Monday, February 27, 2017

Shifting the Blame

In reading the news, I am astonished at the irrational logic of some morally bankrupt people. I’m sure you’ve all read similar stories. For example, a burglar sues a homeowner because, while hiding in the attic, the ceiling gave way causing them to fall to the interior room and hurt their back. Or how about the careless, speeding driver that hit a legally parked car and then sues the owner of the car because it was in his way. There are so many other examples. Sadly, sometimes because of crooked lawyers and loopholes, the innocent parties end up having to pay.

If there is one individual that is indeed completely faultless it is God. Yet surprisingly, people still want to blame negative experiences on Him. One early account of God predicting this very blame-shifting fault-finding attitude is mentioned in Deuteronomy 31:16, 17. In the latter half of verse 17, God predicted that, after Israel’s disobedience and subsequent punishment from God, including his refusal to “talk” to them (through prophets), the nation would conclude that it is because God is not with them. Note that they didn’t say it was because they were disobedient. It was because God wasn’t with them -- it was God's fault, not theirs. (Verse 18 is what gives me the impression that Israel was indeed just finding fault with God and not repenting. Had they expressed repentance, he would certainly return to them. Here in Ezekiel 18:25, we find an instance where the Israelites where indeed emboldened to accuse God of not acting/thinking correctly.) In some ways that reminds me of a child who blames a parent because the parent didn’t stop the child’s bad behavior.

The scripture in Deuteronomy doesn’t really say whether the nation of Israel would later go on to reason that since God wasn’t with them, maybe they need to seek him out and find out what they did wrong. Indeed, this did happen on more than one occasion. It also needs to be remembered that Jehovah was not speaking of a particular instance in the above passage but just that, in general, they would leave him (through disobedience) and then they would conclude God was no longer in their “midst.”

It is also noteworthy that this account in Deuteronomy is not speaking about a particular law (even though the “sin” God mentions in the above passage is a breach of the first and second commandments). Rather, God is talking about an honest and sincere relationship with him (or rather, the failure of it). Those principles (of dishonesty, insincerity, disloyalty, and more) are the reasons God said he would reject Israel. It is an important point to keep in mind because of false reasonings that people use today. Today, people likewise blame God when things are not going the way they want. Many seem to think that merely sitting in a pew in church once a week (or less) will appease God. Developing a true and deep relationship with God is just not something they have time for in their busy lives. But as demonstrated in the above passage, God is not fooled.

Much can be learned by reading the Hebrew/Aramaic Scriptures (the “Old Testament”). There are many intricate and fine details about the personality of Jehovah that can be gleaned by doing so. (Several years ago a man told me: “You Jehovah’s Witnesses are like every other so-called Christian religion. You read just the New Testament but never read the Old.” I assured him he was completely wrong on that point and even demonstrated to him how my personal Bible reading completes the whole Bible in 11 months and that I have been doing this for years. Then I pulled up my blog and showed him a number of examples where the Hebrew Scriptures were the key and highlighted passages. Finally, I showed him how our official literature uses the Hebrew writings extensively. He did not respond.)

While the broken and corrupt legal systems today may allow innocent people to suffer at the hands of unscrupulous ones, such twisted reasoning will never succeed with God.

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