If you think that believing in a God of vengeance, that that would make you violent, it is clear you have lived a very comfortable life.
If, when you are hurt, your children and loved ones are hurt or beaten or raped, when your village is plundered, or destroyed; what will keep you from being sucked into the cycle of violence?
Only if you believe that there is a God Himself he knows what people deserve. God will judge, I don’t have to do it.
If you think that an idea of a judging God leads to violence, NOT AT ALL. Violence thrives today secretly nourished by the belief in a God who refuses to wield the sword.
My thesis that the practice of non-violence requires a belief in divine judgment will not be popular in the United States. It takes the quiet of a suburb for the birth of the thesis that human non-violence can result from the belief in an all loving God that refuses to judge.
If God were not angry at injustice and did not make a final end to violence . . . that God would not be worthy of worship.”
The only guide we have for goodness is the guide God himself formed in us from birth. Then we judge God based on the criteria of goodness that he himself gave us. And let’s be honest for a moment: who among us really knows “goodness” as well as God does?
We are child-sand-castle-novices judging the designer of the Taj Mahal.
A sense of sin is almost totally lacking [nowadays]. Our situation is thus very different from that of the Apostles. The Pagans, to whom they preached, were haunted by a sense of guilt, and to them the Gospel was, therefore, “good news.”
We address people [today] who have been trained to believe that whatever goes wrong in the world is someone else’s fault – the Capitalists’, the Government’s, the Nazis’, the Generals’ etc. They approach God Himself when He judges.
They want to know, not whether they can be acquitted for sin, but whether He can be acquitted for creating such a world.
In one corner we have Rocky:
“I just want to go the distance so I know I’m not a bum.
In the other corner, we have Paul:
“As for me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human institution. In fact, I don’t t even judge myself.
“So don’t look for judgment before its time, before the Lord comes … At that time, each one will receive his praise from God.”
[We can strive for judgement like Rocky, a kind of self-praise, or we can wait for the praise from God.]
[Sam Gamgee has been facing terrible evils, all hope seems is absent, and he is about to give up. Then he simply sees a star.]
The beauty of the star smote his heart, and like a shaft clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end, the shadow was only a small and passing thing. There was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
Many times he had been defiant rather than hopeful. For then he had been thinking of himself.
Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him, and he fell into a deep untroubled sleep.
A reader asked Tolkien to explain the connection of the Ring of Sauron to Sauron’s explosive death when the ring is destroyed. At first Tolkien said, “Hey, it’s just a story.” When pushed, he added:
- The Ring of Sauron is a mythical treatment of placing one’s life or power in something external which is thus exposed to capture or destruction with disastrous results to oneself.