14-02-2022 (Original Dutch article of 25-05-2012)
When purchasing a device with many gadgets or novelties, you usually get an instruction manual. If one puts the device into use without having read it, it can happen that it does not work properly and sometimes there is a chance of serious damage to it due to incorrect operations. A poorly operated device can even be dangerous for the users or others who happen to be nearby. In such cases, the blame for this is rather quickly shifted to the seller or the manufacturer, while the problems could easily have been avoided by first reading the instructions carefully.
In man’s attitude toward God, we see something similar happening. The anatomy of the average person, combined with a brain endowed with an unimaginable storage capacity, an extraordinary working speed and equipped with very efficient basic programs, enables him to largely control his living environment. In addition, he lives on a planet that is incredibly rich in minerals, raw materials, energy sources and a wide range of interesting possibilities. He lives in the midst of a dizzying diversity of life forms, and he can also put these at the service of the satisfaction of his many needs. Isn’t that a unique royal position? Why is there still so much misery in the world? Is it the fault of the Maker and Giver of it?
Man did not design the planet he lives on himself. He is born on it and he cannot yet choose another planet. So far, despite intensive research, no other has been found that looks at least as attractive, leaving aside the question of how and whether such potential “Utopia” is attainable. But many people are not satisfied with their earthly abode and other aspects of their sublunary destiny. According to them, only two conclusions can be drawn from this: either God is not people-friendly or good, or He simply does not exist. After all, nature confronts us with so many dangers, the body of many has quite a few flaws and if we are not attacked by nature, then our fellow human beings will take care of it. If God is really that good, why does He allow all that suffering? We can also ask this question differently: why didn’t He give people the solution to their problems on a platter? To which we can ask ourselves: did He not in fact do that, although not in a simplistic or fairytale way, but respecting our free will?
All that is available to us can somehow be useful to achieve a maximum and even paradisiacal “quality of life” (to use a fashionable term). To this end it must be used wisely and for the right purposes. So that means that we must follow the unwritten laws that the Maker of all this has placed in things, and that we must also take care not to get in each other’s way and learn to work together. The basic rules to make this process run optimally were and are provided to us from various sources.
To the young, God gave the elders to teach them with their rich experience. For their part, they can assist the elderly with their fresh strengths and with the input of new creative ideas. In that primary process of knowledge transfer, a lot can go wrong. A characteristic of today’s social folly is, for example, the loss of the respect for the elderly, even for their own parents. Such behavior squarely contradicts the fourth of the Ten Commandments that God gave to a derailed humanity through Moses as his basic formal instructions.
This is a first glaring source of much misery, for which one should certainly not place the blame on God. But it is also not or not only the fault of “today’s youth”. The main blame for what is now going wrong with us lies with those who designed, introduced, or reluctantly allowed the politically correct Western thought patterns. They unilaterally argue with “rights”, including “the rights of the child”, instead of talking about “the rights AND obligations of the child AND of the parents”. Moreover, within this completely skewed ideological framework, the image of the natural family as a basic cell for society was systematically eroded, in favour of “new family forms”. Our governments subsidize and promote public processions in which adults in obscene poses and offensive clothing display their supposedly “emancipated” (but actually “derailed”) sexuality, while our children watch. That immoral distasteful glitter is justified under the guise of “the fight against discrimination against people with a different orientation”. Apparently, no one seems to be asking any more questions about the difference between “orientation” and “degeneration”. When was the last time that was preached in our churches about the concept of “chastity” (6th and 9th commandments of God)?
On the other hand, in many Western countries the “Rights of the Child” are completely ignored in favor of the “desire of gay couples to have children”. One hardly ever hears or reads a word about the “father and mother wish of the child” in our media. Isn’t that blatant discrimination against children versus adults? Which “father and mother” should “honor” the child involved, following the fourth commandment of God, remains a big question mark. The child is doomed to resign himself to an imposed unnatural state, which it owes to a legislative government that talks about “moral authority”, but has increasingly completely lost the moral north. People are not too concerned about the longer-term personal and social consequences of such ethical and social experiments. If it ends badly, the resulting problems will be attributed to God, or to his absence, or to the caricature that the “contemporary man” has made of the Supreme Being.
