eschatology, God, Human, hurt, paradise, Sin, sinful nature, suffering, the next world
We are going to take a quick look now at an inescapable factor in any talk on eschatology: the human factor. BTW, these posts are not intended to be an in depth analysis on a given topic, but more of a jumping board for further reflection, hopefully taking place in part here in the comments section.
When you ask who’s to blame for the mess we’re in there’s little disagreement that people are the problem. God is rarely blamed, if ever. God did his thing and we, the humans, messed it up. Ok. So, if that’s the case why the need for another world? What’s going to stop us from messing it up again? What’s different about now and then? Are we misbehaving because of external factors? If there are indeed some external factors that make us “sin” that will be removed in the next world, why wait to remove them? Didn’t we have those options in the garden? Weren’t we given the right environment to begin with? Is it really another world that we need? Really? Don’t we blame it on the externals when we look for another world? It’s like saying, if we only had the perfect set up. But wait, that’s what God gave us. He gave us the paradise. All the right externals.
Some say the problem with this world is sin, caused by our sinful nature and that the world to come will have no sin. But what is this sinful nature if not just being human? We have innate proclivities that can produce positive or negative outcomes, depending on how we channel them. Does evil exist ontologically? Isn’t it a perversion of something good? Revenge, bitterness, anger and many others are all misplaced good emotions. A lot of the hurt we cause others comes from a drive for self-preservation immaturely handled. How many times we get hurt without someone actually meaning to hurt us. I am talking about the hurt we cause ourselves by the way we perceive things. Then there are unintended “bad” things we do in trying to know ourselves as we navigate life. It’s the necessary hurt in the learning process. We learn by trial and error. Yes, we learn from others, but we chart our own course, we travel our own journey. So, isn’t the very hope for another world (supposedly a perfect one, whatever that means) a distraction from figuring what exactly is the problem and doing something about it? I mean wherever we are, there we are. In this world or the next one, we are still human. And that’s wonderful!