woman or Child who does NOT come to the End of his/her own self/being with respect to Being, Time, & Circumstance and, there, Traverse this specific boundary.

C— All such Traversals/Harvests necessarily entail (to make the obvious point) “Non-Metaphysical-Naturalism” when it comes to explanatory termini with respect to Means & Ends and thereby it’s obviously the case that all such cases are UN-Natural Traversals of Time’s Necessary Terminus (…being intentional there with the term “Un-Natural” used here not to mean “violation of physics” but instead in the category of cases being discussed here such as Enoch and Egypt’s First Born and so on to mean something akin to “via God’s immediate intervening” …).

D— All such cases are UN-Natural (in that sense) such that — given A & B & C — any such Pain & Suffering is for obvious reasons NOT “in-play”.

Again, more on that further towards the end of this essay. So then, moving on to the topic at hand: At https://www.str.org/articles/sixty-second-theodicy#.WZKo67pFxPY  is G. Koukl’s item titled, “Sixty-Second Theodicy” and offers a few inroads. In fact it is the case that “Mankind” is given, in the Creative Act, the singularity of the key Good which that essay points to in what is, both in essence and in premise, an “across the board” landscape:

“….and their answer is going to be, “Because I think people ought to be allowed to choose.”  Now there’s the key.  If you ask a question that beckons the response that people ought to be allowed to choose between moral alternatives, that’s the whole key…. [ … ] they are going to say, “No it is not good.”  Because being able to choose between good and evil is a moral good in itself.  If you took away that choice, you’d being doing something bad….”

Given “that” across-the-board substratum and given the across-the-board substratum of Grace/Atonement and the fact that its reach vis-à-vis what John Polkinghorne describes as the “cosmic significance” of Christ (…in the redemption not only of humanity but even of matter itself….) in fact penetrates the entirety of all things “Adamic”, which includes Time and Physicality, the concept of “Cosmic Fairness” as it relates to the proverbial “Everyman” is – in the Christian metaphysic and no other – entirely unyielding and metaphysically seamless.

Related to the Critic’s stock string of sound-bites:

A. Romans 9 Etc., “….I will harden the hearts of those I please, and have mercy on whom I will have mercy…”

B. Romans 9 Etc., “….the first born of Egypt God laid to waste just to get himself some glory….”

C. Romans 9 Etc., “.…I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau…”

We cannot “Leave Out Nearly All Of The Christian Metaphysic” here in any of those three such that we go on as if they define the whole, rather than the whole defining them. Think it through: Enoch does not, in his (back then) “ontic-status” in which he, by God’s Favor, first “is”, and then is no more, and is taken up, and yet NONE of THAT sums to the Post Resurrection New Creation. All data points inform all other data points.  Repeat the pattern and keep reading WHOLE books: We find, just the same, all of those “First Born Of Egypt” in the same status, Pre-Christ, yet, by Scripture’s own terms, defined as something akin to “In God’s Favor”, yet still void of the New Creation, and therein both (…Enoch… Egypt’s First Born…) find the same end point of God’s Decree of Favor such that should any complain that “those first born suffered rather than entered into joy” well then so too they must also make the (impossible) case that Enoch also then did not enter Joy but instead suffered.  But of course that is absurd, and yet allowing Scripture to define the WHOLE is not difficult, at all, if one will only avoid the proverbial “One-Verse-Theology / Strawman”.

Enoch and those First Born of Egypt inform us of something interesting: those affairs of Time, Physicality, and the Timeless Reach of “God” and therefore of His Means/Ends (…Grace, Cross, and so on…), but all of that is a separate discussion and not on topic here (…and it’s a topic easily finding closure given the nature of Time, Timelessness, and God…).

