Welcome to the latest post in my Praise and Prose series, which explores the way in which we use language – particularly in matters of faith and spirituality – and how our language might evolve to better reflect reality.
One should never argue against a perceived wrong with language like “God will judge them”. A statement of this kind implies the existence of free will — that an action was undertaken freely which God will judge. In reality, God is sovereign over all events, so He caused the action you are claiming should be judged.
In wishing judgement upon another person, then, you are wishing judgement upon yourself, because your situation is no different to that of the person who you hope will be punished – you have done nothing freely in the same way as they have done nothing freely.
Well, the Christian might argue, how can one make sense of society if there is no culpability for our actions? Wouldn’t there simply be anarchy? Only if human beings are fundamentally evil. This is a topic I explore in depth in my new essay.
It is clear that God does put people in prison, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. But I have a vision of a future which is quite different, and where crime and punishment are seen in a new light which focuses on transforming the beliefs and character of people who cause distress to others, rather than seeing them as criminals.
In my view, rather than labelling precious human beings as criminals, it makes more sense to view a person’s life as a spiritual journey being unfolded by God. Your life is not something for which you should feel personally responsible. My previous post in this series, entitled Why Regret is Illogical, looks at this matter in more depth.
The way our Western democracies are structured is based on the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible, which reflect the idea that human beings are naturally evil. This is only one way of looking at humanity. An alternative perspective is that human beings are fundamentally compassionate, and they only do wrong to others due to certain lies about reality which they have come to believe through conditioning.
In terms of the way we use language, which is the focus of this blog series, my suggestion would be that the words ‘crime’ and ‘criminal’ should not be a part of our vocabularies, because they demonstrate a lack of compassion and ignore the reality that God is sovereign over all events and loves every single being He has created.
The orthodox Christian view is that we are all sinners under the wrath of God. But when we come to understand the truth of God’s sovereignty over all events, it makes no sense to argue that God is angry. If He were angry with us, He would be angry over actions which He has caused to happen by His own free will, an idea which is highly illogical.
If God is not angry at you, then you have nothing to fear, and if you have nothing to fear, why would you ever harm another human being?
My newly published essay entitled ‘The Only Question You Ever Need Ask’ looks at the themes discussed in this post in more depth. You can download the essay for free for a limited time from this page. Thank you for reading.