20 May 2006

Good Us Think, Bad Them Feel

Warning: the link article below asserts that God commands his people to wage war. If this is likely to wind you up, don't read the article!

came across this article whilst searching for articles on racism: Liberal Feelings vs. Judeo-Christian Values. One thing I find absolutely fascinating is the way that the article mentions the word 'feelings' so many times. If you read the article, it clearly contrasts 'feelings' with 'objective standards of morality'. I grew up in a denomination that also castigated feelings in this way. I have my own theories about why feelings are allegedly bad, but I'm not sure they are fit for public consumption; ask me in private if you know me!

What a huge contrast this article is to Miroslav Volf's book Exclusion and Embrace which uses the same argument about God-given, externally-posited values to make the argument that 'War is not the answer.' (Sorry, I may be banging on about this fantastic, illuminating book for awhile!)

The article, it seems to me, is a great example of Plantinga's assertion that 'at the heart of sin is a refusal to tolerate sin.' Of course, those who are attacked in war feel (that word!) that they must defend their homes and country; that doesn't mean 'their' war is 'just'. It is simply that, ethically, it is much less evil to defend oneself than to start a war.

The danger of refusing to tolerate sin in oneself is that we start looking for reasons why our cause is 'just' - why it is OK for us to hurt or kill the other person but wrong for her to hurt or kill us.

1 comment:

Sally said...

You continue raving about that book Pam, I have read it and it is a wonderful vehicle of grace...

We must not give in to those voices that draw battle lines and declare that us and them is a legitimate excuse for viloence either physical or verbal, God's grace wipes out those lines and declares that only he who is without sim may cast the first stone...