More on Egypt’s First Born a few paragraphs down as we move a bit further towards Pharaoh and Enoch but, before moving forward, a brief excerpt from that section’s linked content:

“…Isaiah writes that there is an age before a child is able to “know to refuse the evil and choose the good” (Is. 7:16 NASB). The children of Israel were not held responsible for the sins of their parents during the Wandering, because they had “no knowledge of good or evil” (Deut. 1:39 NASB). David said he would go to be with his infant baby, who had died (2 Sam. 12:23). David believed in an afterlife, and he thought that he was going to be with God after death (Ps. 16:10-11), and the New Testament authors claim that he is in heaven, too (Rom. 4:6-8). This demonstrates that his infant must be in heaven. In addition, Jesus implies that little children will be in heaven (Mk. 10:14; Mt. 18:3; 19:14). Because God judged the children of Egypt, he would have brought them immediately into his presence in heaven, because they are below the age of accountability….”

We are all Enoch just as we are all Pharaoh

We are, all of us, racing at this or that speed towards the end of our own temporal becoming (…in some sense…) and therein we are all racing towards something akin to “…being harvested by God’s angels…” and also towards something akin to Permanence.  Think it through:

On Scripture’s narrative we find that both Enoch and Pharaoh demonstrate Time’s (…temporal becoming, and so on…) Volitional I-Will-s and Time’s Volitional I-Will-Not-s transitioning into Timeless Permanence as all men in fact exit Time – some before death, some after, some never seeing death.  Now, two points arise there:

First: That hard reality of “….all men in fact exit Time – some before death, some after, some never seeing death…” can just throw some folks for a loop as they just cannot fathom any such thing. Once one grasps the contingent state of affairs that is “Time Itself” and also “Man Himself”, and so on, well then that all finds clarity – but of course we also have Scripture’s syntax comporting from eons ago from what science now tells us about the NON-absolute Reference Frame that is “Time Itself”.

Second: The floor is wide open on the nature of Permanence (Heaven) with respect to “Man/The-Adamic” vs. “Angels”, and so on, and isn’t relevant to the current topic as it just does not change the vectors in play here. Eternity vs. Aeviternity is mentioned along a few interesting lines (…. http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/07/cartesian-angelism.html …) with a brief excerpt here:

“….Angels are not in time, though they are not strictly eternal either.  What is in time, as corporeal things are, is changeable both in its substance and in its accidents.  What is strictly eternal, as God is, is utterly unchangeable.  Angels are unchangeable in their substance, since they are incorporeal.  An angel is not composed of matter which might lose its substantial form and thereby go out of existence.  It is in this way incorruptible or immortal.  But it can change in its accidents insofar as it can choose either this or that.  This middle ground between time and eternity is what Aquinas calls “aeviternity.” For these reasons, an angel does not know things in a discursive way.  It does not have to engage in processes like reasoning from premises to a conclusion, weighing alternative hypotheses, or otherwise “figuring things out” the way we do.  It simply knows what it knows “all at once,” as it were.”

A created being just cannot be Non-Contingent. Not to worry. We will all have our heaven: We are all Enoch – We are all Pharaoh. Our own first love – or our own “joy” – sane or not – awaits us all.

The Fact That Time Is Not Absolute “just is” that which carries in the term “Judgement” and it is a metaphysical absurdity to think that God will place “Time Itself” upon His Throne and allow her to be the Final End.  But that is just another way of saying that when it comes to “Judgment” via God we cannot (rationally) conflate it for, or equate it to, “Evil” via God.  Those are the sorts of unthinking conflations and false identity claims which lead us into all sorts of misguided conclusions about the nature of both God and reality. Think it through: On Scripture’s definitions it is clear that “Evil” is not necessary in all possible worlds, but, *if* evil should be freely chosen by this or that created being, *then* (…God being love…) we *will* find at some seam somewhere something akin to an “End” to said “Evil” and therein judgment of this or that form manifesting in this or that context.

“…By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God….”

Again, given all of the above, we must think it through:

What does it mean to say that “God / Being Itself” finally hardens – fixes – all Men’s hearts?  What does it mean to say that Time transitions to the Timeless and/or to Aeviternity? We are all Enoch just as we are all Pharaoh – why? Going further:

Within the arena of Community, of Trinity, of love’s self-giving, it is the case that “IF” God should Decree and fashion the Imago Dei, “THEN” there can be no such reality as the creation of the “freely-already-married” and, therein, we begin to discover the necessity of “The Edenic”, which is to say we begin to discover the necessity of the fact that the Groom’s free and informed Proposal is not the same as the Beloved’s free and informed Reply to said Proposal, neither in content nor in yield, and, just the same, none of what went on in that Proposal/Reply is the same as what the referent of Wedding carries into the arena, neither in content nor in yield, and, for all the same reasons, Weddings are not the same as Gestations, neither in content nor in yield, and, also, Gestations are not the same as Birth of what sums to a radical “ontic-change” as such relates to the Door into God’s Eternal Ideal – a Door which faces outward from both within Eden and from within Privation.