Another rich source of useful information available to humanity lies in nature. The plant kingdom has very good remedies for almost all diseases. Indigenous peoples, such as the Amazon Indians, have already amazed many a learned botanist with their plant knowledge and its possible medical applications. Most of our pharmaceutical preparations contain plant extracts or are derived from them. Without detracting from the merits of classical medicine, experience teaches us that many ailments are remedied by naturopathy, where the classical approach fails. We owe this to the care and patience of gifted people. Such a person was e.g., Saint Hildegard of Bingen, a shining ecclesiastical example for today’s woman. She has left us a whole range of excellent natural recipes. Even against diseases such as malaria and rheumatic diseases, which are generally considered incurable, there are, according to experts, efficient plant extracts. Of course, the plant kingdom also contains harmful and toxic crops. But again, nature itself offers us a good guideline: one can identify them by looking at the behavior of birds and other animals, which instinctively avoid these plants.
Some, like the professor emeritus Etienne Vermeersch discussed earlier on this site, claim that God cannot exist, since there is much innocent suffering. He recently gave an example of this in the Flemish TV program Canvas – Reyers Laat, with the intention of extending the euthanasia legislation, so that “neonati” (newborns) could also “enjoy” it. It was about a child who was born with a very rare abnormality that makes the skin easily loose. One could only wash that child under anesthesia. Of course, everyone agrees that it is very difficult for the parents of such a child to deal with this. However, does this give them the right to kill their child? According to Vermeersch, yes, because “the attending doctor (with the permission of the parents) has the obligation to ensure that the child does not suffer”. If this kind of reasoning were to be applied consistently, our hospitals would soon be empty and our cemeteries overcrowded. The questions of what kind of suffering might justify killing someone and whether there are no other methods of alleviation of suffering than physical elimination are carefully circumvented.
By misusing spontaneous emotional reactions, people like Vermeersch not only try to undermine God’s commandment “Thou shalt not kill”. Their additional or main purpose is to show that He does not exist, since He makes children suffer innocently. However, it is nevertheless very striking that one never hears of such abnormalities in animals that live in God’s free nature. Before passing on the blame for that innocent suffering on the Creator, one should ask oneself whether human behavior can sometimes be the cause of it. After all, in such cases it is clearly a matter of genetically determined disorders. What honest doctor or researcher would dare to say that our behavior, especially sexually, does not play a major role in the development of this? From an objective and purely scientific point of view, it is easy to demonstrate links between sexual (and other) depraved behavior and genetic abnormalities, … At least if one is not paralyzed by the fear of politically incorrect statements. To be clear: we are not talking about the behavior of the direct parents here. Genetic abnormalities are passed on to successive generations, without it being possible to predict when they will manifest themselves. (One can even see a connection with the Christian concept of “original sin”).
We could go on and on about what a well-managed nature can offer us. Nature can not only be mild and benevolent, but also seem cruel to us. However, “cruelty” is a moral qualification that can only be applied to self-aware beings and not to animals, plants or abstractions such as “nature”. The playbook of the spectacle that nature offers us is governed by laws laid down by its Director, the Lord of Life and Death. Man has the capacity to get to know them, so that he can reap the benefits of them and avoid the disadvantages, … if he at least accepts the rules of the game and does not want to play God himself, as God deniers de facto do. Whoever comes to know, accept, and apply God’s natural laws and commandments enters Life, reaps the fruits, and passes them on. Those who ignore God and pretend to act as divine moral legislators themselves are part of the Realm of self-destruction and Death.
The instruction booklet of humanity is supplemented through other channels. God also speaks directly to people. Often this happens in a dream and the Bible gives quite a few examples of this. During our sleep, our mind is wholly or partially disconnected from the immediate daily worries and our minds are put in order as best as possible. In that state, we become more receptive to supernatural signals or messages. It even happens that people experience a state in their dreams that can be described as “unearthly”. We then speak of “visions”. Some neurologists even believe that all religions originated from this. For believers, they are an important medium through which God intervenes, teaches us, warns us, or manifests his will.
The last source that we want to cite here, from which man can draw life knowledge and insight, are the sayings of the prophets. They are the direction indicators that have helped determine the course of human history. This is still happening today, because even now people are called to be “prophetic”, that is, to interpret the messages they received from God. They call on us not to be led by our pride or animal instincts, but by Wisdom. The greatest of them were i.a. Moses, Elijah and above all John the Baptist. They were chosen by God because of their exceptional gifts and their sustained will to serve Him and their fellow men. They are like the stars in the firmament that show us the right direction of life and save us from the many pitfalls of the false prophets, which, like a moral minefield, make our current social and religious landscape unsafe.
So let us praise and thank God for the foresighted care with which He guides our lives and ask forgiveness for all those who ignore, accuse, insult, or oppose Him.