Bringing together non-believers …
Imagine that you are a king, reigning over a certain kingdom somewhere. Your subjects, the citizens within the kingdom, all respect and adore you. They do things according to your bidding, and you, in turn, guide them towards more and more prosperity. In your kingdom, everybody is free to do as he or she wishes, and this has fostered a culture of responsibility and good will amongst the citizens. You have allowed the people to set their own moral and legal standards, so that they don’t feel oppressed by your rule. And, in turn, the people have pledged never to betray the trust that you have bestowed on them.
For a long time, everything runs smoothly.
One day, however, you receive some bad news. Apparently, some of the top officials that you appointed to guide the rest of the citizens have started to misuse their privileges. Some of them are actually taking advantage of their offices, and laying down oppressive rules for their particular areas of influence. Others have gone a step further, and are now openly enslaving the citizens, and using them as a source of cheap labor. Still other officers have become pedophiles – molesting the youngest in the kingdom, and heedless of the cries of sorrow and grief that all this is causing.
From all this, another, ominous trend is developing. The citizens are beginning to question the rule of the land – your very sovereignty. They are beginning to wonder why you are not taking action. And, since you never take country walks, but rather handle all your official duties from your palace, they are beginning to wonder whether you are aware of what is really going on. They reason that you can’t possibly be aware of the atrocities happening in the kingdom, for if you did, you would take action. But if, god forbid, you are aware of the atrocities, and are not taking action, then you must be an accomplice.
What is happening, in other words, is that your good reputation amongst the citizens is slowly getting eroded. And this is through no fault of yours. Your reputation is going down the drains simply because the people who represent you – the officers – have turned rogue. Faced with this situation, would you just sit back, ignore the situation, and let your officers smear your reputation? Or would you immediately take action, fire all guilty officers, and send them to the guillotine, or at least to the dungeons? The answer here, for any rational person, is obvious.
The above scenario should help to illuminate one fact: that in any system of leadership, the sovereign ruler should always ensure that his representatives uphold his virtues. The reason for this is simple: that if the representatives don’t uphold the virtues of the sovereign ruler, it is that ruler himself who will end up with a bad reputation. And it doesn’t matter what else the ruler has accomplished, or intends to accomplish. As long as the representatives are flawed, that ruler will also end up being seen as flawed.
With the above reasoning, hence, a question can be asked: how come priests, preachers, bishops, cardinals and other church leaders are engaging in criminal activities, and God isn’t taking action? For decades, centuries even, scandals involving the top church leaders in churches have always filtered out to the public. In the last decade, such scandals have increased to a point where they are no longer newsworthy. Yet these church leaders are supposedly the representatives – the officers, so to say – of God on earth. Hence if such church leaders misbehave, it is God’s reputation that stands to lose in the end.
Given all the above, why is it that God does not intervene, and restore his reputation back to respectability? Why is it that he doesn’t bother sanitizing his “Holy Name”? By the King analogy described above, if God actually observes all the scandals, and ignores them, even when the culprits are committing the crimes in his name, then he must be an accomplice. Of course, there is always that other option, also implied above – that God isn’t around, and hence there is no one to care for such a celestial reputation…
If you were God, would you let Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Preachers – people who claim to represent you on earth – defile hapless children, fleece the rest of the society, and drag your reputation through the mud?
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