On all counts the beautiful freedom called Permanence necessarily entails love’s proposal and as such “The-Adamic / Man” necessarily (….given the necessity of love’s proposal….) awakes to find himself before Two Doors, or Two Trees, before [A] reality’s only Blueprint of love’s ceaseless reciprocity vis-à-vis the Trinitarian Life, reality’s only Blueprint of love’s whole amid “self/other” or else [B] love’s privation with respect to the self – within the isolated self or “Isolated-I” and void (therein) of Community, of Other, Of the “Unicity” that is the “Whole” of “Us” vis-à-vis (…all over again…) reality’s only Blueprint of love’s ceaseless reciprocity vis-à-vis the Trinitarian Life, reality’s only Blueprint of love’s whole amid “self/other”. How uncanny that from the opening pages of Genesis to the closing pages of Revelation there is but ONE metaphysic, but ONE “T.O.E.” so to speak. It is only the Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis “The Trinitarian Life” which justifies the convergence of both Faith and Reason into singularity in all of this with respect to life, purpose, morality, means, ends, and wholeness.

Ontic-Content & Ontic-Yield:

Once again, as just described, the necessary metaphysical landscape of the Proposal (….which cannot fail to reach all men….) cannot be the same metaphysical landscape as the Weddings, and the necessary metaphysical landscape of the Wedding cannot be the same metaphysical landscape of Gestation, and the necessary metaphysical landscape of Gestation cannot be the same metaphysical landscape of Birth downstream vis-à-vis the New Creation.   The landscape of love’s Proposal/Reply is necessarily different both in content and in yield than the landscape of Wedding as, in the later, though not in the former, that beautiful freedom we call Permanence is actualized.

Exodus 8 gives the context to Exodus 7 and 9

In those chapters we see that Pharaoh’s mutable and volitional I-Will-s / I-Will-Not-s (…he was not born hard – and that is a key fact too often left out…) is left intact and we find that Pharaoh ceases his aggression such that God actually ends His plagues, His Power having done its work in convincing Pharaoh to let His People go, and we find this back-and-forth on not one but on two and perhaps three separate occasions BEFORE Pharaoh & Permanence converge (…see the above discussion…).

That would have been the end of it. Twice. Perhaps even a third time.

And, then, Pharaoh hardens his *own* heart on those same separate occasions and on what appears to be a final and perhaps *third* time, and what is the result?  We find that eventually the free and fully informed chooses its first love and, therein, regardless of our choice, what we call *judgement* (…see earlier discussion wrt Time / Judgment…) ensues as mutable vectors become immutable – and this is that which *all* souls undergo at some ontological seam somewhere.  We are all Enoch / Pharaoh / Egypt’s First Born (…at some ontological seam somewhere…).

In all such instances in Scripture we find such to be God “Causing Judgment”, and that is, in each case, in a person not born hard, “In Response To” what is always a string of, a series of, free and informed and volitionally rejected opportunities by the free and informed “Adamic”.  Let’s be clear about the Old Testament:  Given the outlandish displays they saw – literally – of God and so on, the phrase “fully informed” is an understatement.

So here we are:

Will we declare and insist that [1] The Non-Absolute “ontic-status” of the reference frame we call “Time Itself”, which both Scripture and Science affirm, is somehow “evil” and on (…in terms of “evil”…) on ontological par with [2] “God Causing Judgment” which (then) just is on ontological par with [3] “God Causing Evil”?  Think it through: Clearly any attempt to “equate” those three is hopeless and, also, there is another nuance as to the absurdity of premises which (at bottom) try to equate those there:  That which is “Evil as Privation” is Scripturally sound and makes nonsense out of such a false identity claim because that which is already within Privation cannot be caused to now be in Privation by God.  When it comes to “Judgment” via God we cannot (rationally) conflate it for, or equate it to, “Evil” via God, else we must insist on a logical absurdity, namely that Time Itself must be reality’s Hard Stop – but both Scripture and Science affirm the absurdity of that Frame of Reference serving as The-Absolute. BTW: It is therein that the discussion of Presentism & Eternalism rapidly gets away from all Non-Theistic means and, just as rapidly, converges within coherence over inside of the Christian Metaphysic.

