Thursday, 24 January 2013

Assassinating Hitler

Every once in a while a person asks you a provocative question to try and weed out what we really believe. Ultimately our actions are evidence for what we truly believe. When we as Christians espouse a non-violent approach to our witnessing we are making a very bold claim. But do we always follow through on it? One of the questions that is fairly common(in my own experience) is whether we would kill Hitler as a child if we knew beforehand what he would become.

We all know thats not an easy question to answer. We know what he did and the horrific history of that man. Setting aside the fact we couldn't know that in advance, what if we did? Would you or I kill a child in order to prevent the Holocaust? Or how about if someone asked you to kill a child and if you didn't they would detinate a nuclear weapon in a major city? We somehow convince ourselves that we are somehow responsible for the actions of others if we have some knowledge or ability to stop it, even if stopping it constitutes a sin, even a horrific one such as murdering a child. And thats what it comes down to for me. I will not commit a sin in order to prevent a sin. I would not kill Hitler as a child knowing what he would become. I would not kill a child to prevent a nuclear blast. I could go on for days about this as it connects to our ideas of politics, obligations as moral citizens of earth, etc. But I'll just leave it there for now. I will not commit a sin to prevent a sin.

For His Glorious Name,

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A short thought on gun laws

Well, its all around out there. A big debate about gun legislation. Obama's dictation concerning restricting access to guns and ammunition. And I have to ask myself the basic question. Do laws ever prevent anything?

No they don't. Laws set up the legislation and right to punish when they are broken. They allow for a judicial system to deal with those who break the laws. But they never EVER prevent crimes. Read the Bible a bit. God set up the most magnificent judicial system and set of laws conceivable. Yet we ALL break those laws. Thou shalt not bear false witness. We've all broken that one. In fact we've all broken most of God's laws. That is why we are all condemned to die as sinners and can only find salvation through Jesus. But the more intricate a legislative system the more breaking of laws it produces.

That doesn't mean laws are bad. Having laws are not inherently bad. What are the content of those laws are what determines good or bad laws. So the question ultimately comes down to whether gun legislation is good or bad. But the problem I have with it even before we get to determining that is the fact that the whole argument is based on the prevention of crime. If laws never prevent crime, then having that as your primary motivation for a law is inherently erroneous and foolish to begin with.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Odds and Evens

On my way to work today I was thinking about odd, even, and prime numbers. As we all learn pretty early, even numbers are all those that are "evenly" divisible by 2, that is dividing by two will not leave you with decimal places or fractions. But then I starting wondering at that a little bit.

Though it is a different use of the word, even, it carries a vary similar sense just used in a different context. When we speak of dividing something up evenly among us, we don't necessarily mean that anything is necessarily divisible by 2. Take for example if we had 15 pies and there were three of us. We could evenly divide those pies up between us 5 a piece. The total number, the number of divisers, and the division result are all "non-even" numbers, 15, 3, and 5 respectively. Yet we would consider them evenly divided.

This got me thinking about in terms of our numbers whether our use of the word even originally came from our use of numbers or if our use in common language transferred over into our numbers. I think it was the second one being that something being even is the leveling out of and distribution of equally between some set number. We took the number 2 as the arbitrary one that allows us to split all whole numbers down the middle so to speak. But that doesn't seem to follow the original meaning of eveness as I observe it.

This brings us to prime numbers. They are truly the only "odd" numbers so to speak, because they are the ones that are only "evenly" divisible by themselves or 1. They are unique, which is why in Transformers certain of them, like Optimus, were given the designation Prime. Who they are is not distinguishable ultimately from what they can do. And ultimately in some sense we are all primes. There is never a person exactly like you. . . . ever. You are also unique. So in some respect, we're all "odd" and none of us are even. So if you think you fit in, just consider that.

But thats okay, because we live in a world created by an amazing, unique, beautiful, awesome God with the ability to create us in so many intricate details that we're still only beginning to grasp in some ways. Just remember that when you look at a list of numbers because we are not a list of numbers to God. We aren't a checklist or a product of some divine experimental factory. We are intentionally created with a purpose in mind having unique attributes for the task we are created. You are more important than some simple designation such as even or odd.

For His Glorious Name,