All of that begins to unmask the wide array of vectors which can, if we are not precise, sum to the sort of sound-bites and straw-men found in the unthinking conflations and false identity claims which lead us into all sorts of misguided conclusions about the nature of both God and reality.

Ultimately *all* mutability gives way to immutability in that, eventually, *all* men encounter the end of Time as Timelessness ensues (….perhaps in the case of “the Adamic” the term “Aeviternity” is more precise…). In the same way, *all* men encounter the end of “All Doors Wide Open” as a Man’s volitional refusal of The Good in his time/tensed I Will Not-s finally gives way to the permanence of I Cannot – or – in the other direction – as Man’s volitional embrace of The Good in his time/tensed “I-Will-To-s” finally gives way to the permanence of “I Can, I Do”.

All of that is nothing more than a description of what God’s *Decree* (…cannot be otherwise…) from the get-go looks like simply because that is what love’s volitional motions out of and into Weddings looks like.

Going Still Further With Pharaoh, Enoch, & Egypt’s First Born

A few preliminaries:

1. This is always interesting when it comes up because it’s surprising how one-verse-minded Non-Theists are in their inability to read whole books.  Despite the fact that Egypt murdered all infant Hebrew boys (drowning them alive) on many separate occasions God withdrew his promised judgment (…apparently three times…) in order to let them off without consequences. Well, they had to stop drowning babies and let their slaves go… so there was THAT “consequence”. It’s funny the things people choose to keep on doing http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/ot-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/ex-1229-it-is-cruel-that-god-would-slay-the-firstborn-of-the-egyptians/#_ftn1

2. Of course here our Non-Theist friends too often shout, “All that Evil! Drowning babies! Where was God! Why didn’t He stop it!” And, then, of course when God *does* employ the proverbial Winds of War to expunge such landscapes, well then our Non-Theist friends will too often flip-flop and shout, “All that Evil! War! What an evil God! He should have just re-programmed all humans and given them all fake memories! Evil God! That last bit about Programming the Automaton and Fake Memories is peculiar and W.L. Craig looks at some of that business of Fake Memories at https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/why-didnt-god-create-only-those-who-he-knew-would-believe-in-him/

3. The following:

….Exodus 9:20-21 demonstrates that some of Pharaoh’s own advisers were spared from judgment, during the plague of hail. Exodus 12:38 states that a “mixed multitude” of people escaped Pharaoh along with the Israelites. If these escaping Egyptian households were struck, it isn’t likely that they would flee along with the Israelites. Moreover, even the instructions for the Passover meal mentions the “alien,” who decides to participate in the Passover supper (Ex. 12:19). Therefore, when the text says that “all” of the Egyptian households were struck with a plague (Ex. 12:29), this no doubt refers to those unbelieving households….

Well, you know – precision matters and so we can and do say all those adult Egyptians who wanted to keep drowning Hebrew babies.

This Is Always Where This Gets Interesting  

As the link above describes and as the discussion above alludes to, and as the discussion below also alludes to, we find that children, being innocent vis-à-vis culpability, are not recipients of wrath.  Oh dear. But then how DID God ever harvest them there in that “Egypt’s First Born” state of affairs?

So at this point we have to (literally) tell the Non-Theist about how God takes Enoch from this world and how God takes others of such status with respect to Grace/Favor, such as children and/or forgiven and/or second coming sort of “stuff”, the whole ball of “….all men in fact exit Time – some before death, some after death, some never seeing death…” and all sorts of such thing-y-s which seem to always be, well, just all too much for our Non-Theist friends who just cannot imagine that “Time” is not the Absolute Frame of Reference despite the fact that both Scripture and Science affirm otherwise. Tedious. As in:

Pain & Suffering?

That is obviously what our Non-Theist friends believe applies in these UN-Natural events and just as obvious is the fact that we need only to remind them of a few key facts:

A— On Scripture’s definitions wherever we find someone in the Old Testament (…Enoch, Egypt’s First Born, Etc….) or in the New Testament (…Rapture, Christ, Harvest, Etc…) in these discussions we have to view all vectors through the Singular lens of the Singular Metanarrative of the Singular Christian Metaphysic and therein we find that all such individuals are obviously beneath/within the Decree of Non-Culpable or else Innocent or else a New Creation’s Redeemed.

B— There is (necessarily) no such thing as a Person or Man or Woman or Child who does NOT come to the End of his/her own self/being with respect to Being, Time, & Circumstance and, there, Traverse this specific boundary.

C— All such Traversals/Harvests necessarily entail (to make the obvious point) “Non-Metaphysical-Naturalism” when it comes to explanatory termini with respect to Means & Ends and thereby it’s obviously the case that all such cases are UN-Natural Traversals of Time’s Necessary Terminus (…being intentional there with the term “Un-Natural” used here not to mean “violation of physics” but instead in the category of cases being discussed here such as Enoch and Egypt’s First Born and so on to mean something akin to “via God’s immediate intervening” …).

D— All such cases are UN-Natural (in that sense) such that — given A & B & C — any such Pain & Suffering is for obvious reasons NOT “in-play”.

We ask our Non-Theist friends, “Does God take them in pain?” and typically we have to wait. Then we watch their eyes look at the ceiling and you can literally see the dots getting connected. Then they retort in a bit of panic, “But da-bible! But da-bible!”  Well, not exactly those shouts but some sort of a priori driven emotive heat typically manifests as our Non-Theist friends are too often bothered by the treatments here along the lines that “reality” actually does have one, singular metanarrative vis-à-vis Scripture and “therein” all definitions remain seamless. Or instead, at times, they’ll be a bit bothered by the treatments here wherein “God” just may be greater than Time & Circumstance.

At such points we reassure them that it’s okay, that there really are more than a few verses in Scripture, that it really is okay to embrace WHOLE Meta-Narratives, and that definitions matter. Of course this is all usually a topic that is found Pre-Resurrection within discussions in the Old Testament  (Enoch, Egypt’s First Born, etc.), though not always as some discussions are around items in the New Testament, for example see We Are All Ananias – We Are All Sapphira – We Are All Herod at https://metachristianity.com/ethics-ananias-sapphira-herod-harvest-love-logical-necessity 

As Christians educating our Non-Theist friends out of their uninformed One-Verse-Thinking and into the actual Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis the concept of Metanarrative we have to recall that for the Hostile Non-Theist all such new data or new information can  upset their assorted a priori driven objections  – which of course means still more frustration on their end – which of course then means still more tedious work on our end. Fine. Whatever.  We simply remind them that it’s okay because in the OT and then again in the NT we see the Cruciform Lens with respect to God and Angels and Harvesting and Man, Woman, Child, Creation, and so on.

At some point it becomes helpful to ask our Non-Theist friends the following question: “But why is there no pain in these cases given Scripture’s actual Metanarrative?” The reason why that is helpful is not that we expect an actual reply from them so much as to point out that yet again we have come to a juncture at which we have to answer for them, that they in fact haven’t read the whole book vis-à-vis the Singular Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis the Singular Christian Metanarrative.

Again we ask them (…regarding no pain, Enoch, Egypt’s First Born, and so on….), “But why no pain?” And then (again0 we have to answer for them (…again they haven’t read the whole book…) with something akin to this or that quickly put together version of something akin to, “…Okay Mr. Non-Theist the reason is, well, because of a decree of righteousness…” juxtaposed to something like, “…Okay Mr. Non-Theist, slow down and let us ask you how many men is it that God’s Angels in fact “Harvest”? What percentage…?” Then, as before, still again….

Then we have to wait. Then we watch their eyes look at the ceiling and you can literally see the dots getting connected.

Then? Well then we just tell them: Given the nature of the Necessary Being, and our status as Contingent Beings, said Harvest is, by necessity, 100%. As in: Every. Single. Contingent. Being

So, that said, before going on to potential conflations, there is this from the linked item:

“…Isaiah writes that there is an age before a child is able to “know to refuse the evil and choose the good” (Is. 7:16 NASB). The children of Israel were not held responsible for the sins of their parents during the Wandering, because they had “no knowledge of good or evil” (Deut. 1:39 NASB). David said he would go to be with his infant baby, who had died (2 Sam. 12:23). David believed in an afterlife, and he thought that he was going to be with God after death (Ps. 16:10-11), and the New Testament authors claim that he is in heaven, too (Rom. 4:6-8). This demonstrates that his infant must be in heaven. In addition, Jesus implies that little children will be in heaven (Mk. 10:14; Mt. 18:3; 19:14). Because God judged the children of Egypt, he would have brought them immediately into his presence in heaven, because they are below the age of accountability….”

As interesting as that always is, there is a more subtle point here, and that is the bit about objections which are merely conflations.   When it comes to “Judgment” via God we cannot (rationally) conflate it for, or equate it to, “Evil” via God (evil as privation, etc.). That though loops back to the earlier paragraphs about Time, Timelessness, Eternity vs. Aeviternity, Reference Frame, God, Privation, and so on.  The contingent being (me and you and all of us, etc.) just cannot land in an ontic location which sums to the necessary and sufficient in its own (in our own) being, it (we) cannot in fact sum to its own (our own) explanatory terminus.

“…By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God….”

By force of “ontic-necessity” via the nature of the Necessary and the Contingent, 100% of us find, at some ontological seam somewhere that in fact our All-Doors-Open Volitional landscape comes to an end as Timelessness (…Aeviternity perhaps, etc…) replaces Time, as Mutability is replaced by Permanence .…as again we are talking about *Christian* metaphysics and theology after all (….btw – where Time and Circumstance fit into the reach of God, of Christ, with respect to Pre/Post Resurrection, Enoch, Pharaoh, and so on is interesting all by itself, but that is a different topic….).

Angry Soundbites From Our Non-Theist Friends

It’s understandable that some of our Non-Theist friends may be angry at God for showing His anger (and His Judgment) at people (…for example the Egyptians for killing children by drowning those children alive immediately upon birth…) and the Non-Theist’s anger is good in one sense because no one “Likes” Judgement, including God (…according to Scripture…) just as no one “Prefers” Judgment, including God (…according to Scripture…). We don’t want “More” Rehab or “More “War” or “More” Life-Saving-Surgery in the sense that “those things” are “Satisfying as Good-Full-Stop”. No. Not at all. The concept of  “Morally Excellent Vectors Within Privation” is itself a redutio ad absurdum (…see “Divine Command Theory Collapses Into A Metaphysical Absurdity” at https://metachristianity.com/divine-command-theory-collapses-into-a-metaphysical-absurdity/).

We find then anger on the part of the Critic at the odd locations of [1] the reality of or fact of that Judgement by God and at [2] the fact that the First Born of Egypt involved in fact did not suffer at all and the reason is that both of those areas begin to reveal facts which are not in line with their a priori driven objections. Yet it’s just painfully obvious that those two areas of anger are inexplicable but understandable given an uninformed sort of one-verse mode / one-chapter mode of analytic when it comes to logic, reason, premises, conclusions, whole-bookish sort of complex thing-y‘s, metaphysic-y thing-y’s, T.O.E.-y thing-y’s, and so on.

We can work with that. It’s tedious. But workable.  Given some of the a priori driven hopes we get that some of our Non-Theist friends are angry at God for His pain-free Traversal/Harvest of decreed-innocence there in Egypt’s First Born (…and so on as per the facts surrounding terms such as a. Harvest and b. 100% of All Things Adamic and c. Logical Necessity…and Etc..). For all the same reasons we get that some may be angry at God for giving baby-drown-ers chance after chance after chance to stop drowning babies and just walk away without any consequence right there with Moses’ Freedom-March out of slavery (and so on). And we get that our Non-Theist friends there may also be angry that even after judgment ensues God still makes room for the Egyptians who decided to leave with Israel.  HECK just think it through: after TEN of THOSE plagues I think most of US would have been right there with Moses and the gang….even after we had been baby-drowners…. and God took them all in just as He would have taken all of us in. The terminus is never about our sins, it’s always (and only) about which resumé one delights in, trusts in, loves, prefers, chooses — the resumé of the Self which is necessarily contingent & insufficient — or the resumé  of The-Other (God’s Own Self-Outpouring) which is (as God) Necessary v. The Necessary Being and (in His Self-Outpouring) All-Sufficient (…but all of that resumé  content is a different topic…).

Pain & Suffering? Non-Contingent Time? A Few Excerpts From A Brief Discussion:

The following is a reply in a few exchanges on this topic which had a few overlapping segues from other topics as well. The primary complaint from our Non-Theist friend (to which the following replies were addressed) was that there ought to be Possible Worlds in which the Contingent Being (…in our case such would be all things Adamic and so on….) can avoid that syntax of Means & Ends & Harvest & Interface with The Necessary Being such that the Contingency called Time and the Contingency of Body and Self and Privation (Etc.) were more akin to, say, the landscape of “Deism” wherein God just winds-up-the-remote-control-car and sets it loose, turns His back, and walks away, never to be seen again — and of course we can add ten thousand combinations / permutations of that complaint.  Several replies to that complaint are copy/pasted here with only minor edits and so the “you” & “I” and “we” and so on are for the most part still present. It will begin and end with “Begin Excerpts” / “End Excerpts” — and begins here:

Begin Excerpts:

As contingent beings we all come to our end and meet God (…the Necessary Being…) at what is a logically unavoidable interface. Given the term “GOD” / “Being Itself” your analysis seems to presuppose that it is logically possible that less than 100% of the contingent beings called “Humans” are harvested by God – as if that A. logically necessary and B. Necessarily Immaterial interface actualizing “before” the material body ceases to live instead of “after” the physical body ceases to live somehow changes the logical necessity of that interface.

But that’s impossible. Let’s just GRANT that A & H & S WERE directly and immediately harvested and let’s just GRANT that A & S & H WERE NOT directly and immediately harvested – so either way — what then? What does either one of those do with respect to the logical necessity of that Interface vis-à-vis the Contingency we call Time and the Contingent Self that is 100% of me and you and any other Human Being? WHAT do you do with that 100%?

Also, I don’t see that your long list of conflations compel us to equate [A] the many sins of Christians across the centuries to [B] Scripture’s discussions of that same logically necessary and immaterial interface – nor to Scripture’s discussions of Man’s logically necessary and immaterial interfaces with “GOD” / “The Good”.

Thinking It Through: You say, “But They Thought God Killed A & S!” First of all – there’s not compelling evidence for that (…see https://metachristianity.com/ethics-ananias-sapphira-herod-harvest-love-logical-necessity/ …). Secondly – you seem to argue as if Peter believing that there are different people of Clean/Unclean status means that such is the case according to Scripture. Did you catch that? Perhaps if Acts ended “there” you’d have the (false) appearance of a point worth making. Did you catch that? That is why we have to employ the Whole Metanarrative of Scripture as the Corrective Lens – and the same goes for Christians and their various misguided fears in the book of Acts. If they believed God killed A & S well then okay. Maybe, maybe not – but it’s irrelevant. Like witch hunts. Like Peter’s initial beliefs with respect to Clean/Unclean (…racism…). We’ve THE REST of that Corrective Lens to employ and we’ve the demands of both love and logic forced upon us by that very same Corrective Lens.

We arrive again at the problem of the 100% which you’ve expunged from your definitions. Of the 100% of contingent beings (…Man…) necessarily subsumed by, harvested by, God / God’s Angels / etc. in that Logically Necessary Traversal of Time’s Contingency you say that some vector in Scripture’s Metanarrative in all of that is logically impossible. Well WHICH case or cases vis-à-vis Humanity’s 100% is it exactly that your supposed logical impossibilities apply to in that Metanarrative? As in:

A — As contingent beings do we all find ourselves subsumed by, harvested by, the Necessary Being in what is a logically unavoidable interface?

B — Given the term “GOD” / “Being Itself” why does your analysis presuppose that it is logically possible that less than 100% of the contingent beings called “Humans” are subsumed by, harvested by, “Being Itself” / “GOD”?

C — Does Scripture foist Time and Physicality as the end of all definitions? Or instead is it the Cruciform love housed in the ceaseless and Self-Giving diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum? Is it Christ where the key to all definitions is found?

While I don’t agree with “everything” of G. Boyd, his Cruciform hermeneutic properly directs our reason towards reality’s irreducible substratum there in love’s timeless reciprocity amid those uncanny Trinitarian processions housed in “Being Itself” / “GOD”.

“There’s simply no reason to think the cruciform hermeneutic (reading Scripture through the lens of the cross) applies only to the Old Testament. If we truly believe the cross is the quintessential revelation of what God is *really* like, as I do, then the cross must serve as our interpretive lens *whenever* and *wherever* we see, or believe we see, God in action. Knowing that God’s true character looks like Jesus voluntarily dying on the cross for his enemies, we will always know that something else is going on if God appears to act in ways that are contrary to this enemy-loving, non-violent character.” (…by G. Boyd…)

D — Why does your premise seem to presuppose that “IF” that logically necessary and immaterial interface actualizes “before” the material body ceases to live instead of actualizing “after” the physical body ceases to live, that somehow that changes both the logical necessity of that interface and the Cruciform Lens through which all definitions emerge?

E — Of the 100% of contingent beings who traverse Time and Circumstance, which % is it exactly for whom said Time and said Circumstance is just all to much for the reach of something that is necessarily All Sufficient?

F — Of the 100% of contingent beings necessarily subsumed by, harvested by, God / God’s Angels / etc., which case(s) is it exactly that your logical impossibilities apply to?

G. You will need to justify why you re-invent Scripture’s Metanarrative in order to add A. vectors of Pain/Suffering to B. the whole-show of 100% of such Traversals/Harvests despite the following facts:

On Scripture’s definitions [A] wherever we find someone in the Old Testament (…Enoch, Egypt’s First Born, Etc….) or in the New Testament (…Rapture, Christ, Harvest, Etc…) any such individuals are obviously beneath/within the Decree of Non-Culpable or else Innocent or else a New Creation’s Redeemed and, also, [B] all such Traversals/Harvests necessarily entail (to make the obvious point) “Non-Metaphysical-Naturalism” when it comes to explanatory termini with respect to Means & Ends and thereby it’s obviously the case that all such cases are UN-Natural Traversals of Time’s Necessary Terminus such that any such Pain & Suffering is for obvious reasons NOT “in-play”.

End Excerpts.

For context the following is added and is from Divine Command Theory Collapses Into A Metaphysical Absurdity which is at https://metachristianity.com/divine-command-theory-collapses-into-a-metaphysical-absurdity/ 

Inevitable Segues

To round out some of the context here we can add a few items in the topics of — “Israelite Conquest” and/or “Divine Command Theory” as per the following:

  1. http://disq.us/p/1t69vjj
  2. http://disq.us/p/1tapp70
  3. http://disq.us/p/1ti6tts
  4. http://disq.us/p/1t61aef
  5. http://disq.us/p/1t61uz6
  6. http://disq.us/p/1t6929l
  7. https://metachristianity.com/divine-command-theory-collapses-into-a-metaphysical-absurdity/

We get that our Non-Theist friends so often in these discussions want to pretend that “Sinai” is God’s Eternal Ideal for Mankind – forever – even though Scripture defines Sinai as far, far below both the Means and the Ends of Moral Excellence.  It is, after all, easier for the Non-Theist  to argue against his own Make-Believe reality of “Christianity” rather than (actually) interacting with the (actual) Christian Metaphysic.

But reality matters. And so we’ll remind our Non-Theist friends of a fairly basic observation: an emotionally and intellectually healthy posture or mode of interaction is to (actually) interact with the (actual) evidence, premises, and explanatory termini of the (actual) people one is (pretending) to interact with. Why? Because reality matters.

—End—

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